05 December, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Cookies, Day 5

One of my favorite cookies once I became an adult has been Oatmeal Raisin cookies.  The recipe that I love happens to have coconut in it and I wouldn't have it any other way.  They are SO soft and chewy and they never dry out when you make them with this recipe.  This is a very versatile recipe that you can have lots of fun with and easily morph it into whatever you want.  At the bottom I'll post some variations that you may want to try out.

Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Cookies
1 c. Earth Balance vegan buttery spread, softened
1 c. organic brown cane sugar, packed
1/2 c. organic cane sugar
2 eggs or 2 tsp. egg replacer
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 c. rolled oats
1 c. unsweetened coconut
1 c. raisins
1 c. boiling water
Extra sugar for pressing 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl pour boiling water over the raisins, set them aside.
In a large bowl cream butter and sugars then beat in eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla.  Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Using your mixer blend the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture, then stir in the oats.  Remove the raisins from the water with a slotted spoon and toss them in the dough.   Fold them in with a large wooden spoon.  DO NOT use a mixer for this.  Rehydrating the raisins keeps them from sucking the moisture out of the cookies once they are baked but ALSO makes them slightly mushy.  You want whole raisins in your cookies, not macerated raisins.

Drop by 1/2 tablespoon onto non-stick cookie sheet, I use my Pampered Chef medium scoop.  Use the flat bottom of a glass to press sugar onto the tops of each cookie dough ball.  First, mash the end of the glass into the dough first to make it sticky.  Scrape off any dough that sticks to the glass.  Now you're ready to dip the sticky end on the sugar plate and press on the top of each cookie dough ball.  Remember to re-dip the bottom of the glass in the sugar for every cookie (even I have forgotten this before...it makes a mess).  

Bake each pan 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow them to stand on the pan for 2 minutes so they are easier to remove.  Place on cooling racks to finish cooling.  Store in an airtight container.

Orange-Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Replace 1 c. boiling water & 1 c. of raisins with 1 c. hot organic orange juice & 1 c. dried unsweetened cranberries and replace cinnamon with 4 tsp. of orange peel.  Follow the same directions...heat the juice, add the cranberries; allowing them to sit (about 5 minutes) while you make the dough.  The orange peel can go directly into the cookie dough.

Chocolate Chip
Omit water, raisins and cinnamon.  Add 2 c. Enjoy Life vegan mini chocolate chips.

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