cookies dessert gluten-free

Maple Oatmeal Cookies

August 13, 2013

Let’s just take a minute to talk about food photography…aka the bane of my existence. Seriously guys, taking pictures of food gives me more anxiety than running out of peanut butter (that’s A LOT of anxiety). Unlike cooking and baking, food photography is not a passion of mine. It’s something I do to make my recipes look as good as they taste since most of us eat with our eyes before our mouths. I really do try my best, and recognize I am absolutely a perfectionist, but every time I make something I literally dread reaching the point where I have to photograph it. I’d rather just eat it…

maple-oatmeal-cookies
I’ve read an obscene number of books and blog posts on the topic, put in a moderate effort to read my DSLR’s manual and have become obsessive about only photographing in “natural light”. So far my strategy has been this: take as many pictures was you possibly can and at least 1 or 2 pictures will turn out. It’s been an okay plan and I’m definitely not totally thrilled how a lot of my pictures turn out but considering I’m no professional and have absolutely no desire to be taking pictures in the first place I really can’t complain. I’m hoping one day I develop an interest in photography, but in the meantime you’ll have to deal with my sub-par pictures!
So why are we talking about food photography? I swear it relates to today’s recipe. I made these Maple Oatmeal Cookies in a last minute procrastibaking session late one night. They are actually incredible and I ate half a dozen immediately. What I didn’t do immediately was have a hot photography session with them. Why? Well the lighting wasn’t PERFECT of course! This whole perfectionism thing is gonna drive me crazy one day. So I had to wait until the next morning to capture these beauties.
Fast forward to the next morning. Sleepy Davs rolls out of bed and realizes that her procratibaking led to annoyingly early photo-shoot. Not pleased. With crust in my eyes and my hair at afro-status I pulled out whatever “food props” I could find, grabbed my camera and began to shoot. I was not happy about  how they turned out but I was impatient and hungry so I ate 3 cookies for breakfast (they’re oatmeal right?) and wrapped the shoot. Moral of the story? Food photography drives me crazy. Thankfully cookies don’t so I guess I’ll keep on baking and dreading the inevitable photo-shoot that will follow!

Maple Oatmeal Cookies

by Davida Kugelmass

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 22 mins

Keywords: bake dessert gluten-free oats cookie

Ingredients (Yields: 2 dozen cookies)

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (GF if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose GF flour (or regular AP flour)
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Using an electric mixer combine coconut oil (or butter) and coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar).

3. After well combined add in egg whites, applesauce maple syrup and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.

5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet while mixer is running.

6. Once fully combined roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls and flatten lightly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone-mat.

7. Bake for 11 minutes.

8. Let cool for 2 minutes on sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

9. Try not to eat all of them at once 🙂

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Do you have any food photography tips for me? How about any hobbies you dislike but do anyway?

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  • Reply
    Karen
    August 13, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I am definitely making these one day!! I *love* oatmeal cookies!
    I think your photographs are wonderful! I feel like I’ve walked in/out of a bakery/restaurant each time you post. Keep it up, you’re doing a great job and everything does look as delicious as it sounds! : )
    Karen @karenlovestorun

  • Reply
    kellyrunsforfood.com
    August 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Ooh my husband loves oatmeal cookies so I may have to make him these. I think your photos are great! I’m not a photographer- at all! I use my trusty iPhone because I’m too cheap too buy a real camera, haha.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Sometimes I use my iPhone too…sometimes it actually works out better! I hate lugging my SLR around.

  • Reply
    Jessie
    August 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    And you’ve done it again! Another recipe of yours that I’ll be saving. I swear, I’m going to need a whole notebook for just yours 🙂 haha

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Awww thanks Jessie! This one is definitely one of my favourites! And my family’s too since they “didn’t taste the healthy” lol

  • Reply
    chelseashealthykitchen.com
    August 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Big ditto to this whole post – I dread taking pictures of my food! Especially since I just can’t seem to find the perfect photography spot in my house, so I feel like my lighting is never that good. Also I’m still using a point-and-shoot. My dad gave me his DSLR but I’ve been way too intimidated to use it! I keep telling myself that one of these days I’ll just devote a whole weekend to working on my photography skills… but it hasn’t happened yet in the past 4 years haha.

    I think your pictures look great though! They definitely are enticing me to make those cookies. 😉

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      So happy someone else is in the same boat! My SLR is a blessing and a curse. I got it because I thought my pictures would be better–turns out it’s the photographer not the camera that makes the pictures–but I’m realizing this may not be the case gah! I love your pics too. You always manage to get awesome pictures in restaurants. How do you do it? Mine always turn out too dark (no flash) or too bright (flash). Teach me your ways!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    August 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Food photography drives me crazy too! I actually am interested in it, but I find it so hard to get a great picture! Check out Pinch of Yum’s food photography e-book… It’s really great. By the way the cookies look delicious!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      I actually just bought it last week and have maybe read 2 pages lol. For some reason the topic bores me even though I want to get better at it! I think you’re a great photographer btw 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    August 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Hahaha this is hilarious!! Don’t even get me started on the pictures that I take of my food WITH MY POINT AND SHOOT. Ugh. It always looks like baby food or something that someone upchucked. And the thing is, it’s usually REALLY delicious and looks really good in person. sigh. I think your pictures always look great though. You had me fooled!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      I really don’t think the camera makes a whole lot of difference. All the other factors, lighting, tripod, location, design play a bigger role…all of which I don’t care about gah! For the record I don’t think your recipes look like baby food! In fact I’d love more of them!!!

  • Reply
    Em Kathryn
    August 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Cookies look delicious!!! I use my iPhone to take pictures so I’m not pro haha! I think your pictures are great 🙂

  • Reply
    thehappinessrecipeblog
    August 13, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I over think food photography for sure. I always need to capture my photos (in whatever lighting!!) right after I’m finished cooking/baking because I never know who is going to find them in the meantime and eat them all up. To be honest I’ve kind of given up. I blog for fun and if it ever became a professional gig, I might try to improve my photos, but I figure everyone knows I am an amateur and the recipe is what is more important. I’ve been craving Maple lately, maybe because Lays introduced a Maple chip flavour and it seems to be on the trend for frozen yogurt, so I’m definitely going to try these. And yes.. oatmeal in the form of cookies for breakfast is totally acceptable!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      Breakfast cookie right? I’ve heard about all the crazy new Lays flavours!! Have you tried any? Also I heard TCBY teamed up with silk for some dairy-free froyo…I definitely need to try this out!

      And you’re right, I blog for fun and no one expects me to be a professional! Why in the world do I put so much pressure on myself???

  • Reply
    Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen
    August 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I don’t mind food photography (I’m still new at it), but I actually don’t like creating recipes. I know it sounds silly, but I like to throw random things in a pot and hope for the best. Recipes tend to slow me up, although I want to share what I cook with others, so it’s definitely worth doing! Have a great Tuesday!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      I’m thinking we would make a great team! The Healthy Cookie Dough Maven? Sounds good to me 😉 Hope you have a great Tuesday!!!

  • Reply
    labelsarefortincans
    August 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Oh god I’m really not a fan of food photography! I just don’t have the patience or skill! Haha but I think your photos look pretty great 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      My patience hovers around a 2 on a good day but usually a 0-1. Not my strong-suit…hence my frustration with my camera! Thanks Danielle 🙂

  • Reply
    Louisa [Living Lou]
    August 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I have a love/hate relationship with food photography – I think once you figure out your “style” (which takes lots of trial and error!) it becomes a bit easier. My one tip, use a tripod. Makes things much easier. My favourite food photography book is “Plate to Pixel” by Helene Dujardin. It’s what really helped me “get” food photography.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      Louisa! Thank you!!! Your pictures are stunning! I will definitely look into that book. If my pictures can turn out anything like yours I would be over the moon!

  • Reply
    thelittlehoneybee
    August 13, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Oh my gosh stop the pics still look great. But you know I share the same anxiety… trying to photograph my frittata last night was so annoying and unsuccessful (you’ll see Friday) then it was getting cold…

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      I’m still laughing about our email convo today!!! Nothing worse than being frustrated and hangry (or the other word I use for it…)!

  • Reply
    Sarah Cook
    August 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I completely understand how you feel!! Being a slave to natural light sucks and I also get a ton of anxiety before I shoot something. I love when I am able to take a good picture but the process is SO much work. Trying to fit that much work into my already packed schedule is exhausting!

    Really though, these cookies look awesome! I think you are doing a fantastic job. The composition and the white balance look great. I do see a little bit of “shake” in the pictures which a tripod can work wonders for. Are you using a tripod?

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 13, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Yes! Definitely looked into getting a tripod. My birthday is coming up so I may just have to treat myself 🙂

      Thank you though I appreciate the positive feedback! I love that you called it “being a slave to natural light” because that could not be more true!!! Now if only I quit my day job…

  • Reply
    Alex@Veggin' Out
    August 14, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I think your photos are lovely! So much better than my iPhoto ones… I can definitely tell you put a lot of effort into them! I absolutely love taking pictures, but I also understand just wanting to eat! Sometimes I think I should put a disclaimer on my recipes that I can only testify to my dishes being good cold due to picture-taking. 😉
    I’d love to give these cookies a try! Maple is seriously one of the best flavors ever. And coconut oil is awesome to bake with! Keeps everything moist but adds extra nutrition and a great different flavor dimension. All good in my book! 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 14, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks Alex! Sometimes my iPhone pictures turn out better than my SLR…It’s probably because all other factors are “better” aka I’m more patient lol.

      Maple is one of my favourite flavours too (maybe it’s the canadian in me?). Coconut oil finds it’s way into almost everything I make…and coconut palm sugar. So I guess coconut is one of my favourite flavours too 😉

  • Reply
    Paige Podbelsek
    August 14, 2013 at 3:24 am

    I feel your pain….I have no interest in photography and I literally just can’t get great pictures. I know people can do it with iPhones but I just don’t have the talent. I just cross my fingers and hope that people trust my food tastes way better than the pictures show 🙂 On that note though, I think your pictures are fantastic! ESPECIALLY these cookies!!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Paige I think your pictures are great! Your recipes always sound and look delicious! But thank you for the compliment 🙂 Much appreciated!!!

  • Reply
    Kumar's Kitchen
    August 14, 2013 at 5:16 am

    scrumptious cookies…loved the use of our favorite palm sugar and maple syrup…these look so good…tempts us to make some now and finish off the whole batch in one go,adorable healthy munchies 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you both!!! I’m clearly obsessed with coconut palm sugar (it’s basically in everything I bake!). Go make some! I think I’m gonna have to bake another batch soon since they only lasted 1 day in my house!

  • Reply
    peacelovenutrition
    August 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Yum! I love oatmeal cookies

  • Reply
    *CaNdY FiT*
    August 15, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I never thought I’d take as many food pictures as I do today! lol

    Your pics are great, as are your recipes 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks Kierston! The number of pictures on my iPhone is actually absurd. If I ever lose my phone whoever finds it is going to think I’m some crazy foodie…oh wait, I am a crazy foodie!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    These look so yummy! I was just talking on my blog the other day about how any recipe I make with oatmeal I wind up loving. Oats rock! And btw, your pictures look fabulous. I don’t dislike taking food pictures, I just don’t think I’m that great at it because I’m impatient and just want to eat the food already!!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      August 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Could not agree more!!! Oats never fail to please! I don’t think I could live without them.

  • Reply
    swirlsandspice.com
    August 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Such self control, all in the quest for photos that shine! Great work! I’m looking forward to making these too!

  • Reply
    luvwhatyoudo.net
    August 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I love the look of these cookies! Oatmeal cookies are the BEST!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    March 9, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I so feel your pain. I actually enjoy food photography, but only when everything is going my way. And I’m just like you with the natural light…. it can be such a pain. The cookies look right up my alley!

  • Reply
    Karen
    September 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Made these today. I doubled the recipe to freeze some for school lunches. I also added some cinnamon to the cookies. They are delicious. My 2 year old ran to me yelling more cookies and he still had a mouth full of his first one lol! A keeper that I will make again for sure.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 26, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Hi Maven,
    I just printed out your recipe for Maple Oatmeal Cookies….haven’t tried them yet. As I read over the print-out,
    I notice that the 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce did not print. Just wondering what’s up with that. I will try
    these with the applesauce….hope they turn out. Also wondering if I could increase the maple sugar in place of the
    coconut palm or brown sugar and then how to adjust the dry ingredients. Any suggestions?
    Thanks so much,
    Sarah

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      March 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Sarah! Sorry about that. I’ve fixed it now to include applesauce in the directions. Also feel free to use maple sugar in place of coconut palm sugar. Should be one-to-one. Haven’t tried it myself in this recipe but I’m usually able to swap maple sugar in place of coconut sugar without a problem. Enjoy! -Davida

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