Oat-y Apricot Maple Cookies

The beginning of the school year, whether you are in school or not, typically signifies a rapidly waning summer and the beginning of all that we love about autumn: brightly colored, crispy leaves, slowly cooling temperatures, apple orchards abundant with produce and football Sundays.  At least that’s what Illinois had to offer every year growing up.  However, the separation of seasons here in Northern California seems to exist in name only.  Just last week we experienced record-setting temperatures in the 100s and we’re due to hit the mid-90s again by this weekend!  How is this possible?  When Starbucks is advertising their Pumpkin Spice Latte, I’m still craving my iced coffee.

So, in an effort to kick off the fall season, I’ve adapted my vegan chocolate chip cookie to reflect its flavors.  I was inspired by a recipe in my “flourless.” cookbook which called for oats, walnuts, dried apricots and ginger.  After two failed attempts making them gluten-free, this third attempt gets it right, but uses whole wheat flour.  No big deal.  I’m extremely happy with this final batch as these cookies turned out hearty yet chewy, warmed with spices and punctuated with the subtle spice of crystallized ginger.  Oat Maple Cookies

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Bourbon Vanilla-Bean Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Bourbon-Vanilla Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

So this is one of the flavor combinations I was dying to try and I have to say, the result was fabulous.  There’s just a subtle hint of bourbon and it pairs so well with the muscovado sugar.  It adds a depth of flavor that I am really digging right now.  Along with bourbon, we add vanilla.  Now, I meant to add vanilla into the original recipe because, to be honest, I’ve never seen a chocolate chip cookie recipe without it.  However I forgot, so with this version, you can tell the difference.

Again, I do not have celiac disease nor do I live by a gluten-free diet but I do enjoy testing different flours in my baking. When I saw trial packages of Cup4Cup flour on sale at Sprouts Farmers Market, I couldn’t resist. Not only is the flour typically pretty expensive, but it was developed by Chef Lena Kwak of Thomas Keller’s, The French Laundry. Anything related to the French Laundry must be amazing right? I felt I struck gold with this find and promptly bought every bag they had. Each package is 2 cups, which is perfect for me since I will never use up a regular-sized bag of gluten-free flour.

Anyway, my substitutions as follows:

  • 2c Cup4Cup flour (or any GF flour blend)
  • 1/4c sunflower oil
  • 1tbs bourbon
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
  • Smoked Sea Salt for garnish.

All other ingredients remain the same. These do not spread out as much if you freeze them prior to baking, so you may be able to skip this step.

Enjoy!!

{For original recipe, see below}

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

After testing this recipe only once, I will make a bold statement and say this will be my go-to (vegan) chocolate chip cookie recipe from here on out.  They turned out chewy and gooey, packed with melty chocolate and garnished with salt for that extra punch of flavor.  These cookies were demolished in record time and received a thumbs-up from my husband and friends which, to me, are badges of approval.

I made slight substitutions from the original recipe but the base remains in tact, which means they are a perfect canvas for other flavor combinations.  Cinnamon, currants and coconut flakes are just some of the successful variations, though I haven’t attempted them yet.  As much as I love a classic chocolate chip cookie, I’ve got a few more flavor combos that I’m dying to try…updates coming soon!

For now, use this recipe as your base for the best homemade {vegan} chocolate chip cookies!  Yum doesn’t even describe them!

(adapted from Vogue)

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Chocolate-Chip Almond Butter Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

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Disclaimer: these are not breakfast cookies!  Even though they are loaded with two kinds of oats, slightly sweetened with pure maple syrup and chewy from almond butter, they are not meant for breakfast.  So don’t grab one as you pass the cookie jar at 8 a.m. Try not to eat the leftover bits and pieces from the half of a cookie your husband took on his way to work in the morning.  And finally, don’t eat them with your coffee or you may never actually eat a real breakfast again.  Contrary to what I just said, I have probably eaten at least two of these cookies for breakfast everyday since I made them a few days ago.  They’re just so darn good.

Now, I do not have Celiac disease nor do I strictly follow a gluten-free diet, but I do love experimenting with different flours in my baking.  You should see my pantry; it’s kind of obscene.  So, these cookies use a combination of sweet rice flour and buckwheat flour, both of which are necessary for the earthy flavor and delicate texture.  The quick-cooking oats give them some chew while the old-fashioned oats add some substance and the combination of maple syrup with almond butter just always seems to work together. Plus they are studded with chunks of chocolate and topped with flaky salt.  Always top your cookies with flaky salt.

I decided to wait until my husband ate about three of these before I told him they were both vegan and gluten-free…and he still kept eating them!  I will tell you that is a good sign because he doesn’t like me to change up a good thing like a simple chocolate chip cookie.

**Note: Sweet rice flour is more of a specialty flour that is not easily substituted.  It’s made from a variety of “sticky rice” that lends itself well to gluten-free baking due to its superb binding qualities and high starch content.**

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup sweet rice flour
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats + an extra handful for the tops
  • ½ cup quick-cooking {baby} oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt {¼ tsp if almond butter is salted}
  • ½ tsp cardamom
    • I love this using this spice and it always adds a unique flavor, however feel free to leave it out if it’s not available
  • 1 cup smooth, unsalted almond butter
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbs 100% pure maple syrup
  • 6 tbs coconut oil, melted & cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups coarsly chopped bittersweet chocolate {I prefer 65-70%} + extra chunks for the tops
  • flaky sea salt, for the tops

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two to three baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sweet rice and buckwheat flours, old-fashioned and baby oats, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, stir together almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined with a wooden spoon. Then stir vigorously for about 20 seconds to help create a chewier texture. Stir in the chocolate.

Form the dough in to 1 ½ inch balls and place at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets.  I topped each cookie with flaky salt, some oats and a chunk or two of chocolate.

Bake the cookies, rotating the pans from front to back after five minutes, until the cookies are puffed and slightly cracked on top, set around the sides, 10-12 minutes.  Cool on pan for at least five minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. They will be soft and seem undone at first but will firm as they cool.

Will keep for about three days in an airtight container– if they last that long!

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{not changed a bit from The Bojon Gourmet}