PART I: THE BEST VEGAN COOKIES EVER AKA VEGAN BREAKFAST COOKIES (V+, ChF)

PART I: THE BEST VEGAN COOKIES EVER AKA VEGAN BREAKFAST COOKIES (V+, ChF)

Picture this: I'm sitting in the office, minding my own business when one of my work colleagues starts taking about baking and healthy eating. My ears perk up. She's rather negative about vegan baking, so I'm definitely all ears now! Then she says: ''I don't like vegan desserts. For me desserts have to taste like proper desserts and that means they have to be made with lots of butter!''

What?!? She didn't just say that, did she? Ok, she's got my complete and undivided attention now! Firstly, let me be clear here. I greatly appreciate her honesty and completely respect her views (no, really I do). Secondly I must say, she's a total sweetie and I love her no nonsense approach, but there is no way in the world I can hear that comment and not respond. With words initially, but then with a much more powerful weapon: The best out-of-this-world-finger-lickin'-good vegan cookies ever (massive statement, I know - totally subjective, I know - but I stand by it 100%).

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Now, I must concede that I kinda know what she was trying to say. It's like you're in the mood for a REAL dessert (think triple layered death by chocolate cake) and someone brings you a fruit salad. Major disappointment right? And I concede too that on some rare occasions healthier (vegan) desserts can feel like you've being short changed. 

But THESE cookies here are like winning first prize. They are mega deeelish and are the perfect balance between naughty and nice. In fact they are so nice that you can have them for breakfast and feel ok about it; just break them into pieces, add them to your (vegan ;)) yoghurt, top with some fruit (pomegranate seeds are so yummy with this) and start the day with a big smile on your face. Oh AND with a happy belly of course. But they are also naughty enough that I'd highly recommend freezing 2/3, so you don't eat them all in go :).

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With my trump card in hand (or better, with some of these cookies in my lunch box), I make my way to the office a few days later. I smugly offer my colleague a cookie. She accepts. I wait, patiently... and there it is - BINGO - a massive smile on her face and a wink in her eye that lets me know she would kill for some more. I kindly offered her another one and, following her repeated requests for the recipe, promise to post it on the blog...

All in a day's work, until that is she says: ''Oh, well maybe it isn't vegan desserts I don't like, maybe it's just gluten-free ones!''

Oh no, she didn't! (To be continued... ;))

Please note, these cookies are adapted from a recipe I found in Amy Chaplin's book At Home In The Wholefood Kitchen. The book is stunning, with beautiful, achievable recipes. I cannot recommend it more highly.

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Preparation Time: 25 - 30 minutes
Baking Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 18 large or 24 small cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups/200g rolled (organic) oats
1 cup/110g (organic) spelt flour
1 cup/80g (organic) almond meal
1/2tsp baking powder
1tsp (fairtrade) ground cinnamon
1/2 cup/75g melted (organic) extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup/60ml extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup/180ml maple syrup
1tbs vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt (I used this one)
zest of 1 (organic, unwaxed) orange
1/2 cup/60g of raisins
1/4 cup/60ml + 1/4 cup/60ml boiling water

Instructions:
Place all your ingredients on the kitchen counter.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C.
With a wooden spoon, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl (oats, spelt flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, salt).

Melt the coconut oil.
In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (coconut oil, olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract). Add the grated orange.
Boil some water and pour 1/4 of a cup of water over the raisins. Let the raisins soak for about 5-10 minutes. Then drain the water away. 

In the interim, mix the dry and wet ingredients together, add the other 1/4 boiling water and let the mixture stand and firm up for 10 minutes.

In the mean time, prepare 1-2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Add the raisins to the cookie dough mixture. Combine and, using an ice-cream scoop (I used this one, which yields 18 cookies, but I'd actually recommend using this one which will yield 24), scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
That's all. Enjoy!

Want to find more vegan baking recipes, why not try these?