It’s a chocolate lover’s world. I should know – I am one of them, and I am thrilled every day to be able to find good, no great, dairy free chocolate products available. But I know that there are some who don’t like chocolate, for what reason I cannot fathom. However, these people do exist, and I came face to face with one of them recently, and was inspired to create the chocolate-hater’s cookie with them in mind.
You see, I was at a big outdoor barbecue, for which I had baked two of my favorite cookies, my oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and my double chocolate peppermint cookie. I had 6 dozen, 3 dozen of each, in a large plastic container, and I was moving through the crowd, offering them to people. In all, it took me less than 5 minutes to give out every last one of those cookies, making many people happy. But the person who stood out in my mind was the one who declined a cookie, who said he did not care for chocolate. The disappointment in his voice was so acute that I made him a promise, that I would create a non-chocolate cookie for next time.
He immediately perked up, and wondered what this cookie might be like. I improvised, saying it would have dried fruit and nuts in it. Would it have macadamia nuts in it, he asked. I have nothing against macadamias, but I don’t usually have them on hand, so I did not promise that it would. But, I assured him, he would love the result.
And so I found myself a few days ago with time on my hands, and I decided it was time to create this cookie for those who turn their noses up at chocolate. I based it on what I had in my pantry – and am very happy with the cookie I came up with. An oatmeal cookie with dried cranberries, dates and chopped almonds, spiced up with cinnamon and Chinese 5 spice – and mini marshmallows to add a bit of decadence.
The Chocolate-Hater’s Cookie
(yield: 3 dozen)
1 stick softened margarine (½ cup)
7/8 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. almond milk
1-½ tsp. Egg Replacer
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. Chinese 5 spice mix
½ tsp. cinnamon
7/8 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup chopped dried cranberries
½ cup chopped pitted dates
¼ cup mini marshmallows
An hour or more before you intend to start baking, remove margarine from refrigerator and leave on counter, in sunshine if possible, so that it gets nice and soft.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Take a small mixing bowl or cereal bowl. Add Egg Replacer and water. Whisk the two together thoroughly and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add margarine and sugar. Using a wooden spoon, mix the two together thoroughly. Add the Egg Replacer mixture, almond milk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly once again.
Now add the dry ingredients: salt, baking soda, flour and spices. If you are concerned about the baking soda getting well-distributed throughout the dough, you can mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl before adding them to the wet cookie dough mix. But I feel like if you really get all the flour mixed into the dough, that will be enough to take care of the baking soda. So yes, once you’ve added the dry ingredients, mix once more until there is no sign of any flour and the dough mix is nice and smooth.
Then add the nuts, cranberries and dates and mix well to incorporate them. Lastly, add the oats, and mix thoroughly so that every flake of oat is incorporated and covered with dough.
Allot a rounded tablespoon’s worth of dough for each cookie. Bake for 9 minutes on a cookie sheet covered with either parchment paper or a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes.
Then remove cookies using a Dough Scraper or spatula or your fingers to a cooling rack.
And last but not least, enjoy!
P.S. If you are like me and you don’t want to be a piggy and eat all 3 dozen cookies, you can always bake a dozen and freeze the rest of the dough. Freezing dries out the dough a tiny bit, but this is a fairly moist dough to begin with, so when thawed after freezing, the cookies should still come out just fine. Have fun!