(Nearly Vegan) Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Full disclosure: I’m an omnivore, but I have an appreciation for vegetarian and vegan cooking, thanks to having friends who have these more restrictive diets (by choice or necessity). As I have done more entertaining for friends with a variety of dietary restrictions, I’ve had to adjust some of what I put out on the dinner/buffet table so that I’m taking out everything from animal products to things with latex (bananas & kiwis), and that’s kept me on my cooking toes.

More recently, I had my annual physical and my doctor cautioned me that she was starting to get worried about my cholesterol. Ah, crap. Her advice to me included cutting back to the minimum on dairy. HOLY CRAP. I HAVE TO GIVE UP MY REGULAR CELEBRATION OF ICE CREAM O’CLOCK?! There has to be a better, way, right? It’s not like I eat a ton of red meat; easily three-quarters of the time, the meat in my meal is fish or poultry.

So, this made me think that perhaps I should look at other ways to reduce cholesterol where possible. And, having a VERY CHILLY Sunday afternoon that wasn’t consumed with running errands, I thought it might be fun to stay inside and bake. I started with a tried-and-true recipe that came courtesy of my friend, Cyndy, of DailyCynema, and I made a couple of modifications. Feel free to check out the original recipe here. And check out her other recipes, too. She’s a damn fine cook, and she’s really sweet about sharing.

To make this recipe TRULY vegan, make sure that A) your margarine is 100% free of dairy [we use a Fleischmann’s version that is completely lactose-free], and B) you use dark chocolate that’s considered vegan. I used Hershey Special Dark chips, but those have a small amount of milk in them, so that’s why this recipe is only nearly vegan.


Nearly Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Eat 'em before they're gone...


Prep Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 12 mins (per tray/set of trays in the oven at once)

Serves: well, that depends… (Makes about 30-32 cookies)



1/2 cup margarine (one stick), softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1-1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1-1/2 cups quick cooking oats

1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (I used Hershey Special Dark chips)


Make it Happen

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. If you have vents atop your range that vent out heat from the oven, place the margarine stick upright by the vents to start the softening process. (Otherwise, soften it at room temperature a few minutes prior to starting the rest of the prep work.)

2. Put the first four dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) in a bowl and stir briefly. Set aside.

3. Mix the first three wet ingredients (margarine, white and brown sugars) on low speed in a stand mixer or by hand, until all items are well combined.

4. Add the vanilla, maple syrup and applesauce and mix/stir well to combine.

5. Add the bowl of dry ingredients and mix/stir well to combine.

6. Add the oatmeal and stir well to combine (best to do this by hand, to make sure the mixture is even).

7. Add the chips and stir well to combine.

8. Place rounded tablespoons of the cookie batter onto a non-stick baking sheet, about 2 inches or so apart.

9. Place the sheet in the oven and cook for 12 minutes, until the cookies are slightly brown on the edges and bottom.

Kredit Krunch Bark

OK, so admittedly, this is not one of my healthier recipes. BUT, it is yummy. And it can disappear quickly if not watched with a camera and security guard. AND it’s highly customizable (if you don’t like dark chocolate, consider mixing it up with some milk chocolate). The impetus for this was the “credit crunch” that hit a few years back. Trying to come up with an inexpensive way to have holiday presents for the teachers at day care, we bought some tins from our local craft store and filled them with waxed paper and this bark. My apologies for the lack of picture; as soon as I make a batch this fall, I’ll load up one. For now, just imagine…yum. It’ll come to you.


24.5oz Lindt 70% dark chocolate (seven 3.5 oz bars)

10.5oz Lindt 85% dark chocolate (three 3.5 oz bars)

2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

3 cups Rice Chex cereal

Make it Happen:

1. Put the Rice Chex into a ziploc bag and roll a rolling pin over it to crush it. Set aside.

2. Get a cookie sheet that has sides; line it with wax paper.

2. Chop the chocolate finely and place it into a bowl.

3. In a double-boiler set on a low temp (and with a small amount of water in the bottom of the double boiler), add a tablespoon of the chocolate to make sure the pan is hot enough for melting the chocolate. Once that’s assured, add a cup or so of the chocolate at a time, mixing it in thoroughly to coat it with the melted chocolate. Stir continuously with a spatula.

4. Once all of the chocolate has been melted, pour half of it into the cookie sheet. Use a spatula to distribute it around the sheet evenly.

5. Sprinkle the “krunch” mix over the chocolate until it’s fairly evenly coating the chocolate.

6. Pour the remainder of the chocolate onto the sheet, pouring it to distribute it as evenly as possible.

7. Place the cookie sheet into the fridge and let it cool/set for 3-4 hours, until it’s no longer liquid.

8. Overturn the bark onto a cutting board (or just pick it up by the wax paper and move it to a cutting board). Roughly break it up using a heavy knife, like a butcher knife.

9. Store in a wax paper-lined container, like a cookie tin. Store in the fridge when not going OMNOMNOM.

Note: if you are the type of person who wants to mix up your chocolates – milk and dark, white and milk, white & dark, etc. – go for it. Make sure you melt them separately and clean the top of the double boiler in between meltings. The big concern here is that if you don’t remove every speck of moisture from that top pot before putting in the chocolate, your chocolatey goodness will seize. Seizing is bad and to be avoided at all costs. Alternately, you can melt one chocolate on the stove and another in the microwave – just watch BOTH carefully. And remember that white chocolate is mostly cocoa butter and won’t melt the same way as other chocolates but WILL seize with impunity at the drop of a hat.