Yes, you read the title right, these cookies are both gluten-free as well as vegan. No, they aren’t hard or brittle or taste like dirt, either. In fact, I tested these out on a good dozen people and no one was able to tell that they weren’t a normal, everyday, chocolate chip cookie. Check out the photo below. Do these look any different than your standard wheat, eggs and milk cookies:
Now are you interested? It involves a few oddball things and a bit of science, but don’t let that scare you off! Let’s first go through the ingredients:
- 8 oz Earth Balance Sticks
- 11 oz Brown Rice Flour
- 1 1/4 oz Cornstarch
- 1/2 oz Tapioca Flour
- 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 2 oz White Sugar
- 7 oz Brown Sugar
- 1 oz Pomegranate Molasses
- 1/2 oz Vanilla Soy Milk
- 8 oz Butternut Squash Puree
- 12 oz Vegan Chocolate Chips
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Almond Extract (divided)
- 1/2 tsp Coriander
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Allspice
- 1/4 tsp Ginger (powdered)
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
Right away I’m sure you’ll notice the Xanthan Gum, as it isn’t something most everyone has in their pantry. Now, Xanthan Gum is actually just a byproduct of the fermentation of glucose/sucrose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium and it has a pretty cool property: It thickens things up. In dressings and ice cream it adds to mouthfeel, but in cookies it (along with the different starches) help create a chewy texture that the gluten usually provides. The other weird ingredient is the Butternut squash puree. This actually replaces the eggs and some of the milk that would be in the normal cookies. By reducing the puree it will get rid of the moisture in the squash, but help aid in the texture. Weird, but it totally works. One fair warning, though, the Xanthan gum may be a little pricey, but a little goes a long way, so don’t worry too much about it.
- Add squash, 1/2 tsp Almond Extract and spices to a pot.
- Reduce the squash mixture down until it reaches 3 oz (at this point it’ll resemble very thick mashed potatoes). This is a little over half and you’ll want to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. When it is done, remove from heat and cool.
- When cool, whisk with the soy milk, vanilla and remaining almond extract.
- Sift the Baking Powder, Xanthan Gum, Corn Starch, Cinnamon and Flours together. Set aside.
- Melt the Earth Balance Sticks and cool.
- Stir together sugars and molasses in a large bowl. Add butter and cream for 4 minutes on medium.
- Switch to low, add squash mixture. Mix another 30 seconds, until well blended.
- Add in flour mixture in 3 parts and mix until well blended.
- Stir in chips (try not to eat too many).
- Chill the dough for at least one hour.
- Place oven rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 375°F.
- Weigh out 1 oz clumps of dough and roll into balls. Bake only 8 to a sheet.
- Bake cookies for 8 minutes, rotate pan, and bake another 8 minutes.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- Eat and enjoy!
That’s it! I find that they are most pleasing at room temperature, rather than fresh out of the stove, but that may just be me. If you try this or alter it, please post your comments as I want to know how they turned out!!