What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to bake cookies?
I've been thinking about this for a long time now, and I have officially decided that cookies are what tempt me the most when it comes to desserts. While I love brownies, cakes, pies, and all of the above, I can never say no to the good old fashioned cookie.
While I'm still working on refining my recipes to create the perfect gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookie, this dairy-free walnut craisin cookie was a nice breakthrough/success amidst my other failed batches. The key? Using room-temperature ingredients and creaming the coconut oil/sugars for a good 3-4 minutes (a nice workout if you're doing this all by hand with a wooden spoon like me!).
These cookies are perfect to enjoy while watching a Christmas movie, but they also make great gifts. I recently gave some to Erik and Jess, the local EMS team, and a few homeless people in NYC. The latter two were part of my attempts to do 12 random acts of kindness, a little operation inspired by my church's BeRich campaign :) -- I highly encourage you all to do one random, kind gesture to someone this holiday season, and you can find lots of ideas by spinning this wheel: http://berich.org/love/
Recipe: Walnut Craisin Cookies
Inspired by: Valerie Confections
Adapted by: Hannah Claudia
9 oz. coconut oil, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup craisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Beat the coconut oil for a minute to soften it.
2. Cream the coconut oil and sugars for 3-4 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the salt, baking soda, and flour.
4. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla extract.
5. Add half of the eggs to the coconut oil-sugar mixture. Mix well.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
7. Repeat - add the remaining eggs/vanilla to the dough and then the rest of the dry ingredients.
8. Fold in the craisins and walnuts.
9. Spoon teaspoon sized balls of dough onto a prepared baking sheet.*
10. Bake at 350*F for 8-10 minutes, rotating the sheets after 5 minutes.
11. Let the cookies cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack (if you can wait that long!)
*I tried allowing half of the dough to chill for 30 minutes before baking, but I didn't find significant differences between the resulting cookies. You can try refrigerating the dough for 1+ hours to see if you can get a chewier, less spread-out cookie, but I haven't tried this myself!