So, dear friends, we have finally reached exam week numero uno. I am driving to university tomorrow morning, will then bawl my eyes out at the secretary’s, and resume studying in the afternoon. Tuesday morning 8 o’clock sharp is the time to think of me, guys, and keep those thumbs pressed (a German idiom that doesn’t work that well in English: to keep your thumbs pressed means to keep your fingers crossed for a good outcome).
Why I am planning on bawling my eyes out? That doesn’t really have that much to do with the upcoming exams this week.
That one’s all about the fact that the date of my oral exam has been moved into our booked vacation. This is tragic on various levels, starting with the fact that we have already paid for said vacation, said vacation is the most awesome vacation ever involving a cruise and beautiful hotel, and, did I mention there was even a reduction for students? Yes, it sucks. Big time. I completely broke down yesterday, and cried like a baby…I guess that’s what the stress of studying constantly does to you: it just needs one issue to appear for me to let loose the crying waterfalls. I feel slightly cuckoo, but let’s hope that passes once I have started taking those damned exams.
What I do when I start feeling anxious? Anyone who has been following my posts will know the answer to that. There was just no way around baking a batch of cookies today, using up the little time I have left to study to take a break and bake in the kitchen. If only studying had the same soothing effect on me, I would be studying constantly.
I wanted to make “healthy” cookies today, hoping that they’ll fuel me throughout the upcoming (horror) week, without laying too heavy in my tummy. I don’t need a sugar crash this week! So I decided to make granola bar cookies…cookies which might as well be a granola bar, but in cookie form and much better. 🙂 Crunchy on the outside, gooey and moist on the inside, sweetened mostly by apple sauce, sticky only due to the nutbutter…there is no unnatural fat or oil in this cookie, isn’t that amazing? Besides adding chopped walnuts, I also added some spelt flakes (similar to cornflakes), which just takes this cookie over the top in terms of crunchiness.
I made these with spelt oats, but I am sure they work fine with “real” oats as well. I have a sensitivity to “real” oats, therefore I mostly use spelt oats. Feel free to sub out the cranberries for raisins, if you prefer raisins. Same goes for the walnuts; I just love the combo of walnuts and cranberries.
This recipe makes a batch of 12, however if you want to make smaller, “thinner” cookies, you’ll get about 18. I like using a huge icecream scoop full, especially when making oatmeal cookies. These are “fat” cookies, and get their moist, gooey middles from their thickness, so if you do decide to make thinner cookies, you may have to reduce the baking time!
After baking these fairly long (30 minutes), really try to allow them to cool, as they lose some moisture as they cool, which is a good thing in this case. Apple sauce cookies are always very moist, and you don’t want your cookies to be soggy.
Keep in the fridge, and they’ll keep for 1 week at least (if you don’t eat them all before that)! These work well with some homemade ginger tea (my lovely boyfriend made me some for tea time this afternoon), or as breakfast with a green smoothie. As these granola bar cookies are truly healthy, don’t be afraid to eat more than one – if you can manage. I find them extremely filling and satisfying! I really doubt you’ll be able to overeat on these, so don’t worry about making a whole batch.
Granola Bar Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups spelt oats
- 1/2 cup whole spelt flour
- 1/4 ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup spelt flakes (or unsweetened corn flakes)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (you really need the sugar for the texture, don’t skip it!)
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (if you want to cut down on the sugar, leave this one out and add more apple sauce – but these cookies aren’t too sweet to begin with, so I really suggest you use it!)
- 1 1/2 Tbs. cashew butter
1. Preheat your oven to 150°C. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Add your wet ingredients to the dry ones, and stir until you have a nice thick dough. (The dough is quite wet due to the apple sauce, don’t be alarmed – you want nice and gooey cookies, hence you need a wet dough.)
3. Using an icecream scoop as reference, place 12 balls of dough on a baking tin lined with baking parchment. Using your hands or a large spoon, press into evenly shaped, thick and round cookies. The cookies won’t really spread out as the bake, so you can place all 12 cookies on one baking tin.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, then take out and allow them to cool on the tin for 10 minutes, then place them on a baking rack for another 10 minutes until they have completely cooled down.
Oh, did I mention these babies were vegan? Yup, no eggs or dairy in sight. And, if you’ve read through the recipe closely, you’ll have noticed that these are one-bowl cookies! How awesome is that? I love baking and not having to clean up too much after.
Alright, peeps, I’m off to bed soon. Gotta get a good night’s sleep before freaking out all day tomorrow. Enjoy these cookies, and remember to “keep your thumbs pressed” for me on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. 🙂
Update: I made half a batch of these the other day, swapping out mango-apple-sauce for the apple-sauce, sunbutter for the cashew butter, and realized that if I had used pumpkin seeds instead of the walnuts, this would have been nutfree! Also, enjoy these with a glass of my cooled allspice cashew milk – it’s a divine combination!