I have something to admit. I am not a great baker. Why share a baking recipe then, you ask? Well, growing up my mother would bake the most amazing Christmas cookies each year. And each year I would vow to myself that I would do the same as a grown-up. Now that the Christmas season is approaching (am I too soon?), my baking thumb started to itch again. So I whipped up a recipe that is so foolproof and easy that even the most inept baker should be able to tackle these simple vegan Christmas cookies. When baking is this easy, even I can partake in it!
The base of these cookies is a simple, American-style biscuit. The cookies are chewy, soft and utterly delicious. What I love about American baking (as a non-baker) is the ease of the recipes. European-style biscuits require a finesse that I have yet to master. The saying goes after all: baking is science, cooking is an art. But American-style cookies are more of an art. You mix some dry ingredients together with some wet ingredients and 9 times out of 10 something delicious comes out of the oven. Even when you alter the recipes slightly, something yummy is bound to come out of your oven. Such as these oat cookies, filled with warm Christmassy ingredients, such as cinnamon, toasted pecans, and maple syrup.
The cookies are pretty delicious by themselves but even better with a coating of thick, dark chocolate. The softness and sweetness of the biscuit are beautifully contrasted by the hard and bitter chocolate layer. I prefer eating these cookies out of the fridge when they are cold and a little firmer. My boyfriend prefers them straight out of the oven with a glass of cold rice milk.
The recipe calls for only 11 ingredients and resembles that of a simple oat cookie. But due to the processing of the ingredients, the cookies become a bit more refined and would make for a great Christmas gift. In fact, I made these biscuits for a bake sale at work and they went down like a treat. (Although of course, the master bakers in my company brought infinitely more impressive creations. As I said, this is a beginners recipe.) Now without further ado, let’s get baking!
Prep time: 30 minutes Wait time: 2 hours Bake time: 12 minutes Makes: 12 cookies
1 cup pecans
2 cups oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
7 tablespoons of plant milk (I used oat milk)
1/2 cup of maple syrup
100 grams dark baking chocolate
1. Preheat the oven the 180C. Then start by toasting the pecan nuts in a small pan on medium heat.
2. Blend the oats in a food processor until finely milled. Add the blended oats to a mixing bowl together with the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
3. In the same food processor mix the coconut oil together with the toasted pecans and blend until the mixture becomes a fine paste. Add the paste to the dry ingredients.
4. Mix the dates with the oat milk in the food processor until a wet paste consistency is reached. Add the paste of the mixing bowl as well together with the maple syrup.
5. Combine all the ingredients until a cookie dough is formed.
6. Scoop a little of the mixture into your hand and form a cookie. For consistency, you can flatten some dough on a clean surface sprinkled with some flour and cut out shapes using a mug or glass. Place the 12 cookies on a large baking tray.
7. Bake the cookies for around 12 minutes. Then let the cookies cool in the baking tray for at least an hour.
8. After one hour (if any of the cookies are left), you can melt the chocolate in a metal bowl hung over a pot of water on low heat. It is important that the water doesn’t boil to prevent seizing.
9. Dip the top of the cookies in the melted chocolate and put them back on the baking tray. Place the baking tray in the fridge and let the chocolate harden for at least an hour. After an hour, the cookies should be ready to eat.
*The dates I used are soft and gooey, even though they are technically sold as dried dates. If your dates are really dry and hard, soak them in water for a few hours before starting the recipe.