More cookies…I couldn’t resist! They are my favorite food group. I also am constantly volunteering to bring cookies to various parties or meetings so that’s my legitimate excuse. I had no choice but to bake this week! I have also realized it is helpful to bake on cold days in my little apartment because the oven heats the whole thing right up. So nice! There’s nothing better than a warm, cookie aroma-filled home.
In thinking about various fall-flavored cookies, I knew I wanted to use fresh apple so I was originally planning on a caramel apple theme. But that just couldn’t excite me- everyone has had that combo before. I also wanted to make something completely vegan- and caramel does not fit in that category (although I could make it from scratch…future post?) As I was drinking my ginger tea it hit me…sugared ginger! I sometimes eat Trader Joe’s crystallized ginger as a snack but had never considered it as a baking ingredient. Immediately it seemed like the perfect accompaniment to my apple and oatmeal cookie. And low and behold, Whole Foods sells crystallized ginger in bite sized pieces that are perfect for adding to any baking recipe! Win.
If you aren’t already sold on ginger, here is why you should be. (A) it is delicious in a multitude of forms: raw, pickled, crystallized, powdered, brewed. (B) it is great for digestion and can even help with motion-sickness and pretty much any other stomach ailment. (C) it is a natural anti-inflammatory so it helps relieve pain and even migraines. (D) it boosts your metabolism and improves blood circulation. That definitely makes it a super food!
Now onto the deliciously chewy, buttery, sweet, and simultaneously spicy vegan cookie recipe…
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) earth balance “butter”, softened
- 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp flax seed meal
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cup oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 apple or 1 cup finely chopped apple
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger pieces
I should also add in substitutions here, especially for those who prefer non-vegan cookies (although I always think you should try the vegan way too just to be surprised). Normal butter can be used and 1 egg can replace the 1tbsp flax/water. If you really dislike ginger you could add toffee bits instead. You could also use dried apple pieces but make sure they don’t have added sugars. Feel free to experiment with spices beyond cinnamon and nutmeg as well! In fact if you have it on hand, a pumpkin pie or apple pie spice blend would be delicious.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flax seed meal with 3 tbsp water and let sit for several minutes.
- Mix butter and sugars in a bowl and mix with a standing or handheld electric mixer until well-blended.
- Add liquid flax meal and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Comine flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl and stir well to combine.
- Slowly add dry mixture to butter/sugar mixture and mix well.
- Use wooden spoon to stir in chopped apples and crystallized ginger.
- Grease cookie sheet with earth balance and drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto cookie sheet. Press down lightly on each cookie dough ball to flatten slightly.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Let sit for a minute on cookie sheet and then transfer to wire rack to let cool completely.