You would NEVER guess that these packed-full-of-goodness cookies are vegan. They are also gluten free and made with organic evaporated cane juice sugar. All that said, I would consider them health food!
It’s with heavy heart that I write this post and share these delicious cookies with you. The food blogging community recently lost someone we all loved, if even from our own computers, many having never met her in person, me included. Elle from Elle's New England Kitchen, only 45 years young, a wife, mother of four and quite the firecracker, passed away suddenly on January 29th from a pulmonary embolism. I have sure been thinking so much about her family and knowing they are the ones truly suffering. I really did not know Elle very well (as she was called, though her name is Lee Ann), but we were Facebook friends and I enjoyed her blog for a number of years. Not only that, but she always found and posted the best videos and photos of animals, cute and funny ones. She was definitely an animal lover.
This might be one of my favorite videos of all time, Elle posted it two weeks or so before she died and she and I laughed and talked about it that day. I, along with my boys, have probably watched this video 100 times.
Thanks, Elle! I just love this and so many other things you brought to life.
Including these cookies. Along with many other bloggers, we decided to have this weekend’s posts be all about/for Elle. Many of us chose something from her blog to make and share in her honor and in remembrance of her. What do you think was the first thing I looked at from her blog? Cookies, of course. I was delighted to find these cookies. Elle and her family often ate vegan, just because. She made hers with dried cherries and walnuts. I could have sworn I had some naturally sweetened dried cherries, but I couldn’t find them, so I ended up using some fruit juice sweetened cranberries. THEN, as I was toasting the last of my walnuts, I burned them, so I used pecans. No matter—you could use any dried fruit and nuts in these and they’d still be great. Besides being packed with fruit and nuts, these have oats and chocolate chips. Heavenly. I want to go make some more right now! I could just eat all the cookie dough—it’s vegan, no eggs—and so good.
These are still a bit of a splurge for me as I rarely eat/use even organic cane sugar, but this time I did and these cookies were a great treat!
Vegan Oat Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Elle's Kitchen
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup organic evaporated cane juice sugar
1/2 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon sunflower butter or cashew or almond butter, or tahini
1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Premium Gold ancient grains gluten free flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups gluten free oats
3/4 cup fruit juice sweetened dried cranberries
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the sunflower butter and almond milk and whisk together (this is the vegan egg replacement). Let sit. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and molasses using a fork to mix it together well. In a medium sized bowl, combine the coconut oil and sugar mixture. Stir until well combined. Stir in the sunflower butter/almond mixture, as well as the vanilla and almond extract. Add the gluten free flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oats. Stir until all combined. Stir in the cranberries, pecans and chocolate chips.
Scoop dough balls (about golf ball sized) onto baking sheets and bake for about 12 minutes. Let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes then move to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 20 cookies.
Many other bloggers are also posting delicious things from Elle’s blog. You can check them out on Facebook at #ElleAPalooza. What can you take from Elle’s passing, besides some great things she shared on her blog—always take the time to let those you love know how you feel, you just never know when it might be your last opportunity. Thank you for that, Elle, and so much more.