Soft and chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are a great way to start your day. They’re also a great way to end the day, now that I think about it!
It’s hard to believe that in just a few, short days we’ll be calling the current month September. Time goes by too fast some days.
Tillie Olsen once said, “And when is there time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to estimate, to total?” It’s as if Tillie is urging us to take time to reflect on our lives. Sometimes my best time for reflection is in the kitchen. I think it’s the combination of working with my hands, measuring ingredients, sifting flour, taking in the aromas around me, that makes me feel so grounded.
Being in the kitchen, I’m an active participant in life. I move from the pantry to the counter; I select ingredients and pour them one by one in a bowl; I flex the muscles in my arm to move the spoon in my hand, resulting in a diverse combination of elements blending into one. There’s a rhythm to it all that’s entrancing; fulfilling.
Most fulfilling of all is sharing the fruit of my labor with friends and family; seeing the looks of happiness on their faces as they enjoy the flavors found in one bite after another.
The subject of today’s combination of ingredients is the time-tested Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. It’s a recipe that’s been around forever, so what’s the point of publishing yet another recipe? Well, even old dogs can learn a new trick now and then; this recipe is not only vegan, it includes an interesting, “new” ingredient, Chia Seeds. Yes, I’m talking about the same seeds that were sold as Chia Pets in the ’90s. It’s hard to imagine that seeds whose sprouts were used to create “hair” for terracotta figurines such as Homer Simpson and Scooby-Doo, would actually be healthy to eat.
In fact, the word Chia derives from the Aztecan word “chian” which means “oily.” That’s probably referring to the Omega-3s that the seeds are known for, in addition to their high protein content. Unlike flax seeds, Chia seeds don’t have to be ground in order to absorb their nutrients. I have recently begun using Chia seeds as a wonderful replacement for eggs in some of my baked good recipes. One tablespoon of Chia seeds combined with tablespoons of water seems to create a perfect egg replacement.
A little new combined with a little old. A little time in the kitchen combined with a little time for reflection. A little cookie combined with happy faces of friends and family. That’s when you know it’s been time well spent.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(Adapted from Quaker’s Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies)
- ½ cup dairy free margarine, softened
- 6 tablespoons peanut butter
- ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Chia Seeds, (Or ground flax seeds)
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups Oatmeal (quick or old fashioned), uncooked
- 1 cup raisins
Begin by heating your oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, beat margarine, peanut butter and sugars. You can use an electric mixer on medium speed or use some good, old-fashioned elbow grease to whip those ingredients until nice and creamy. Next combine the Chia seeds with the water in a small bowl. Add the Chia seed mixture to the margarine mixture and stir until well combined.
Move the margarine mixture to one side of the bowl and in the other side combine the flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir gently until well combined. Add the oatmeal to the flour and stir some more until they are well-incorporated. Now you’re ready to combine all the ingredients in the bowl – the margarine and flour mixture. Go to town with that spoon of yours and mix until well combined. Finally, add the raisins and give the ingredients one last stir.
Drop that delicious dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Make sure you space them at least one inch apart. Oatmeal cookies need their space!
Bake for 10 minutes or so and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Be sure to take time to enjoy each and every one of the four dozen delectable cookies from this recipe with your friends and family as often as possible.