The evolution…of cookies.

I pulled these cookies out of the oven this morning, after allowing the dough to spend the night in our fridge.  I prepped them last night before falling asleep myself – see, the recipe I was using said, “The longer you chill the dough, the thicker and chewier these cookies end up, so if you have the patience to wait a few hours before baking, do.” – and well, I don’t have a lot of patience (especially when it comes to baked goods!) so overnighting seemed like a good idea.

And it pretty much was, for the most part – the dough was a little drier this morning, but I just threw in a little water then kneaded it up like bread and it was good to go.

So what kind of cookies are they?

Short answer: my version of salty oat cookies.  Long answer…well, keep reading.

Salt + oatmeal?  Really?

Yeah, well…

Oh, and are they vegan?

Let’s start from the beginning here…

Once upon a time, hubs and I lived in the Washington Metro area.  During this time, I became pretty active writing reviews (and learning about new places to try!) on Yelp.  With the help of Yelp, we discovered several yummy places, and it even assisted me in finding a good place to get my hair cut when we were in NoVa – however, since our stint in the area was so brief, there were a lot of places that I never got to try (yet!) that, to this day, remain on my ‘bookmark’ list.

Now, due to certain unforeseen circumstances, I cannot specifically mention the name of the particular place I wanted to try this particular sweet treat – kind of in the same way you cannot say, “Superbowl” (whoops, did I just say type it?) but if you like a good dose of drama, check out these links: DCistWashington Post .

ANYWAY.

Through a bit more Googling, I found a recipe that sounded pretty solid (if you have time to read the story that goes with it, it’s actually pretty neat!) and took it from there – thus evolving the cookie even more far from its original source, but due to the fact that I never experienced said cookies from said establishment, it seemed perfectly safe to assume that a new cookie was born!

So, without further ado…

Salted-Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

1/2 cup unsalted butter*
1 cup packed dark brown sugar**
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp flaxseed meal*** (mixed with enough water to create an ‘egg’ consistency)
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups rolled organic oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
sea salt, for sprinkling

Method:

1. In a stand mixer, whip the butter out of shape. Add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and beat together until the mixture is fairly homogenous. Beat in the flax ‘egg’ and vanilla. Add the flour with the mixer at low speed and, scraping down the sides as necessary, mix just until it is fully incorporated.

2. Add dried cranberries to the dough along with the oats and mix until combined.

3. Chill the dough for at least an hour before baking. The longer you chill the dough, the thicker and chewier these cookies end up, so if you have the patience to wait a few hours before baking, do.  When you’re about ready to bake, preheat oven to 375.

4. Set up a few baking sheets and line them with parchment paper – or grease them.  Place heaping tablespoons of dough on the sheets, about 2″ apart.

5. Sprinkle sea salt on top of the cookies. Sprinkle the salt on as you would sugar.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and done. Carefully transfer the still-soft cookies with a spatula onto racks to cool.

* This recipe is almost vegan – just use Earth Balance here instead of butter.

**I never have brown sugar on hand, which is why this blog entry pretty much made my day; I still have plenty of vegan molasses from my veganmonth and since I have only been buying raw sugar these days, I was able to 1/2 the amount of sugar from the original recipe and they’re the perfect sweetness.

***Again, another vegan ingredient I still have plenty of – and to be honest, I have been using this ‘flax egg’ recipe for nearly every baking experiment since because I don’t really like buying eggs (still feel kinda weird about it!) and frankly, it’s not let my down yet – but if you use/eat eggs, use two for this recipe!  For more on Flaxseed Meal, check here.

Have you ever adapted one of your favorite restaurant foods?

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2 thoughts on “The evolution…of cookies.

  1. i’ve never had the guts to try adapting a favorite restaurant food. but i’ve had döners on the brain lately (turkish gyros) and i’ve started a collection of recipes i’ll need to make them (including one from Food Network’s Alton Brown i’m excited to try!)

    my mother, though, has found many-a-recipe in their local paper which were very close to favorites from restaurants she and dad used to frequent (before they had 4 kids and didn’t have the time/money to go out to eat very often). she tried them out, tweeked them, and eventually ended up with a few dishes that became staple dinner options at our house.

    • Mmm that sounds good; love gyros…my MIL gave me a binder of tons of restaurant ‘copycat’ recipes – but I’d like to adapt them to a lil healthier…could be a fun project!

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