Oatmeal Date Cookies (Vegan)

This is basically the recipe for oatmeal and raisin cookies without the raisins and with the cinnamon scaled back a notch.  And then enter lots of dates and coconut because that’s what was staring me in the face when I opened the pantry.  Besides: is there anything better than cookies and herbal tea for breakfast on a cool late-autumn morning?

What you need:

  • 2 -1/2 cups whole grain flour (I like a combination of 3 parts kamut and 1 part rye which gives a really dense cookie that doesn’t rise much, but any whole grain you like can work)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups Deglett dates, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups fine shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and coconut.
  3. Add the dates and toss.
  4. In a large measuring cup, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix to form even crumbs.
  5. Add the almond milk a quarter cup at a time, stirring between additions.
  6. Let the dough sit 5-10 minutes to absorb the wet ingredients and firm up a bit.
  7. Use a tablespoon to portion out the dough, pressing well with your fingers so that the cookies hold together well. Bake 12 minutes on parchment lined pans. Let cool in the pan a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks.
  8. Makes about five dozen small cookies.

Variations:

  1. For a cakier, moister cookie, add a mashed banana or a couple of flax or chia eggs;
  2. Replace the 1-1/2 cups of finely shredded coconut with a nut or seed meal (except flax) of your choice;
  3. Replace the 1-1/2 cups of dates with trail mix or chocolate chips or chopped dried fruit or nuts;
  4. Replace the 1-1/2 cups of shredded coconut with an additional 3/4 cups of rolled oats and 2/3 cups of oat flour (a bit chalkier a cookie) or 3/4 cup of almond meal (what I’d recommend for a nice moist cookie). Increase the cinnamon to 1 tablespoon. Then replace the dates with raisins. You’re now back to an oatmeal-raisin cookie.

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