Sunday, June 9, 2013

Vegan and Gluten Free Apple Almond Butter Cookies for a "Free" #SundaySupper

Even if I had never gotten into "nutrition" as an education/career path, I think I probably would have still fallen in love with the challenge of specialty cooking. I hate watching people struggle with anything (which makes seeing their eventual successes so incredibly rewarding), especially when it comes to something that should be as basic as eating a delicious, wholesome meal three times a day.

Growing up, I knew two people with celiac (a mostly foreign entity back then) and two others who were vegan - and looked at by most people (including me, I'm ashamed to say) as "strange hippies". Specialty food ten years ago was really restricted to the one tiny health food store in the tri-city district, and was comprised of rice-flour bricks labelled "bread", blocks of gelatinous plain tofu, prunes, frozen spinach, dried beans and brown rice. No quinoa, no fancy flours, milk alternatives or gluten free delights like you can find in most "normal" groceries today. Although I never thought at the time that I would become one of the people reliant on many of these modified foods, I'm grateful that by the time I did fall ill with all my GI woes and allergies the world had made great strides towards embracing alternate diets (whether for medical, moral or religious reasons). After years of experimenting in both the "normal" and the "special" baking worlds, I love the challenge of creating safe and delicious fare for everyone to enjoy regardless of their restrictions.  

This #SundaySupper is all about embracing foods that bring "freedom" to the lives and palates of those we share the table with. Whether the need is to fulfill a moral or religious belief, to avoid allergens, or control a pre-existing condition like gout or diabetes, our recipes aim to be gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free, nut-free, sugar-free, or a combination thereof. This event is being hosted by Beate of The Not So Cheesy Kitchen. Thanks Beate!

Breakfast
  • Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Nut & Soy Free Brown Rice Breakfast Pudding by girlichef
  • Dairy & Nut and Sugar Free Blueberry Tangerine Muffins by Vintage Kitchen
  • Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Nut, and Soy Free Homemade Mango Jam Recipe by Masala Herb

Main Courses

Sides

Breads

Treats

Drinks

We would love to have you join our Twitter #SundaySupper chat party starting tonight at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag all day to see the amazing recipes and join the conversation - don't forget to include the hashtag in your tweets as well! Also be sure to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and photos.

My cookies come by way of a series of alterations. Beginning with a recipe from The Tolerant Vegan, Jesicakes did some of the work making these nutty, fruity cookies gluten free. I tweaked her version a little further based on her experiences to come up with these!  While the apple adds a heavy dose of moisture, it also creates very tender, very soft cookies that don't travel well, even after a double-baking process like the one I did. They do make good “bar” cookies as well, which travel better for those potluck BBQ parties, but if you're making them for the family who cares - they taste so good that they won't make it past the kitchen door!

Vegan and Gluten Free Apple Almond Butter Cookies

Vegan and Gluten Free Apple Almond Butter Cookies
Recipe adapted from The Tolerant Vegan and Jesicakes
Makes 30 cookies
1 tbsp Homemade Egg Replacer (or 2 eggs)
¼ cup warm water
1 cup brown rice flour
½ cup chickpea flour
½ tsp guar gum
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
½ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
½ cup smooth almond butter(well stirred, preferably unsweetened)
½ cup Demerara sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp gluten free vanilla
2 tbsp Courvoisier (or other GF cognac)
½ cup finely chopped almonds
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced (I used Granny Smith)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. In a small dish, whisk together egg replacer and water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, chickpea flour, guar gum, baking soda, salt cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together shortening, almond butter, sugars, vanilla and Courvoisier.
  5. Add dry ingredients, beating well, then fold in the almonds and apple pieces.
  6. Roll the cookies into balls and place on lined cookie sheets. With wet fingers, press them down slightly to flatten.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool on the tray for 30 minutes.
  8. Lower the oven temperature to 350˚F.
  9. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes longer.
  10. Cool on the sheet.

*This also makes good “bar” cookies (which travel better!) - press the dough into an 8” pan and bake @ 350˚F for 35 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 120.4
Total Fat: 7.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.9 mg
Total Carbs: 13.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 1.8 g