Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

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A few months ago, I was sick on a Saturday. Matt took the kids out so I could get some rest. When I am sick, I find great comfort in watching cooking shows. PBS has a string of culinary delights on Saturday mornings. Since I’ve never watched Joanne Weir before, I decided to give her a try. One show and I was hooked. I must have finished most of the series in one sitting. I was so impressed by her cooking style, food and personality that I ordered her new book, “Kitchen Gypsy”. I have to admit, I came to love her sort of late in the game.  I mean who hasn’t heard of her? She is the famous Chez Panisse chef-alum, owns Copita restaurant in Sausalito and has a very successful cooking show on PBS.  She is amazing, folks!

So today, I felt like I was channeling my inner Joanne Weir by baking these lovely oatmeal cookies. I adapted the recipe to include cranberries and itsy-bitsy chocolate chips. I used Enjoy Life Food( http://www.enjoylifefoods.com) chocolate chips because they are soy free, tree-nut and dairy free and the mini chips are perfect in this type of cookie. I also used Earth Balance vegan butter (www.earthbalancenatural.com) for a non-dairy alternative and reduced the sugar since I like sweets on the not too sugary side.

Even with the reduction in sugar, they were perfectly balanced in flavor.  The best part of this cookie is that they are flatter and thinner than most traditional oatmeal cookies. They are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. This batch makes up a ton, so be prepared to eat many, give away plenty to share and you can even freeze the rest. Yes, it will make that many! It is a superb cookie to make for a large gathering of friends. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Recipe adapted from  Joanne Weir, “Kitchen Gypsy”

Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Nut-Free, Sesame-Free

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 c vegan butter( I used Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 c organic cane sugar
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1/2 dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c -1/2c mini-chocolate chips( Enjoy Life Brand)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a mixer with a fitted beater, combine the vegan butter and both sugars and beat on medium speed until fluffy, and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until creamy. On medium-low speed, add the flour mixture slowly in two batches and beat until well mixed. With a wooden spoon, stir in the oats, raisins, dried cranberries and mini-chocolate chips, mixing well.

Using an ice cream scooper, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Pat down each mound slightly with a floured hand.

Bake the cookies, rotating the pans from front to back midway through baking, until light golden brown on the edges, about 12-14 minutes. You want them to be slightly underdone when taking them out. Let them sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, freeze the leftover batter in balls or freeze the cooked cookies. More importantly share them with your friends and family.  These goodies will be dearly remembered by all.

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