Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vegan and Gluten Free Cranberry, Orange and Walnut Cookies

My addiction to sweets is on par with nicotine and narcotics so I look for the most natural and lowest glycemic index I can find, and coconut sugar is like nicorette for me. Okay, bad analogy but you understand.

After eating one of these cookies I still want to eat 10 more but the craving to isn't as psychotic as when I have a more refined version.

I also made them gluten free and vegan 'cause I love the challenge of making them edible for everyone and also edible so that you actually enjoy them and they taste like a regular cookie and not a sawdust puck. If you don't care about sugar, dairy or gluten all these ingredients can be substituted with the real thing.

Albeit they are a bit soft and tricky when you take them out of the oven and can easily fall apart. I am working on perfecting that. I made some others and added more nuts and seeds like pumkin seeds and sesame, and they seemed to work at binding them a bit better. It is hard to screw up this recipe, so experiment with other ingredients like coconut or other nuts.

3/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter sticks (you can get these at Whole Foods or most natural grocery stores)

Or if you cannot find the product use 3/4 cup vegetable shortening

3/4 to 1 cup coconut sugar (depending on your sweet tooth).
If you cannot find coconut sugar, use raw cane or brown.

***Note the labels "eat all you can sugar for everybody". Um, no. It is still sugar.

1 egg equivalent of EnerG Egg Replacer or 1 large egg

1/3 cup almond milk or soy milk or coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup Gluten Free Flour (like Bob's Red Mill)
***You can use any type if wheat doesn't bother you. The recipe will turn out relatively the same.
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup cup dried cranberries or raisins or cherries
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or pecans)
Zest of two oranges

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheets lightly with no-stick cooking spray or vegan butter stick.
Beat butter sticks, sugar, egg or egg replacer, milk and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended.
Combine oats, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix into wet mixture at low speed just until blended. Stir in dried fruit, nuts and orange zest. Drop onto a baking sheet, approximately 1 tablespoon and a half per cookie
Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Keep an eye on them after the first 10. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

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