Back to Basics, Part 2: Oat-Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

18 Feb

I found these in Veganomicon immediately after making the Pasta e Fagioli.  I know it sounds weird!  I’ll be honest, I was not particularly arrested by the title (wheat-free chocolate chip cookies) because I don’t have a wheat sensitivity, but I was excited by the sentence: “These couldn’t be easier to make unless someone made them for you!”

Now, personally, I disagree with that.  I maintain that my peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are the flat-out easiest cookies, ever.  You don’t even need two bowls!  See?  Also, it would have been easier if the original recipe did not turn out a batter the consistency of pancake batter.  But don’t worry, follow my recipe and these will turn out fine!

However, these do have an advantage that mine lack.  They’re made with whole-grain oat flour, flaxseed, and just a little less sugar.  So, if you are feeling guilty about wanting that cookie for some reason (you should never feel guilty about food!) or you have wheat-related health concerns*, here is a recipe to try!  As for texture and taste, they are delicately sweet and mellow, pillowy-soft, with a noticeably nice crumb.

*Note: If you do have a wheat allergy (or if you want to bake cookies for someone with a wheat allergy), be sure that you/they are not, in fact, avoiding oats as well as wheat!  To my knowledge, some celiac patients do avoid oat products.

Recipe and tips after the cut.

Oat-Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Equipment: No special equipment (unless you have whole flaxseed and grind them yourself–in that case, a spice grinder is nice); mixing and prep bowls and a whisk, plus a spoon and other measuring things

1 3/4 cups oat flour plus 1/4 extra cup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 – 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Sift together the first 1 3/4 cup of oat flour, baking soda, and salt.

Grind up the flaxseeds and whisk them together in a small mixing bowl with the milk.  Add the sugars and stir, then the oil and extracts; whisk for about a minute.  You’re emulsifying the ingredients here, which means that when you’re done whisking, there should not be a layer of oil on top of the other ingredients–the whole bowl of wet ingredients should be thick and creamy.

Pour and mix the wet ingredients into the dry.

At this point, my batter started to look pretty dribbly.  I was not too thrilled and put in chocolate chips, baked three as a test, and found them to be pancake-flat, if tasty.  If your batter is dripping off the spoon, gently stir in an extra 1/4 cup of flour, and then stir in the chocolate chips.  If not–maybe my flour is just weird, or I’m secretly terrible at baking cookies.  (This is wrong.  I am in fact really good at baking cookies!  It is one of the few things about which I can confidently say that.)

Drop the batter by tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet, leaving at least an inch of space between the cookies.  Bake for 10-12 minutes (my oven temperature was pretty constant while I was baking these, and I say 12 minutes, but always under-bake first!  You can always add another minute, but you can’t un-burn the cookies.)

COOKIE PRO-TIP: Cookies are done not when they are hard and solid in the oven!  They should still look soft and unsteady on the tops; some cookies will crack a little on the top as they bake, which is also fine.  They will continue to bake a little bit as they cool outside of the oven.  Cookies should be golden-brown on the edges.

Let these cookies cool on the baking pan for five minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack to finish.



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