Vegan Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies

carringtonfarmsambassadorVanishing cookies? Yes, but not because they have the ability to disappear on their own, but because they are so good that they seem to do so. This is an adaptation of the recipe that appears on the inside of the lid of Quaker Oats (and one I’ve written about before). And even though I just made a different version of vegan oatmeal cookies, I decided to veganize this recipe for two reasons: first, because Grammy Eats was visiting and oatmeal raisin cookies are her favorite and second, because I was chosen to be an “All Good April” ambassador by Carrington Farms. All Good April aims to highlight their great products, including the extra virgin coconut oil and milled flaxseed I used in this recipe. I love Carrington Farms coconut oil so much, that I buy it in the huge tubs from Costco! It’s so versatile and absolutely delicious straight from the container. If you don’t shop at Costco, you can buy Carrington Farms products online. (Keep up with all the All Good April posts by following Carrington Farms on Facebook, too.)

veganvanishingoatmealcookie

Note the obligatory Ikea towel. And it probably doesn’t show, but that’s an “L” glass with coconut milk beverage from So Delicious in it. :)

I wasn’t sure how these would turn out because the recipe calls for a lot of butter, for which I substituted the coconut oil. And I’ve never made a recipe with egg replacer that called for more than one egg. But I’m happy to report that these turned out fantastic. The taste is amazing. It’s not very coconutty, but there’s enough of a difference that you can discern it from butter. These cookie crisp nicely on the outside while remaining chewy on the inside. They are a bit looser than the standard recipe, though, so make note of that. Aside from the replacements, I also noted that you should use dark brown sugar, a bit more flour and these should be cooked longer than the original recipe. These are great for anyone who has an allergy or aversion to dairy and eggs. I also added a cup of pecans because that’s why my mom prefers.

And though I am thoroughly opposed to the very overdone foodblog cliché of cookie stacks, I couldn’t help but include this one because—for reasons I’m not entirely certain of—it reminds me of the gopher from Caddyshack. And now I hope you are doing the gopher dance in your chair as you read this.

"I'm alriiiiight, don't nobody worry 'bout me. You got to gimme a bi-ite..."

“I’m alriiiiight, don’t nobody worry ’bout me. You got to gimme a bi-ite…”

Vegan Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies
yield: about 4 dozen cookies

2 tablespoons Carrington Farms Organic Milled Flax Seeds
6 tablespoons hot water
¾ cup Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, softened
¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (I use half whole wheat flour and half white flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups uncooked oatmeal (you can use quick oats or old-fashioned oats)
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and water and stir vigorously. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until it becomes a gel.

Beat together coconut oil with the sugars until on medium speed until creamy. Add flaxseed gel and vanilla and beat well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and then add to the mixture and mix well. Stir in oats (about a cup at a time) and then raisins and nuts.

Drop by small spoonfuls (about an inch in diameter) on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for a minute and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Posted in Desserts, Recipes | 3 Comments

Cheddar and Pear Crescent Roll-Ups

I am not going to pretend this recipe isn’t a gigantic cheat. I’m also not going to pretend it isn’t absolutely delicious. Pillsbury’s Crescents rolls have been a guilty pleasure since my childhood. But I’m carb-conscious and try not to buy too many convenience foods that are primarily empty calories, so I hadn’t had any for years. But when my friend, Alexandra served a version of these Crescent Roll-Ups at a party a while back, I couldn’t resist. She used generous slices of cheese that melted out and crisped up on the baking sheet. We ate them fresh from the oven, but they were actually just as good warmed in the microwave…I know, because I took a lot of the leftovers home and had them for breakfast.

Anyway, the next time I got an invitation to a party, these Crescent Roll-Ups were the first things on my mind. Easy to make, but insanely delicious. When I bought the crescent rolls, I got a pleasant surprise, too: there’s only 100 calories in each roll. So, technically, you could make a meal off a can and not feel too bad about it. Okay, that’s a stretch. Half a can. As long as you eat it with a bunch of steamed vegetables. Though I recommend only eating two, both stuffed with cheese and fruit.

As always, the most important part is to use good cheese. I used the Cabot Seriously Sharp white cheddar for mine and rolled them up with D’anjou pear slices, though any of your favorite pear or apple slices would work well.  As you can see, these rolls won’t win any beauty contests, but you’ll be delighted with how they taste.

I'm sorry; I know it's ugly, but it's so good.

I’m sorry; I know it’s ugly, but it’s so good.

Cheddar and Pear Crescent Roll-Ups
yield: 8 Roll-Ups

1 8 ounce can Pillsbury Crescents rolls
1 pear
4 ounces block cheese

Pre-heat oven to 375F.

Slice the pear and the cheese into eight equal slices each and set aside. Open the rolls and separate the eight triangles. Place one slice of cheese and then one slice of pear on the widest end of the triangle and then wrap around the dough around the cheese and pear until the point is on top and place on the baking sheet at least two inches apart (and not too close to the edge). Repeat with the remaining triangles and bake 10-12 minutes or until nicely browned.

Posted in Recipes, Side Dishes, Snacks | 11 Comments

Pimento Cheese

I realized the other day that even though I’ve had this blog for almost seven years, I’ve never written a post about pimento cheese (update: I did; I just spelled it “pimiento cheese”–ha!). Which is kind of crazy since it’s one of my favorite things. Pimentos (or pimientos) are mild, sweet, and small red peppers. Adding them to cheese and mayonnaise is a southern tradition, though I have no idea why. It just is. I always–always–have the ingredients on hand so that I can make it whenever I need to.

pimentocheese

Of course, a big part of it is that I don’t have a recipe. I just add some mayonnaise and a jar of diced pimentos to shredded cheese and add a little seasoning and that’s it. It’s never occurred to me to share a recipe, I guess. But thinking about the recipe made me curious about what a pimento cheese recipe looks like and I was surprised to find a lot of variations, many of which had ingredients lists longer than just three or four items. Cream cheese, onions, Worcestershire sauce, jalapenos, cayenne pepper, garlic…um, no. You really don’t need anything but cheese, mayo, pimentos, and a little pepper.  I did recently start adding a little smoked paprika to mine, but it’s strictly optional. So what I have here is just a basic recipe that’s very easy and very good.

But be sure to use good cheese and good mayo. Actually, Mr. Eats prefers his pimento cheese with Miracle Whip, but I do not keep Miracle Whip in my house, so he has to settle for my Hellmann’s-made “salad” (spread?). A lot of people around here like Duke’s, but it lacks the sweetness and a bit of the tang that Hellmann’s has. And though I also like Kraft mayo, Hellmann’s is thicker and sturdier, so I prefer it for my salads. I also use Sargento’s already-finely-grated sharp cheddar for my pimento cheese. I like the finely grated cheese because it blends better and stays together better, particularly if you’re going to make a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. And you should. So good. I also like it on “not dogs” (I like Smart Dogs), crackers, or as a vegetable dip.

Pimento Cheese
serves 4-6

2 cups finely-shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 four ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
pepper to taste
smoked paprika (optional)

Combine the cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos in a large bowl. Add a few twists of fresh ground pepper (to taste). For a little extra flavor, add about 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika and stir again.

Posted in Entrees, Recipes, Salads, Snacks | 3 Comments