I am madly, unequivocally in love.
As a pure born and braised – err, raised – Albertan I like my meat too. Don’t let me “steer” you wrong here. I’m no vegan. Or even a vegetarian. Anymore. Sure, I’m pretty conscious of my meat intake. Especially to ensure I don’t eat too much and the when I do, that it’s raised by local producers who practice perma-culture and pasture-fed rearing methods.
But the same goes for my veggies. I want them and I want lots of ’em. So I try to buy local, organically grown (though not necessarily certified) and regionally seasonal so I do the planet good. Kind of like milk. But better. And hotter.
Speaking of hotter vegetables – and lots of them – I’m inhaling roasted veggies for lunch lately. Like, hoover style.
This means there’s a lot of broccolini in my house right now. And cauliflower. And squash. And carrots. Also beets, chard, fennel, brussel sprouts and cabbage. Not a ton of tomatoes or strawberries or fresh corn on the cob. Not when it’s barely a few degrees above freezing and I can visibly see all the little tomato vines in the community gardens withered and cold.
…I wonder if I should bring them a scarf?
Of course, that cooler temps also mean I’m chowing down on my not so favourite vegetables too. Unending supplies of Asian greens. Parsnips. And sweet potatoes.
I’ve talked before about not loving the texture of sweet potatoes. Hence the reason I incorporated them into homemade pasta and blabbed about them on the podcast. And also why I worked them into my cookie recipe for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil and Julie at The Little Kitchen.
Actually, I incorporated them into the cookies because the recipe called for it.
And because one of my matches was dairy free; I needed a way to inject some moisture in those bad boys.
I don’t know about you, but most vegan baked treats I’ve consumed in the past weren’t really much of a treat. My experience has all too often been dry, crumbly (I hate crumbies!) and powdery sad excuses for cakes. Or cookies. Or brownies. You get the idea.
Now we know I’m not much of a baker (despite the fact that there’s 2 cookie recipe posts this week). We also know that I’m certainly not vegan. And we definitely know that I love butter. Mmmmm… butter. I even have a brick of it tattooed on my bicep.
Seriously. That’s how much I love butter.
But as it turns out, I stand wrong and corrected. As it turns out, I actually am fallible. Don’t tell my boyfriend.
Cookies sans butter – vegan even – can be pretty darn good. At least these delightful cinnamon sweet potato vegan cookies are. Or were. Past tense. Because I gobbled them up faster than a turkey gobbles…. Wait. What do turkeys eat?
This was not only my first vegan cookie baking experience, it was also my first organic coconut oil one too. That being said, if coconut oil really isn’t your thing, any neutral cooking oil will do. The secret to these little gems – and all the greatnes they entail – is really in the sweet potato and cinnamon. Sure, this combination works for a savoury dish at the Christmas table or a sweet pie afterwards, but man alive they’re good together in a moist (not my favourite word btw), chewy, fluffy cookie like this one.
Vegan cookies. Who’d a thunk it?
In fact, if I had it my way, there’d be more seasonal vegetables. And more cookies. And more seasonal vegetables IN cookies. Even maybe – yikes – more vegan cookies. Right?
- 2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour or All-Purpose Non-Bleached White Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
- 1 Cup Sweet Potato Puree
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
- 2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 C Sugar (white or organic cane) + 1/4 C Cinnamon
- 1 C Pecan Halves
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the oil, sweet potato, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.
- Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture. The dough will be rather sticky. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- As it chills, toast your pecans. Toasty nuts = better flavour! Set the oven to 325 degrees F. Toss the nuts in just a drop of extra virgin olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt. Mix well. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop in the heated oven for approx 15 minutes or until you can smell 'em. Shake every 3 minutes or so to ensure even toasting. Remove from the oven, dump into a heat-proof dish to cool (no plastic) and set aside. Crank your oven up to 350 to bake the cookies.
- Combine the topping sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Roll the cookies into 1" drops - don't handle them too much, they're easier to work with when they're cold - and place onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle the lot with a touch of sugar/cinnamon topping and gently press the toasted pecan halves into the tops of each cookie. Make sure they're in there - you don't want em falling out once they're cooked.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they no longer look wet, and are just beginning to brown around the edges, or to your desired doneness. I like them a little softer on the insides, so I baked them for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Everyone's oven is different so you may need to play with the cooking times by about a minute or two.
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature because cold ingredients will cause the coconut oil to solidify.
Did you participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year? Ever make vegan cookies? Cooked with coconut oil? Are you enamored with vegetables? Hate them? Which is your favourite? Least Favourite? Spill it!