Friday, May 13, 2011

Two For the Show

Considering my previous success with the gluten free chocolate-cranberry cookies I adapted from Karina's  blog, I decided to see what other goodies my pantry could give me. I definitely had the stuff to use, and (for once) the people to eat them, so it was really up to me to see what flavour combinations I could pull out of my hat.

My first “cookie monsters” to get the latest batch of my baking experimentation were the awesome practitioners at my acupuncture clinic. The last time I came in, I had brought muffins which, although vegan and whole grain, were not gluten free. I hadn’t realized that there was someone on staff who actually had celiac disease, since before he had only mentioned that he was avoiding wheat for a cleanse (little did he know I had a nutrition background and passion for challenge!), but when my acupuncturist Goesha told me I knew that some form of these babies would be coming along next time. So when my appointment was coming up, I jumped at the chance to make a rich, ground pecan and butterscotch cookie riddled with butterscotch chips, laced with butterscotch extract and with a good hit of browned butter. I have always wanted to try browning butter, it’s been a nervous obsession of mine along with making candy and caramel – all because of the hot liquid burning tendency (I also refuse to shallow or deep-fry – not just for my health but for my skin!). After a nasty scald with hot oil in an elementary school Home Ec class I’ve been a wee bit leery of anything at a bubble, snap or pop.

Luckily the fellow wasn’t vegan as well that time – though I’m sure you could come up with suitable substitutes for the chips and butter. I only used soy milk in this one because I had just that amount of a container left, otherwise I probably would have used the 1% in our fridge (or thanks to Mother’s Day’s festivities 18% cream!). The flavour oil I used is both vegan and gluten free, however!

While they’re not “chewy” or “crumbly” or “cakey”, they are definitely a cookie. And the smell while they were baking, thanks to all the brown butter goodness, the chips, the sugar and the super-strong flavouring oil?? Come on!

Gluten-Free Butterscotch - Pecan Cookies
Makes 16
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup white rice flour
¼ cup teff flour
¼ cup chickpea flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup ground pecans
2 tsp guar gum
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup butter, browned and cooled slightly
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
¼ tsp pure stevia powder
1 dram (1 small bottle) LorAnn Oils butterscotch flavouring
½ cup plain, low fat soy milk
½ cup butterscotch chips
  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 butter, sugars, stevia, flavouring 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 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: 225.8
Total Fat: 10.7 g
Cholesterol: 10.2 mg
Sodium: 39.1 mg
Total Carbs: 31.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
Protein: 2.6 g

But these – ooooh these – well, let me just say they’re probably my favourite current child. Gluten, dairy and corn free for a client of mine with those allergies, it uses ground filberts and Frangelico for a luxurious kiss of flavour. And if you are a Nutella-ish fanatic of any kind (or love the thought of rich nuts and dark chocolate in a passionate embrace), these are for you – GF or not. These babies are back on the vegan track, but are so rich and indulgent that even die-hard butter and egg lovers will fall head over heels. And if they don’t? Well, more for you, I say!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Makes 16
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup quinoa flour
¼ cup millet flour
½ cup sweet rice flour
½ cup ground hazelnuts
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp guar gum
1 tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/3 cup warm water
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
¼ tsp pure stevia powder
1/3 cup oil
2 tbsp Frangelico
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/3 cup miniature dark chocolate chips
  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, stevia, oil, Frangelico, and almond 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 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: 194.9
Total Fat: 7.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 9.5 mg
Total Carbs: 30.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.9 g
Protein: 2.7 g