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Chia + Raisin Chewy Oatmeal Cookies: Gluten Free, Vegan

6:49 AM

It's cold—really bone-chilling cold—but I don't mind. There's snow on the ground and sun in the sky. I have things to do at home today; the brutal wind chill gives me an excuse to stay inside while the sun brightens every room I touch. Rupert's spent the day lounging on the half-finished window seat we built for him in the studio, watching the cars go by and basking in the warm squares of sunshine—and, most importantly, keeping his puppy teeth away from whatever it is he would ordinarily be destroying.

I'm spending time in the studio too, organizing and cleaning and preparing to turn this place into a room of positivity, creation and artistic awesomeness. 2014 will be a year of nurturing our little creativity gardens to add a little more home-grown lovely into our lives, but first I need to get my shit cleaned up. Hello Goodwill, goodbye clutter.

Speaking of the new year, I realized that I didn't make any food-related resolutions this year (for the first time ever) and I'm quite okay with that. No dieting, just trying to eat better. No rules, just better choices. Embracing home-baked cookies, but doing a little bit to make them healthier. (I'm saying all this to justify the fact that I just ate one of these yummies for lunch. Which is fine because it's full of fiber and protein and antioxidants, duh.)

So here you go. A little bit more healthy without sacrificing the deliciousness. Crispy edges with a soft-and-chewy middle; the perfect breakfast dessert.

Prep Time: 10 minutes, optional 20-minute chill time
Bake Time: 10–12 minutes
yields about 12, depending on how large you make them

1/2 cup butter alternative (we used Earth Balance Soy Free sticks)
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. ground chia seeds + 3 tbsp. warm water (to substitute 1 large egg)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (we used Gluten Free Mama's Coconut Blend)
Or make your own flour with 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 2 tbsp. potato starch, 1 tbsp. tapioca starch
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (we used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats)
3/4 cup raisins

preheat your oven to 350˚F

1. Cream Your Wet + Mix Your Dry
In a mixing bowl, cream together your butter alternative, brown sugar, chia and water mixture (we mix this is a small cut ahead of time and let it sit for a minute to gel), and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

2. Combine
Stir your dry mixture into your wet until they are combined. Use a spoon to fold in your oats and raisins.

3. Chill Your Dough (optional)
We adapted a recipe from the amazing blog Smitten Kitchen in order to make these, and she strongly suggests refrigerating the dough to yield very thick, chewy cookies. You can read what she says here! We were impatient when baking these and didn't, but next time we will to compare.

4. Scoop + Bake
Scoop your cookies (we used a 1-inch scoop, heaping) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them in a 350˚F oven for 10–12 minutes or until the edges are golden but the stop still looks undercooked. They should be soft (like, fall-apart soft) so let them rest on the cookie sheet for five minutes and be careful when you transfer them onto a cooling rack!

And there you have it—a cookie that you can feel less guilty about. It would be interesting to try this with a sugar alternative like stevia. Have you tried any better-for-you cookies lately?

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