In our house we eat pretty much anything. Meat & potatoes, check. Mediterranean foods full of fresh vegetables, olive oil, cheese and bread - oh yes. Rich Indian vegetarian curries and Saag - get on our plates. Among all of the types of cuisines out there, I think vegan baking is an area that most people don't go for. Sure, vegan main dishes and snacks are yummy, but no eggs and butter in cookies? No whipped cream or buttercream frosting? What would I do with a dairy-less chocolate ganache (answer: coconut milk to the rescue!)? The baker in me used to cringe at the omission of these ingredients, until a close friend started to introduce me to vegan baking many years ago.
It was this same friend who gave me a copy of a lovely little cookie cook book,Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. These Carrot & Raisin Spice Cookies are one example of vegan baking where you don't notice the lack of dairy and eggs. I would never have believed the omission if I hadn't baked them myself!
These cookies are bright, light, and chewy. Carrots, raisins, and sweet coconut are mixed with orange zest, cinnamon, and ginger to create a beautifully fragrant cookie. I couldn't get over the awesome texture of these little treats- crispy edged and chewy centers, so, so wonderful! Give these cookies a try!
Carrot & Raisin Spice Cookies
very slightly modified from the original recipe, Carrot Raisin Spice Chewies, from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, I.C. Moskowitz & T.H. Romero
makes about just over a dozen cookies
1 cup finely grated carrots, slightly packed
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup vanilla coconut milk (or any non-dairy milk of choice)
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or sill pads.
In a large bowl combine the non-dairy milk, oil, flax, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and orange zest. Beat to combine. Sift in the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Stir to just combine, moistening the flour mix. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and coconut. Stir well to combine. The dough will look wet, but don't worry!
Take a generous tablespoon of cookie dough and drop onto your prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and brown and the tops are firm. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container after cooled completely.