As I write, it is pouring rain outside, the leaves are tinged with brilliant hues of red, orange and yellow and the weather is finally getting crisp. I live for cozy days like this. Hygge days. Days that beckon you to stay inside and look inward – to your home, your loved ones, your quiet passions. Days made for baking cookies.
Whenever October draws to a close, I experience a twinge of anxiety that has become all too familiar in my adult life. Every year, I start to panic as the intensely busy holiday season creeps up upon us. Presents, parties, holiday cards, flights to book, weddings to attend, etc. etc. — my mind starts to race as I go over the seemingly endless list of to-dos. All the while, the momentous YEAR END looms.
Growing up, I was that odd kid who always chose an oatmeal raisin cookie over chocolate chip or sugar. I just loved their combination of slightly nutty oatmeal, warming spices and sweet raisins. They remain one of my favorite treats. I find a good oatmeal raisin cookie so comforting – especially on a rainy day alongside a cup of tea.
I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago when I developed an intense craving for a perfect oatmeal cookie. It had to be perfect. I also wanted to make it vegan and gluten-free, because an oatmeal cookie lends itself well to both qualities, and why not? This cookie checked all my boxes to deliver a perfect oatmeal cookie: naturally sweetened (not too much), a hint of molasses, a winning combo of cinnamon and cardamom and a bit of citrus to balance the flavors (I used clementine zest, as I had clementines on hand). I relied on oats and almond flour for the gluten-free base and flax eggs as a vegan binder.
Despite the health claims (vegan! refined-sugar-free! gluten-free!), these cookies bring me back to the oatmeal cookies of my childhood. They are comforting and sublimely delicious. I hope you enjoy and savor a slow moment with one (or two…or three) of these cookies.