"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
As much as I love being creative in the kitchen, sometimes trying to figure out how to make a recipe allergy-friendly can drive me downright crazy. I try my best to make desserts taste just like the "normal" ones, but when a test recipe doesn't quite meet my expectations, I become almost obsessed with getting it right. It practically consumes me. Sometimes it even keeps me up at night. I sit in bed thinking of what I could've done differently or what other ingredients I could've used. It's kinda annoying really.
When I stumbled across Giada De Laurentiis' Oatmeal, Cranberry and Chocolate Chunk Cookies, I wanted sooo badly to make them. But I had to figure out a way to make them egg-free and dairy-free for the boys. At first, I tried replacing the egg with applesauce and the butter with vegetable shortening. I tasted some of the cookie dough before baking it and I felt like it needed a bit more sweetness. So I added a little more brown sugar. I scooped them onto the baking sheet, put them in the oven and crossed my fingers...
Well, they didn't turn out the way I hoped they would. The cookies were really flat and even though they tasted okay (my boys kept going back to the kitchen for more), I wanted to rework the recipe. For the second batch, I tried adding more flour but the resulting cookies were too cakey. So I went back and reworked it again. For the third batch, I kept the original amount of flour but added more rolled oats. They looked a lot better but they needed a little bit more flavor. So I decided to add some more vanilla extract, a teeny bit more ground cinnamon and replaced some of the applesauce with orange juice. Here goes nothing...
At last! We got a winner! Only took me a few tries. LOL These cookies turned out just the way I had hoped. Adding more rolled oats helped them hold together better and adding more vanilla extract and ground cinnamon gave it the extra flavor it needed. I'm so happy with how these cookies turned out and most importantly, the boys love them!
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' recipe
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Allergy note: contains wheat ingredients
1 cup flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbs. orange juice
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips or chunks (I like using Enjoy Life brand)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
In medium bowl, combine flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract, applesauce and orange juice. Add in the flour mixture, rolled oats, dried cranberries and chocolate chips.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place them onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Gently press down to slightly flatten each cookie dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Allow cookies to cool completely before removing from baking sheet. Serve with a glass of non-dairy milk (as pictured above).
Please note: I am not a paid endorser nor did I accept any free samples of the products mentioned in this post. I purchased these items myself and wanted to mention them by brand name because I tried them and genuinely liked time :-)