When Is a Cookie Not a Cookie? Vegan Baking, Part Two

20 Feb

latejan.2013 007

A recent conversation between The History Teacher and myself:

Me: Hi boyfriend. Want to try a dairy-free, sugar-free, egg-free cookie?

THT: Let me get this straight. If it looks like a cookie, but has nothing in common with a cookie … then, I think it ceases to be a cookie.

Ha! If he only knew. 🙂

You might remember a post I wrote about adventures in vegan baking a few weeks ago. I’m still super-interested in exploring healthier means of creating my favorite baked goods. After some Pinterest-exploring and web searching, and inspired by my previous adventures in that earlier post, I came across … these beauties.

Image sourced from thevintagemixer.com. Hubba hubba, you sexy vegan baked good, you.

Image sourced from thevintagemixer.com. Hubba hubba, you sexy vegan baked goods, you.

Oh my goodness, these bad boys looked divine. Armed with a recipe from the Vintage Mixer, a great Salt Lake City-based foodie blog, I decided to attack and, hopefully, conquer these Vegan Sugar-free Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies. The recipe used ginger, bananas, apples, carrots, and dried fruit  to create a moist, flavorful cookie.

However, a caveat: If you’re hoping for a crispy or crunchy cookie, you may be out of luck with this one. A common side effect of using applesauce, shredded fruit / veggies, and other non-oil-or-butter ingredients is a chewier texture. If you like soft granola bars or chewy oatmeal raisin-style cookies, these spongy, moist vegan cookies will definitely be your style.

NOTE: In the recipe, I substituted finely chopped candied ginger for the original fresh ginger. Pungent? Yes! A welcome bit of surprising spice? Definitely. Enjoy! (I’ll also post a few links below for other great vegan cookies. Nom nom nutrition.)

ANOTHER NOTE: If you don’t have a food processor, you can still chop the ingredients pretty finely using a sharp knife or a hand chopper. Your cookies will be chunkier, like mine were, but still delicious.)

Vegan Sugar-free Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies — Adapted from The Vintage Mixer

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
  • 1 cup rolled oats (any type other than instant are fine)
  • 1 cup raisins, or 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped candied ginger
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 apple, grated (peel first)
  • 1 overripe banana, peeled and mashed with a fork
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or unsweetened soy milk

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. Combine walnuts, oats, raisins and cranberries in a food processor and pulse (i.e. pump the power button in seconds-long spurts) until finely ground. Transfer to a medium-size bowl and add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger, mixing with a wooden spoon. Add carrots, apple, banana and almond milk, stirring until well combined.
  3. Using a large spoon, drop tablespoon-sized dollops, approximately an inch apart, on the prepared cookie sheets. The recipe should make about 24 cookies. Press down on each cookie with the back of a fork to flatten slightly (without butter, they won’t expand or “stretch” at all). Bake until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.

So tasty! So healthy, you can practically eat ’em for breakfast. Which I did. Repeatedly.

Image sourced from onceamonthmom.com.

Image sourced from onceamonthmom.com.

Another great vegan-friendly cookie is this Skinny Monkey Cookie from Once A Month Mom. While it uses commercial peanut butter, you could easily substitute that for organic PB, almond butter, or most other nut butters in equal amounts. This guy’s next on my baking-sans-animal-goodies list, so we’ll see how THT reacts to this one!

Skinny Monkey Cookies — Adapted from Once a Month Mom.

You’ll need:


  • 3 ripe bananas (approx 1 1/2 cups mashed banana total)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats (steel cut or not, both are fine)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, almond butter or other nut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • Dash of nutmeg (optional)

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  No need to prep a cookie sheet, but you can top it with a silicone mat for easy clean-up.
  • Mash bananas in a large bowl; add remaining ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon. Let batter stand for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Scoop approx. teaspoon-sized dollops onto cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart. You should end up with anywhere from 1 dozen to 18 cookies. Sprinkle with spices if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack, then enjoy!

Have you ladies and gents been exploring any healthy baked goods in these early resolution-filled months of 2013? What are your secrets for healthy eats at the dessert table? Dig in and share!


7 Responses to “When Is a Cookie Not a Cookie? Vegan Baking, Part Two”

  1. Rachel February 20, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    Did THT end up trying them? You leave us in such suspense!

    • galleykitchengal February 21, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      Ha! I didn’t realize I hadn’t included that — off I go to edit the post! He did try them, actually … and while I don’t think he’ll be popping into a vegan bakery anytime soon, he liked the flavors! Plus, anything with apples makes him happy. Maybe I’ll sneak some more applesauce into my baking instead of oil …

      • Cheryl February 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

        Sorry, But I think I’m with THT. Apples were always one of my favorites too. But at least he tried them.

      • galleykitchengal February 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

        Perfectly fair! Usually, I ask no more than that he try it once. And he’s a very good sport about that, haha. 🙂

  2. Amy February 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Your convo reminds me of my dad. At a church pot-luck, our pastor’s wife brought a cake that had no dairy, wheat, or eggs. It even had carob chips in it. My dad’s response was “why bother?”

    • galleykitchengal February 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Haha! Exactly. Can’t hurt to try it, but at the same time, sometimes you’re left wondering … “So, what’s actually IN there?”


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