Maple-sweet, spiced, melt-in-the-mouth buttery: these vegan cookies are everything you could want while enjoying the crisp afternoon chill of Autumn in the garden.
September is once again upon us and its bright, yet quiet, approach reminds me that it is a time to harvest, gather, store and preserve. We are drawn to respond to the hardening of nature, the weather, and the need to survive, keep warm, and to have something to last until spring. Have you paid attention to any squirrels recently? They definitely know it’s September. Even in London, I can see that we are not apart from nature’s cycle, as much as we might like to think we are. Our seasonal hoarding also draws us to think of others, and their need to survive through tougher times ahead. We used to celebrate this outpouring in a festival, by literally laying out the harvest for the community: sharing the yield and stocking up the larder.
We don’t hear much these days about harvest festivals, but in the spirit of sharing nature’s seasonal bounty, here is my first truly Autumnal recipe of the year; something to enjoy while you drink in the change that’s happening all around us. I can already smell log fires burning in my neighbourhood and there’s a wonderful haze in the air; so farewell, summer! It’s time to welcome September – let’s start the Autumn feast.
For this recipe I used Seed and Bean’s ‘Extra Dark’ vegan chocolate instead of chocolate chips because even the organic brand had some ingredients I wasn’t keen on. Cacao nibs are also great, you just don’t get that satisfying melt.
I like to wait for these to cool down a little before tucking in, and I store them in the fridge. For an extra treat (although not a guilty one) fill the thumb prints with my toffee cashew cream. Yum!
- 100g rolled oats
- 40g melted coconut oil (about 4 tsp solid)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 2.5 tbsp peanut butter
- Himalayan pink salt, for sprinkling
- Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Put all of the ingredients except the salt in a bowl and mix by hand until completely combined. Leave it in the fridge for ten minutes.
- Take a teaspoon of the mixture, roll it into a ball and place it on a parchment paper-lined tray. Repeat until all of the cookie mixture is used up.
- Using your thumb, flatten each cookie ball gently and sprinkle a couple of flakes of the pink salt into each thumb print.
- Cook for no more than 12 minutes, you don’t want burnt chocolate!