I never ever thought I'd say an oatmeal cookie could be addictive. I used to hate the nasty little things when I was younger. And frankly, I'm not even really a big cookie eater. But I'm going to warn you now - these oatmeal cookies are seriously addictive.
Even my husband says so, and he's neither gluten free nor vegan.
From now on, I think orange zest should be added to all cookies, everywhere, forever more.
These hint of orange oatmeal cookies are also pretty darned healthy, comprised almost entirely of oats (and only 1 Tbsp of tapioca starch), and can easily be made with dried cranberries, nuts, or other healthy things. So I don't feel guilty grabbing a couple of them and munching them on the way to the gym, or having a couple of them first thing in the morning with my cup of coffee while I'm writing at my desk.
As I'm doing right now. If you could see me, you'd see a plate of cookies next to me, and a furry old cat in my lap.
Oh wait, I can show you that, let me grab my camera...
The secret life of a writer revealed...
My legs were starting to fall asleep at this point, as I was sitting cross-legged for quite some time with a rather plump old cat curled up on me, kneading on my thigh.
Heaven forbid I disturb her in the middle of a heavy purring session ;)
But back to these cookies!! Seriously, I don't know what came over me, I've made these cookies a few times without the orange zest, before inspiration hit. I had a cookie in my hand while I was rooting through the fridge to grab an orange to snack on. Holding the cookie in one hand and the orange in the other, I suddenly thought, Why not add some orange zest?
Why not indeed??
They've gone from being a plain old oatmeal cookie to practically being gourmet, guys. I kid you not!!
The original base cookie recipe came from Epicurious - their recipe was not vegan, but I've modified it a fair amount, and you can continue to do so.
Have nut allergies? I switched out the butter in the original recipe for peanut butter. If you can't have peanut butter, you could use another nut or seed butter, or use real butter OR vegan butter.
Don't want chocolate chips? I also added some mini chocolate chips. If want to healthify it even further, use dried cranberries, more nuts, or raisins instead.
Don't have chia seeds? The original recipe called for 1 egg. I used chia seeds, but you could use ground flaxseed instead, or another egg substitute.
Okay, I think I've covered all the substitutions. Now for the cookie recipe!!!
Ingredients for Vegan, Gluten Free Hint of Orange Oatmeal Cookies
makes approximately 40-45 small cookies
2 1/4 c gluten free old-fashioned oats, divided
1 Tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh orange zest
1/2 c peanut butter (see above for nut-free variations)
1/4 c loosely packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp chia seeds (see above for alternatives)
5 Tbsp water OR orange juice (+ more as needed)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or nuts
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
1) In a food processor, pulse 1 1/2 cup oats into a coarse flour. Add remaining dry ingredients and pulse to blend.
2) Add in peanut butter, sugar, chia, water, and vanilla and pulse to blend. Add an extra Tbsp or 2 of water if dough is too crumbly. Add chocolate chips, etc, and pulse a few times to fold in (I don't mind my cranberries chopped up a little)
3) Scoop balls out onto baking sheet - I like small, bite-sized cookies, but you can make them larger. Press flat with a fork. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired (I highly recommend this!!! It makes them a little more like my uber delicious Sea-Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Bake for 13 minutes, remove from pan and cool on a cooling rack.
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