As I shared before I left on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel when I returned…if the work I was doing before would mean all that much after working to provide a home for a family.
And though I am finding it hard to be back (and not just because of the snow and the cold), I am realizing that the work the Lord has for me to do here does matter…just in a different way. I’m grateful for the work I do have here and it’s keeping me moving forward instead of stuck with longing to return.
Before getting down to business, though, I want to share a couple pictures from the trip to capture the change God wrought for a family. The one on the left is of the one-room home they lived in, smaller than many garages in North America and devoid of running water. The photo on the right is of the family in front of the home we helped build complete with a full bathroom and separate bedrooms and living spaces. What’s hard to capture on “film” or in words, though, is the joy and excitement the family and team felt over this move to a new home.
And if I lived in the neighborhood, I might welcome these new neighbors with a batch of cookies. But since I’m here and they’re there, I will do the next best thing and share one of my favorite cookie recipes with you.
The inspiration for this recipe came from here at Oh She Glows. I had almost given up on oatmeal cookies because it’s hard to approximate the buttery, butterscotch undertones when eliminating butter and brown sugar. It was a joy to discover that toasted pecans are an excellent substitute.
Because I have substituted fruit sweeteners and date paste for the sugars, these cookies have a different taste and texture from the traditional oatmeal cookie, but that doesn’t stop them from disappearing when served to a crowd! Also, feel free to add in your favorite mix-ins (raw cacoa nibs can sub for dairy-free chocolate chips if you want to keep the cookies sugar free).
vegan oatmeal cookies, fruit-sweetened
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-24 minutes
Yield: approximately 2 dozen cookies
- 1 1/4 c. pecans
- 1/2 c. walnuts
- 2 c. oats, gluten free if needed
- 3/4 c. date paste
- 1/4 c. coconut flour
- 1/2 c. brown rice flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 scoops 100% pure stevia
- 1/2 – 3/4 c. mix-ins, if using
- 1/4 c. white grape juice concentrate
- 1/4 c. apple juice concentrate
- 1/4 c. coconut oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Dairy-free chocolate chips (if you don’t mind adding in a little sugar)
- Raw cacao nibs
- Unsweetened dried coconut
- Unsweetened dried cherries
- Apple-juice sweetened dried cranberries
Heat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly toast pecans and walnuts (see this post for a tip on toasting nuts), then combine with oats and date paste in a food processor. Blend until the nuts, oats and dates resemble a coarse crumb, then pour into a large mixing bowl.
Add flours, baking soda, cinnamon and stevia to the bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
In a small saucepan, warm the juice concentrates, oil and vanilla until the oil melts then add to the dry ingredients with any mix-ins you’d like to add. Stir to combine and the mixture holds together when pressed between your fingers.
To form cookies, roll into a ball in your hands, then gently press flat onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The cookies don’t spread, so you can place them close together.
Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool at least 10-15 minutes before removing from pan to help the cookies set. Store in an airtight container.
You can use all pecans if you’d like, but I toss in some walnuts because they are a little cheaper, but it’s best to have mostly pecans because of the butter undertones they provide.
You can use all brown rice flour or any combination of your favorite flour, though the texture may vary. I like adding in the coconut flour because of the additional sweetness it provides.
If you have a hard time find white grape juice concentrate like I do, see this post for making your own fruit juice concentrates.
I bought my stevia at Trader Joe’s and it comes with its own scoop. Be sure the stevia you are using is 100% pure as many stevia products have additives and other sweeteners included in the ingredients.