Thursday, January 23, 2020

Entry 35: Personal Favorite - Sera's Oatmeal Cookies Upgraded

Image Description: Eight freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Last January I shared a delicious Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe and while I still think it was a good recipe, it was admittedly lacking. So I took some time to improve and perfect it. And I am very please to present the results of my hard work! Behold: A Better Oatmeal Cookie Recipe!

What improvements were made? Chemistry is the short answer. Basically, I upped the baking powder, creamed the vegan butter and sugars for longer, adjusted my flax seed egg recipe, and firmed up the cook time and cool time details. I also used fresh brown sugar which I think makes a considerable difference in baking but I don't think it is a required step to achieve oatmeal raisin cookie perfection. I'm very proud that a few tweaks greatly improved this cookie recipe to such a state that I dare say even Sera would steal and gobble them up without a second thought.

For the full recipe and directions, scroll to the bottom.

First as in all recipes I make, I set out my ingredients. These haven't changed much. Whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, white sugar, fresh brown sugar (see below for steps), salt, baking soda, baking powder (that's homemade, too - see below for steps), vegan butter, flax seed egg (see below for steps), vanilla extract, raisins, oats, and coconut shreds.

Image Description: A gathering of the ingredients above, minus the sugars, arranged on a day-lit white counter top. 
Then I mixed my flax seed egg. It's a very easy thing to put together. Just add 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed to a small bowl, add a quarter cup of lukewarm water, and stir gently.

Image Description: A ground flax seed egg in a small, white ingredient bowl flanked by partially shown bowls of raisins (left) and
coconut shreds (right).
For the baking powder, I have taken to making my own rather buying a new container every time I run out. It's another easy thing to mix up that saves some coin and resources. All that is needed to make baking powder is cream of tartar and baking soda. Gently stir one part baking soda and two parks cream of tartar until well combined. Make more than you need and store the rest in the old baking powder container you probably finished off (at least that's what how this all worked out for me). Then I measured and mixed my homemade baking powder in with my dry ingredients as normal.

Image Description: A small container of Cream of Tartar in front of an open jar of baking soda.
And for the brown sugar, your kitchen mage stuck with her new norm and made that homemade too! Brown sugar is super easy to make and if you follow my Instagram kitchen tips stories, you may already know this easy kitchen spell. Cut one tablespoon molasses with one cup white sugar together with a pastry cutter. Just as with the baking powder, it's handy to make more than you need and store the rest in an airtight container for future use.

Image Description: A 2-image collage; on the left, a bag of sugar, a jar of molasses and a small white bowl holding a black-handled
pastry cutter; on the right, a close-up of the white bowl with freshly cut brown sugar.
With all that prep work done, mixing the dough together is easy!

Image Description: A close-up image of freshly mixed oatmeal raisin cookie dough.
As for baking, allowing cookies to cool on the pan and then on a cooling rack is as important as the time in the oven. Don't rush your cookies. Perfection takes careful time management and everyone loves a perfect cookie. I allowed my cookies to cool 5 minutes on the pan and then a minimum 10 minutes on my cooling rack before taste testing.

Image Description: A close-up of a freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookie resting on a parchment paper lined baking pan.
And there we have it, the perfect oatmeal raisin cookies to enjoy!

Image Description: A cooling rack filled with oatmeal raisin cookies.

Image Description: A close-up image of an oatmeal raisin cookie broken in half,showing off its delicious
I hope you give this improved cookie recipe a try! And please share on social media if you do, use the hashtag (#)FoodsofThedas!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Yields: 24 cookies

1/2 cup vegan butter, slightly soft
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 flax seed egg - 2 tablespoons ground flax seed + 1/4 cup lukewarm water set for 10-15 minutes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 baking powder
1 cup uncooked rolled oats
A mounding 1/2 cup raisins
A mounding 1/2 cup coconut flakes or shreds

Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make flax seed egg and set aside. Cream butter and sugars for 10 minutes. While butter and sugars are creaming, combine flours, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in another bowl and set aside. Add vanilla extract and flax seed egg to creamed sugars and mix until well combined. In three parts, add flour mixture and beat until well combined. Fold in oats, raisins, and coconut flakes or shreds.

Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, drop cookies about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven once cookies are slightly golden brown. Allow to sit on the pan for 5 minutes, then remove cookies to a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes before devouring. Allow cookies to cool to room temperature before storing.

To store, seal in an airtight container. Cookies will remain fresh for 10 to 12 days. But let's face it, they will be long gone before then.

Walk always in the Maker's light.

END NOTES: This entry is bittersweet for me as it comes amidst great changes in my life. Baking and eating cookies was certainly a highlight of my month, but January has otherwise been very challenging for me; or really winter as a whole has for many reasons. And as a result, I took a step back and worked to refocus the scope of my goals, my wants, and my needs. Sometimes we need to take big steps back to see who we are and who we want to be before we can move forward. But I feel confident I can move forward with integrity to myself and those I care about. However, that means I need to make significant changes in my life to adapt and maintain my focus and perspective.

I have talked openly about my disabilities on a few social media platforms. I have Multiple Sclerosis and it has had a gradual but impactful effect on my life on a myriad of levels. And thus I have come to realize I am spreading myself too thin trying to keep up with everything; from family and my career, to my physical and mental well-being, to my hobbies and social commitments. I have realized that to have more out of life, to be more of the person I want to be, I have to do less.

With all that said, I am sorry to say, dear reader, this is the second to last blog entry for Foods of Thedas. I will share one more Thedosian recipe next month (hopefully on time) and then put the blog aside indefinitely. It is possible I will return once the next Dragon Age game is formally announced or released, but I cannot say for certain at this time.

I am grateful to you, reader, for your interest and support. And I will remain active on social media under the Foods of Thedas handle on Instagram and Twitter but with less frequency. Thank you for reading and being a part of this odd mix of delicious, vegan food and Dragon Age.

Like what you are reading? Great! Come back for a new entry on the third Thursday of each month (mostly - last entry coming February 2020). And have a look at my previous entries for other recipes, and Dragon Age-related trivia and oddities!

Have any friendly suggestions or cool ideas? Want me to veganize your favorite recipe? Please comment below. You can also email me at, message me at AGSamuels on Reddit, or tweet me at @FoodsofThedas on Twitter. You can also follow me on Instagram, @foodsofthedas.

Foods of Thedas, formerly Gourmet Vegan Thedas.