Monday, April 19, 2010
See the happy cookie?
Just like the title of the post says, these cookies are gluten free, sugar free, and vegan. Super healthy, mega tasty, no guilt- cookies.
They most certainly are not fructose free though. At all. They're quite the opposite actually. So while these healthy oatmeal raisin cookies are a dream come true for my babies (and yours too if you make them), they're my worst nightmare. I couldn't lick my fingers, I couldn't sample the waters of sweetness, I had to hold my breath while mixing and trust my gut instinct that they'd turn out alright.
And to my happy surprise, they turned out perfectly, so says the little ones and their Daddy (and I believe them, since I drilled them on taste and texture until I could practically taste them myself).
This morning as I was lounging on the couch, suffering from another cold dreary day, the idea of baking cookies came into mind. Boring ol' chocolate chip simply wouldn't do, and since we ran out of eggs yesterday, whatever we mixed together with our wooden spoons, would have to be vegan. I opened the fridge and stared with uncertainty at our sad display of ingredients. In the end, I wound up pulling out everything that I was allergic to, that would in no other way get used up. While doing so, I ended up tossing out a few things that had expired (I think they were walnuts and macadamia nuts), but for the most part, everything was still good, and begging to be dumped out into a bowl and eventually heated to a crisp.
I rallied the troops, armed them with plastic bowls and silicone spatulas, and together we tore apart the kitchen.
-1 cup gluten free oats (we use Bob's Red Mill)
-1 cup chopped hazelnuts (or walnuts, or almonds, or maybe even peanuts?)
-2/3 cup unsweetened coconut
-1 1/3 cup brown rice flour
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-pinch xanthan gum
-2 teaspoons cinnamon
-1 cup raisins
-1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not the cheap stuff, folks)
-1/4 cup apple juice (we keep simply apple on hand)
-1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
-2 tsp gluten free vanilla
Preheat your oven to the usual 350.
Spread out your coconut, nuts, and oats on a baking sheet. When oven is ready, slide them in, set the timer for 6 minutes. When it beeps, pull the pan out, use a flat metal spatula to scoop off the coconut, and put it into your food processor or dry vita mix container. Give the oats and nuts a stir, then stick them back into the oven for another 4 or 5 minutes. I pulled mine out at 4.
While your nuts and oats are in the oven toasting, soak your raisins in a bowl full of water. I saw this trick on a Food Network episode of Paula Dean once, and now that we've tried it, we'll never go back to using dry raisins again.
After you've pulled your nuts and oats from the oven, take about half of them, and add them to your coconut in the blender. Blend into a nice flour. It doesn't matter if things are uniform in texture, grind it down as best you can. After the first half is ground up to your liking, blend up the second half.
Pour it all into a bowl.
Add your brown rice flour, cinnamon, xanthan gum, and sea salt. Use a whisk to mix.
Now, mix in your maple syrup, apple juice, Earth Balance, and vanilla. Drain your raisins and stir those in as well.
Grab a helper, if you haven't already, sit down at a table (or if you're us, right there on the nice clean floors) stir stir stir your dough, and then scoop it onto the cookie sheet using a small ice cream scooper or a regular ol' kitchen spoon.
Use the back of a spoon, or your fingers, and smush the cookie down a bit. It should like this.
Put that helper of yours to work, and get to baking! We filled up 2 cookie sheets (lined with parchment paper), and then had a little bit leftover. Since this mix is vegan, its safe to eat raw. I split the remaining dough between my hungry babies, gave them each a bowl and spoon of their own, and let them have it.
Bake your cookies for approximately 15 minutes.
When they're all finished, pull them out and let them cool right there on the pan for a minute or so, and then move them to a cooling rack. In the end, they should look something like that right there.
Load them into an airtight container, slide them into the fridge or freezer, and enjoy the way your house smells! Oh, and don't forget to thank your helper with a fresh warm cookie as payment, hee.