Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. I had a fairly low-key, but fun one that included a leisurely brunch at my favorite Nepalese restaurant with a friend, a long walk through my neighborhood (so many gorgeous magnolia trees!), a fantastic dinner with Diana at a new-to-me restaurant in Oak Park, and another round of the Chicago Food Swap (see my goodies from last month's swap here).
While the swaps aren't normally themed events, this month's swap was a special edition with a vegan theme. As a former vegetarian, I definitely know my way around some delicious plant-based chow, but I was still a bit nervous about what to make for the swap, as most of my favorite vegan dishes don't necessarily travel all that well. After a bit of research, I decided to take the plunge and try my hand at some vegan cookies - I have to say that I was actually surprised by the results (as much as I can get down with vegan food, one can never be too sure about baking sans eggs and butter!). Today's Meatless Monday pick is a easy to make recipe that results in some moist, flavorful, and relatively healthy cookies that are perfect for anytime of the day!
Vegan Dark Chocolate Coconut Carrot Cake Cookies
Yield: 15 cookies
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup regular oats
1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded carrots, packed
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed for about 25 seconds in microwave
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick mat.
2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and oats in a large bowl. Add in the walnuts, coconut flakes, dark chocolate chips, and shredded carrots.
3. In a small bowl mix the maple syrup, softened coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, and freshly grated ginger. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until combined.
4. Shape 1 heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball with hands (make sure you tightly pack the dough). Drop each ball of dough onto lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each.
5. Bake for 12 minutes and cool for 10 minutes on a baking rack.
*Cookies are shelf stable, but I found they taste even better when stored in the refrigerator.