As a huge chocolate-chip cookie lover, I used to scoff at oatmeal cookies. I mean, oatmeal? But when they’re done right, they’re rich and chewy with a cinnamon kick, and, dare I say it, rival even the best chocolate chip cookie. Here, Ashlae from Oh, Ladycakes shares her favorite family recipe…

The Best (Vegan) Oatmeal Cookies You’ll Ever Have
by Ashlae of Oh, Ladycakes

I’ve been making this oatmeal cookie recipe since I was four years old. Granted, a majority of the time I was merely the honorary oat stirrer while I watched my great-grandmother do all the tough work. But still, I’ve grown up with this recipe. And since I’ve been making these cookies on my own, I’ve adapted the recipe to fit with my dairy-free (and sometimes gluten-free) diet.

The thing I love most about these cookies is that they’re made with rich muscovado sugar and delicate Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon (often referred to as real cinnamon) is different from cassia cinnamon, which is the kind of cinnamon you typically find at American supermarkets. Ceylon cinnamon is sweet and subtle, whereas cassia cinnamon is spicy and pungent. If you can’t find Ceylon cinnamon, feel free to use regular cinnamon, just reduce the measurement to 1/2 teaspoon. (Psst, did you count how many times I just said cinnamon?)

I prefer my oatmeal cookies slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside—and the handsome guy I share my life with does, too. If you prefer yours soft and chewy, I recommend storing the cookies in an air-tight container for a few hours before consuming. Or replacing the flax egg with three tablespoons of soft silken tofu (no, really—it’s the softest cookie you’ll ever eat). If you’re on Team Crunchy, bake the cookies for 10 minutes and store them in a not-so-air-tight container for keeps.

Recipe: Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen two-inch cookies

NOTE: These cookies can easily be made gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free flour blend or the unbleached flour. If you’re not into the whole vegan thing, you can replace the non-dairy butter with real butter (better yet, ghee) and the flax egg with a large egg. I highly recommend trying to get your hands on muscovado sugar because even though brown sugar is an acceptable substitute, it’s just not the same. To change things up a bit, toss in a few spoonfuls of good quality, chopped dark chocolate and cacao nibs. Or zest from an orange (or two) and a handful of dried cranberries.

You’ll need:
1/2 cup non-dairy butter
3/4 cup muscovado sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 flax egg
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground Ceylon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats

What to do:
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the flax egg and mix until just combined. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the mixture to the wet ingredients in two parts, mixing on medium speed after each addition. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the oats and mix until just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic (it will be sticky) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours—this allows the oats to absorb moisture from the dough.

Once you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F. Line two large baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper; set aside. Using a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons), drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Press cookies to flatten to about 1/2″ then bake at 350F for 8 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an air-tight container. Cookies will keep for up to three days.

Thank you so much, Ashlae!

P.S. More best recipes, including chocolate-chip cookies and 11 Nutella recipes.

(Photos and recipe by Ashlae of Oh, Ladycakes. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)