Perfect One-Bowl Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
I’m not a meticulously skilled nor a particularly patient baker, but I’ve always loved the alchemy of baking: tossing together prescribed amounts of pantry ingredients to yield something comforting and communal and good. When I was a kid I used to come home from school and bake soft oatmeal cookies for all my older brothers’ friends in a questionably successful attempt to lift myself out of “annoying little sister” territory. I still make them to win over hearts, minds, bellies and souls, and I use only this recipe.
These cookies embody everything I love about baking. They’re insanely simple to make, super flexible to accommodate whatever ingredients you have on hand, and they make people really happy. The ingredients are easy to find and inexpensive, which is kind of rare for a vegan cookie recipe. And though I’m not here trying to tell you they’re healthy, they’re definitely on the more wholesome side of the spectrum as far as desserts go. Especially because making anything with your hands in your kitchen is always going to be more nourishing (for both body and spirit) than tearing open a package, not to mention way less wasteful.
A few notes about ingredients:
Pretty much any fairly neutral, liquid oil you have around is absolutely fine. I’ve used refined olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, refined sesame oil…they all do the trick. I try to steer clear of canola oil because it’s super processed, but if you need to use some up, this is where to do it. I’ve even used extra virgin olive oil, and no one complained. One time I didn’t have any white sugar where I was baking, so I used a full cup of brown sugar. The cookies still turned out flawlessly.
I occasionally cut the white flour half-and-half with whole wheat for some sneaky nutrition, and I can never ever tell the difference. Sometimes I make these with chopped up dark chocolate instead of oatmeal.
(See what I mean about flexibility?)
Baking ingredients can be tricky to find in bulk shops or without packaging. If you have a resource for this in your area, amazing! But if (like me) you don’t, do your best to find items with easily recyclable packaging and be conscientious about disposal. Having these ingredients on hand to whip up a batch of cookies (or banana bread! or pancakes! or biscuits!) gives you a lot of power to refuse more problematic and processed packaged items.
Perfect One-bowl Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from this recipe from Ovenly
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 cup oats
Preheat the oven to 350F (170C)
In a large bowl, mix together the oil, water, and sugar until the mixture is emulsified and glossy. I definitely use a fork for this, but a whisk or wooden spoon or electric mixer would also do the trick.
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon (if using). Begin to incorporate everything together, folding in the oats when it’s nearly mixed.
The recipe I adapted insists that the crucial next step is to let the dough rest in the fridge for 24 hours. Now, you can do that if you want, but I NEVER do (who plans a pressing need for cookies a day in advance?) and the cookies are always ridiculously good regardless.
Form the dough into balls (roughly golf-ball sized) and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or so, until the cookies are barely golden-brown.
Devour with a cold glass of homemade almond milk (just a suggestion).
Your dear ones will thank you for sharing these beauties!