Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Perfect Snack

Everybody needs something sweet in their day – especially, well, everyone! Even if you don’t have a bona fide sweet tooth, it’s hard to pass up a little nibble when you’re stressed out or simply needing a break from the doldrums of daily life. I know my mom keeps a little cache of my trademark “snacky mix” (which will be in one of my recipe booklets that I’m releasing for sale as part of my consulting business) in her desk at work to curb the cravings for a muffin or mocha from the cafeteria, and I personally like to cap off my dinner meals with a little something sweet. Whether it’s fruit or chocolate, it helps add something to look forward to!

I’ve been working diligently on honing my gluten-free, vegan baking skills these days, since with my cache of flours and starches I have no reason not to! Being the chocolate freak that I am, it seemed logical to make some rich, dark, gluten free cookies, so I put some feelers out for a decent recipe that wouldn’t make a ton and was also free of dairy, eggs and nuts. Lucky for anyone who’s a gluten-free or generally allergy-free eater, Karina had a recipe for “Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Chips” up recently on her blog and though I took a few small liberties with the flours and starches, and flung in some dried cranberries and flax, I kept her method the same and was so pleased with the result that I brought them into school to get a sense of what people (both those used to GF baking and not) thought. Since they disappeared, along with my copies of the recipe I put out alongside it, I figure that it’s a win!

I actually did get such a good response from those who tried them that I really branched out and made some variations – which I will share, but later! One of them is not vegan, containing browned butter and butterscotch chips (with ground pecans!) but the other one is, a chocolate-hazelnut beauty with ground filberts and chocolate chips for good measure. So thanks Karina!! I can’t wait to keep on baking!

Perfectly Free Double Chocolate Cookies
Makes 25
½ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup quinoa flour
¼ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup millet flour
¼ cup tapioca starch
¼ cup sweet rice flour
pinch nutmeg
½ cup cocoa
2 tsp guar gum
1 tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
¼ cup warm water
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla
½ cup plain, low fat soy milk
½ cup miniature dark chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cranberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flours through baking powder). Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat together flaxseed and water, then add sugars, oil, vanilla, and soy milk.
  4. Add the dry ingredients.
  5. As you beat the dough pay close attention to the consistency – add liquid until you achieve a smooth but sturdy dough.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries until combined (the dough is stiff).
  7. Place 2" apart on lined sheets and flatten slightly.
  8. Bake 12 minutes (they will still be slightly soft).
  9. Cool on the sheets 15 minutes, then move to a wire rack.
  10. The cookies will get crisper as they cool.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 129.8
Total Fat: 4.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 5.2 mg
Total Carbs: 23.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
Protein: 1.9 g