Eggless Oatmeal Cookies

Hey, guess what? The weather is nasty. Well, it is winter after all, and it is the Northeast. Snow, sleet and freezing rain are to be expected, but a steady pummeling of “wintry mix” (that most cruel of winter weather euphemisms), temperatures hovering in the mid 20’s, and ice slicking the already-two-feet-worth of snow on the ground is reason enough to make me want to curl up on the couch with a mug of tea and a good book (or, in real life, a stack of data to review). Our very steep, 180-degree-turn, unplowed and iced-over driveway is also telling me that my planned trip to Holbrook Farm to replenish the larder isn’t in the cards today.  So what’s a girl to do with a craving for something sweet but no eggs in the house? Eggless oatmeal cookies, apparently.

Due to work, weather and other wackiness, I’ve missed my Saturday farmer’s market for the last two weeks, so I haven’t been able to stock up in a while. It’s not a huge problem, as the pantry and chest freezer are loaded for bear, as they say, after a productive year of preserving the harvest: we could live for months on what we have in the house. But perishables, like eggs, milk and cheese, and vegetables that are around all winter, like onions, garlic and potatoes, are getting a bit slim on the ground here at Local Kitchen. I used the last of the eggs on Saturday in a chorizo & kale fritatta, then last night got struck by a major cookie-craving, with nary a yolk to be found: even my stash of frozen yolks (leftovers from lots of egg-white washes) was gone. So I turned to Mr. Google and quickly discerned that there is a wealth of egg-free and vegan cookie recipes out there in Ye Olde Internets (and who knew so many people were allergic to eggs? I am so lucky to have no major food allergies.). I settled on an oatmeal cookie recipe at Food.com; simple, straight-forward, and I have to say, delicious. I usually find oatmeal cookies a bit too much: they are good, but they are so chewy & dense and they seem to sit like a rock in your stomach for hours. These ones are light, crispy, almost lacy, and really, really good. Perfect for those of you with egg allergies, with backyard hens who have stopped laying for the winter, or wacky schedules keeping you from the market; however, these are going on my regular roster, even when I do have eggs in the house.

Adapted from Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies No Eggs at Food.com

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Eggless Oatmeal Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 oz (1 stick or 1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup whole white wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

METHODS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt; mix to combine. Dissolve baking soda in the boiling water, add to dough, and blend. Add oats, chocolate and cranberries; mix to distribute evenly.
  3. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, allowing at least 2 inches between cookies. Bake in preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes, or until edges begin to brown and tops are no longer shiny.  Remove and allow to cool on pans for about 5 minutes (cookies will crisp as they cool), then remove to finish cooling on wire racks.

Yields 18, 3-inch cookies.

OPTIONS

  1. Nuts, seeds, other dried fruit, candied ginger: the sky’s the limit.
  2. The cookies are pretty fragile and crumbly given that there is no egg as binder; a coarse grind whole wheat flour would only make them more so, in my opinion. If you cannot source whole wheat pastry flour but want to avoid all-purpose white flour, you might consider rice flour or one of the gluten-free flours that has a fine texture. In fact, this seems like it would be a good candidate for a gluten-free cookie modification.

STORE

At room temperature, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel to maintain crispness.

SEASON

Year round, but a good cookie for the heart of winter, when curling up on the couch is infinitely preferable to shoveling an icy driveway.

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4 comments

    • Hi Roze,

      White wheat is actually a different plant. Typical “whole wheat” flour is hard red spring wheat which is a heartier grain with a higher gluten content, thus excellent for bread making, or anything where you want the dough to rise, but tends to be more crumbly and absorb less water, so it is more difficult to use in cookies, quickbreads, etc. “Whole white wheat” is still 100% whole wheat, it’s just that the plant itself is a ‘milder’ form of the grain, allowing a finer grind and with a lower percentage of gluten. It’s a reasonable substitute for regular white all-purpose flour in cookies, biscuits, and quickbreads.

      The white wheat flour that I use is soft white winter wheat, milled by my local miller, Wild Hive Farm. However, whole white wheat, sometimes “soft wheat” is becoming more popular; King Arthur makes a version and the bigger Trader Joe’s carry it. You can almost always find organic whole white wheat at a whole foods store or organic grocery.
      http://www.kingarthurflour.com/flours/white-whole-wheat-flour.html

      There’s more discussion on red vs white wheat here:
      http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6985/wheat-red-vs-white-spring-vs-winter

      Basically, white wheat is a milder whole wheat flour that tastes more like most people are used to, ie, refined all-purpose flour. Definitely worth checking out if you are trying to work more whole grains in your diet.

  1. What a great recipe! It’s a snowy day here in NJ, and me with no eggs in the house.

    I was skeptical at first, but once I added the oatmeal mixture they came right together. Baking time was right at 11 minutes in my oven.

    I really love the cranberries! They have a lovely tang that is perfect with the chocolate chips. A nice complement to my cup of tea on a cold day.

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