A global event such as a pandemic brings with it a lot of lessons. We’ve learned that most business travel, conventions, and having to go into the office when one occupies a position that is primarily a skills based job are all unessential. Hopefully, managers who in the past would punish an employee (mostly women with a young family) who had to work from home on some days of the week, simply because they did not measure up to a fabricated standard are things of the past.
We also learned that humans are just as horrible as they always have been when confronted with an inequitable economy. Racism, violence, and civil unrest sprang forth as soon as the inequalities in our collective societies were exposed by the pandemic.
All the lessons were not bleak, however. Quite a number of normal citizens turned their attention towards others in need. They gathered supplies, cooked, and gave what ever assistance they could to those around them.
In such times, we all need to be comforted. A lot of us have lost our jobs, our lung capacity due to contracting COVID19, or even worse, we have lost one or more loved ones. Freshly home-baked goods such as cakes and cookies this year had proved to not only give people and the taste buds an escape, but an excuse to briefly see others at a distance, in order to break up the monotony of multiple lockdowns, and the closing-in walls of one’s home office.
So here are three recipes for three cookies that I have personally used to help those around me during this last year.
They are an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, oatmeal white macadamia nut cookies, and an oatmeal coconut cookie. They are all derived from the recipe from the wonderful book The Joy of Cooking, but with some twists. These twists were borne out of necessity and we have a couple of vegans to thank for this. I was on the verge of adapting this recipe to be gluten free, but when one friend who is allergic to gluten moved to the other side of the continent, the need for such a cookie and its development was put on hold.
Most trusted venues online like to boast that their cookies are not as “cake-like” as traditional oatmeal cookies. They all remove a certain amount of flour from older recipes and call it a day. As a result of not being able to use butter or eggs in vegan cookies, unsweetened vanilla almond milk and coconut butter were used. For all of these cookies, an approximate amount of a 1/3 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk is added during the mixing process in order to achieve the desired texture for the cookie.
When using a basic cookie dough scooper, this recipe should yield around 50 cookies.
So without further ado, here are the recipes. I hope that they will serve you and those that you decide to give them to as well.
Note: Due to a busy schedule, I did not have the time to send this to my editor, was written in under 20 minutes, and I will not be checking any comments or messages on social media. If you have a question about this set of recipes, you are going to have to figure it out for yourself.
The Baseline Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Prepare two mixing bowls, one for dry ingredients, and one for the sugars and the wet ingredients.
Have at least one rubber baking spatula, and one metal baking whisker.
Place in your dry mixing bowl:
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 a teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of chocolate chip cookies
3 1/2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of chopped almonds
Place in the wet mixing bowl:
1/4 cup of normal sugar
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of artificial vanilla extract OR 3 1/4 teaspoons of natural vanilla extract
(the natural stuff is no where near as potent)
Lastly, pour in 1 cup/2 sticks of melted unsalted butter
(I had found that slightly browning the butter by letting it sit on the heat slightly longer added a desirable caramelised butter flavour to the cookie which is quite noticeable)
Mix the two bowls together while adding 1/3 of a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to ensure that there are not spots of dry flour in the mix. I had found on several occasions that I had to add a very small amount more to get the mix perfect, but we are talking about a minuscule amount. Thus, only add a little bit as you go and feel free to experiment.
Use your cookie scooper and place them on your baking sheets which should be covered by parchment paper, because you are not a savage and the pandemic has not made one of you, yet.
Place in the oven for 12-14 minutes and take them out. Every oven is different. My oven bakes these cookies perfectly in 13 minutes and 10 seconds. Yours will be different. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for approximately 15 minutes before moving the cookies to a baking rack. If you do not have a baking rack, leave the cookies on the baking sheets for about an hour before transporting them into their containers, or into mouth.
The Oatmeal Vegan Cookie:
Do the same as the Baseline Oatmeal Cookie except:
First, thank your friends for being vegan, for vegan cuisine is filled with creative solutions to traditional cooking that massively enhance thousands, nay, billions of everyday recipes. For those of you who disparage vegans, vegetarians and others who have dietary restrictions that are different than yours, keep quiet for your have no idea what you are talking about. This is coming from a person that if you threatened to take away eggs from his diet, he would tickle you until you urinated yourself, on camera.
With that out of the way…
Instead of the two eggs, melt about 1 2/3 cups of coconut butter and add it to the wet mixing bowl.
Also, add 1 cup of shredded coconut flakes. If you are using unsweetened coconut flakes, feel free to add another 1/4 cup of sugar. Also, if you manage to find vegan chocolate chips, feel free to add 1 cup of those too the dry mixing bowl along with the coconut flakes. I had no luck finding them during a pandemic.
These cookies have a lighter flavour and go incredibly well with a black or herbal tea.
The Oatmeal White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie:
Do the same as the Baseline Oatmeal Cookie except:
Replace the 1 cup of walnuts with 1 1/4 cups of very coarsely chopped macadamia nuts. You want these nuts too be chunky and for them be the dominating factor in terms of the texture and the character of the cookies.
Replace the 1 cup of chocolate chips with white chocolate ships.
I chose after a dozen or so times after baking them to add 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes as well.
For all of the cookies, place them into the fridge for storage.
Happy Baking Everyone!