If you are a long-standing reader of this blog, and I do mean a loooooong-standing reader, the kind that deserves a medal, you may recall my quest for the elusive IKEA havreflarn, those Swedish oatmeal cookies that come as singles or in pairs, sandwiched together by a layer of dark chocolate.
Over time I’ve tried a few promising recipes, and although they produced good cookies, none of them quite replicated the original.
But good things come to those who wait, and it seems I wasn’t the only one smitten with these cookies: Belgian food blogger Sophie developed a copycat recipe, and a vegan one at that.
Hers is the recipe I semi-followed for my IKEA-style oat crisps, making a few modifications to lighten it up and use the ingredients I had on hand: I lowered the amount of sweeteners and fat, added a bit of salt to bolster the flavors, sliced almonds instead of almond extract, and regular milk and butter instead of almond milk and margarine, thereby annihilating the intrinsic vegan-ness of the recipe (sorry).
I also used honey (another vegan no-no) to sweeten and flavor the cookies in one fell swoop, but I’ll note that Sophie uses agave syrup instead.
Rarely has a cookie been easier to make: it is a two-bowl recipe for which you simply measure, dump, and stir the ingredients before plopping balls of dough on a baking sheet. Do you think you can do that? Yeah, I think so too.
The plan was to melt some chocolate and assemble the havreflarn two by two so they could live happily ever after, but when they had come out of the oven and cooled to a crisp-edged, chewy-hearted perfection, when I took a bite and noticed how the rich chorus of their flavors ended into a single chord of honey, I confess I threw in the towel and decided that they didn’t really need chocolate.
I sat by Maxence on the couch and we ate cookies.
The one caveat about this recipe is that the cookies tend to soften after a few hours*. They are just as good then, but different. If you want to revive their initial texture, you can place them back on the baking sheet (save the parchment paper) and pop them in the oven for a brief encore the next day.
Do not, however, attempt to reheat one in the toaster like a pop-tart. Take it from me, that is just stupid: you will end up with a soft and half-charred mound of cookie dough clinging for dear life to the metal insides of your toaster. Stupid, I tell you.
* I suspect this doesn’t occur if one uses margarine, for hydrogenated fat holds baked goods in its crisping clutch, but I don’t do margarine.
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted (if vegan, substitute vegan margarine or coconut oil)
- 45 grams (1/2 cup) rolled oats (substitute another type of rolled grain, such as spelt)
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) unrefined cane sugar (I used Rapadura)
- 2 rounded teaspoons honey (if vegan, substitute 2 level teaspoons agave syrup)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 20 grams (1/4 cup) sliced almonds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the melted butter, oats, sugar, honey, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl, and mix well with a fork to combine.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and almonds. Add these to the first bowl, and stir again until it gathers in lumps.
- Add the milk and stir again to incorporate. The dough will be sticky.
- Use 2 teaspoons to form walnut-sized balls of dough, and drop on the prepared baking sheet, leaving each of them a little room to stretch their wings as they bake.
- Slip in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until puffy and just starting to brown at the edges. Let the cookies settle on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
This post was first published in July 2006 and updated in March 2016.