Friday, November 23, 2012

Raid The Cupboard Vegan Christmas Cookies

Mom baked all year long, but only
at Christmas did she turn out an array
of cookies that made we three
sisters drool.
It seems that every family has it's favorite cookie. My sister-in-law adores Snickerdoodles and two of my seven grandkids think they are the only cookie worth making. My husband loved all cookies and it mattered not what they were made of. Somehow, he managed to get his large hand in and out of our cookie jar with great dexterity. My daughter-in-law makes the best oatmeal cookies in the world. I kid you not. She has won several Blue Ribbons with that cookie and lucky me, she shared the recipe so I could make them too. But that's another post.

Church suppers were the norm in the
tiny town of my youth. I think we went
to every one of them, no matter what the
Growing up in Minnesota, our family ate a vast array of Norwegian and Swedish cookies that appeared only during the Christmas season. Since my dad was a business owner, we got invited to any and every church Christmas supper for miles around our little rural town. My mom got some of those recipes and they became our favorites too, even though we had to wait a whole year for them to show up once more on our table. But that's another post too.

Shortly after I was married, I went to
mom's and copied all her recipes I'd
grown to love. The cards were stained
and the print had grown dim. Now my
cards look just like hers.
With the holidays upon us, it seemed like the right time for me to share tried and true cookie recipes that I grew up with and love to this day. During the coming month, I'll share the best of the best recipes that I've veganized successfully and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I also hope you print out or write down the ingredients and stash that piece of paper wherever you keep your treasured recipes. I also hope that over the next many years, your recipe cards become as stained and wrinkled as mine are.


These are NOT the most beautiful cookies you'll
ever make. Nor do they travel well. But they do
stay fresh a long time and chances are,
they won't last long enough to get stale anyway.

1 stick of vegan margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. of unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbs. non dairy milk
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup diced nuts, your choice
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried mixed fruit

This is my personal favorite brand
of mixed dried fruit
You can change the ingredients to whatever you wish. Just make sure that if you eliminate 1 cup of one thing, you make up for it by using 2 cups of another ingredient. Since I'm not a big fan of chocolate chips, I change the mixed fruit and chocolate chips around. Sometimes I exchange the raisins for chopped dates. The recipe is quite versatile. Just keep the quantities as given.

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium sized bowl, beat the margarine and sugar until it is light and fluffy. About 2-3 minutes. Add the applesauce, vanilla, and non-dairy milk. Mix to blend.

Use any uncooked
oatmeal you have on
Now add the flour and oatmeal along with the baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix till just blended. Do not overbeat or you'll have a tough cookie.

Stir the remaining ingredients into the dough by hand and then drop the dough by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges are nicely brown. Allow the cookies to cool a bit on the sheet before moving them to a rack to finish cooling. Small pieces will fall off each cookie. Don't be alarmed. I've made this recipe at least a hundred times and that is the norm. Once cool, the cookie hardens a little so they can be transferred to your cookie jar. They can also be frozen for up to a month with no noticeable difference in taste.

I love this cookie. Not only because it is easy to make but because I don't feel guilty giving them to my grandkids. All told, they are a healthy alternative to most cookies out there.

Whoever thought of drying cranberries
to they could be used in assorted
treats goes down in my book as
a genius. 

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