The first month plus of our new life in Australia was marked by rain, rain, and more rain. It was actually quite wonderful after so many months spent in perpetually dry and dusty Riyadh (yes, there was a rainy season but it was more like a rainy few days here and there rather than weeks). The grey and drizzly days reminded me of the first month I spent in San Francisco over 10 years ago, where it was reported that that April was the rainiest on record. As my years in that city turned out to be some of my best ever I took it as a positive sign that Sydney was also receiving so much precipitation. We still trekked out to the park and explored our neighborhood in between the drops, if my three and a half year old (and I) did go a bit stir crazy. Often we baked to kill some time. (Note: photo of beautiful Bronte Beach was taken a few days ago!)
I posted a photo of these cookies on my instagram during those soggy days and it’s taken me too long to finally post the recipe. It’s a riff on a recipe I’ve posted before, but definitely worth revisiting even if I just posted a recipe last week for cookies also involving oats (am I a creature of habit? Probably …)! Difficult to believe I wrote up that recipe in November 2015; the past year and a half has sped past me at warp speed. Being pregnant, spending months in the States to finish the pregnancy, have my baby, and then travel back to Saudi Arabia just in time to pack up and move country yet again — all of this unfolded during the past 10 months and it’s all been a bit of a blur. I wish as always I’d written more while I was going through it, and I wish I’d kept better records of my girls’ early days (and current days) as I know I will regret it later. I’d like to say I will hereby commit to doing so but I also know my limitations! Some days after a night of epically broken sleep it’s all I can do to make sure they both eat nutritionally well rounded meals and get some fresh air.
But we’ve been doing well despite the sleep deprivation. We’ve found a wonderful school for Sierra a five-minute walk from our house and she’s started attending two days a week. We’ve put our house together as well as possible until the rest of our belongings arrive. I’ve found a yoga studio and am squeezing in a class or two a week. Have mostly sorted out a running route. We’ve found favorite parks and a lovely brand of cheddar cheese. And we made it to the beach last weekend on a dazzlingly warm and sunny morning where we watched the surfers and marveled at how very far we’ve all come in the past year. We’ve landed in a truly lovely spot.
All of which to say now that the clouds have cleared for the most part we’re still making cookies, because who doesn’t love cookies? Particularly whole grain cookies that happen to be vegan and gluten-free, comprised of pantry staples, and that come together in almost literally a snap. I even feel good about Sierra eating more than a few of these because they’re low in sugar and give her a bit of fruit besides. Next time we’ll bring a batch to the beach.
If you don’t need to keep gluten-free, substitute 1 cup whole wheat pastry or spelt flour for the oat flour.
Makes about 20 cookies.
1 cup (gluten-free) oat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2-2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the coconut oil and applesauce until smooth. Whisk in maple syrup and vanilla.
Stir in the dry ingredients, then the oats and chocolate chips, and mix well to combine. The dough may be a bit wet, so add more oats as necessary to help bring it all together. You want the dough to be thick enough to be able to roll cookie balls between your hands. Place dough in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375ºF and set the rack on the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls and place them 2-inches apart on the baking sheets. Use a fork to gently flatten the dough slightly.
Place in the oven and bake until the cookies are a gentle brown all across the top, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and place cookies on a wire rack to cool thoroughly.