Summer is definitely not the most ideal season for baking; that seemingly simple non-revelation has become obvious lately, as it's difficult to resist the allure of churning out freshly baked goods, even as temperatures officially move beyond uncomfortable. Not using the oven for an entire season is simply unheard of in this house. I've had a couple of birthday care packages to send off this week, which of course requires at least one form of baked treat.
Needless to say, I've continued to do a fair amount of baking--cookies in particular.
As a fan of the ease and versatility of drop cookies, I tend to default to them when thinking of sweets to bake and send off to faraway friends. I had a good amount of roasted, salted pistachios on hand, so in an effort to mix up what has virtually become routine batches of combination chocolate chunk and chip cookies, I threw together a blend of ground and chopped salted nuts, oats, and a few chewy cranberries. Because the resulting batches have been something of a hit, I'm hopeful that my long-distance loved ones will find their cookies just as pleasing. Feel free to bake a batch and judge for yourself.
Chunky Pistachio Oat Cookies (printer-friendly version)
Yields approximately 20 cookies
1 c shelled, roasted, salted pistachios - divided
¾ c rolled oats - divided (*use gluten-free, if desired)
¼ c virgin coconut oil, at room temperature
¼ c unsweetened applesauce
1 T milled flax seed + 3 T warm water, whisked until viscous
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ c light or dark brown sugar
1 ¼ c whole wheat pastry flour (*or gluten-free baking blend)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ c dried, sweetened cranberries
¼ c vegan dark chocolate, chopped
¼ c vegan semisweet chocolate chips
Flaky sea salt, for finishing
In a food processor, pulse ½ c pistachios with ¼ c rolled oats until ground. The mixture should have a texture similar to that of coarse crumbs. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar until the mixture is well-combined and looks a bit like thick caramel. Beat in the applesauce, flax mixture, and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder, then add the remaining ½ c rolled oats and ground pistachio/oat mixture, stirring to combine. Fold in the cranberries, chocolate chunks, and chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough until well-chilled.
Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator to soften slightly as you preheat the oven to 375°F/190C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking liners. Scoop walnut-sized balls of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing the dough roughly 1 ½ inches apart. Flatten the balls slightly so that they are approximately ¾- to 1-inch high. Bake the dough balls for 8 minutes, until the tops are firm and bottoms are golden-brown. Very lightly sprinkle the tops with flaky sea salt. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove them to wire racks to cool.