I promised at least one person at the veganism 101 class I attended today that I would post this. It is simplified and scaled down from a recipe by Dreena Burton.
1/2 cup flour (White is the most authentic tasting. Spelt will work. Whole wheat pastry flour is what I usually use. Regular whole wheat is too strongly flavored and will give you health-food tasting cookies)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons canola or other mild-tasting liquid vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup (Agave will work too. I've also used vanilla Torani in a pinch. I was unimpressed by the chocolateyness of the time I tried Hershey's, but they tasted fine.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Handful of chocolate chips. Or white chocolate chips. Or dip the dough balls in spiced sugar for snickerdoodles, if you prefer.
Preheat oven to 350. You can basically dump everything in and mix it with a fork. Form into small balls, about 1- 1 1/2 inches in diameter, place on a lightly greased or parchment covered cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until lightly browned on the edges. (Or eat the dough raw. I don't care). Let sit about 5 minutes before you try to remove them from the sheet.
Variant: Substitute 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon flour and 1/2 cup oatmeal for the 1/2 cup flour, and add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a handful of raisins, dried cranberries, and/or nuts.
Gluten free notes: So I have made these and they have been great using a couple different commercial blends, I think I liked Mama's Almond the best of those. Add an extra tablespoon or so of flour to them. The gluten free mix from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar works even better. For a double batch, use 1/4 cup almond flour, 1/3 cup millet flour, 1/3 cup white rice (sticky or sweet white rice flour is the best), 3 TBS tapioca starch, and 1 TBS flax meal.