Oatmeal cookie makeover.
Annie has been asking me to create a GF/CF substitute for her childhood favorite, oatmeal cookies. We made a lot of cookies when my kids were growing up. I used to have three little helpers in the kitchen when I baked, eager to get their hands in the dough to roll it into balls and sneak little samples. Three sets of cookie monster eyes would check the cookies a hundred times as they baked, turning on the oven light over and over, peering in to see the magic. They took turns with the important job of moving the cookies from the baking sheet to the cooling rack, wielding the spatula (which minutes before was a light saber) like pros. Those were the days of butter, milk, and wheat. And oatmeal. Annie now can't have any of it.
Oats themselves do not contain gluten, but because of cross-contamination issues in both the farming and processing of oats, they are not considered gluten-free. Some companies market gluten-free oats but we don't want to take any chances, so we avoid them completely. Using my tried and true recipe for oatmeal cookies, quinoa flakes were substituted for the oats, GF flours for the wheat flour, organic shortening for the butter, and hemp milk for the dairy milk. I decided that as long as I was at it, I would eliminate the eggs as well. Eggs provide leavening, some fat, and some liquid. So, I left out the egg and just added more leavening, more liquid, and more fat. Now they are vegan. The cookies had to have some interesting textures and flavors, so dates and walnuts were added.
Success, both in flavor and texture. This one's a keeper.
GF/CF Quinoa Date Nut Cookies (vegan)
Forget oatmeal cookies. Forever.
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup potato starch
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup organic shortening (I like Spectrum)
1/2 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
2 tbsp hemp milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 tsp GF vanilla
1 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350º. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the first seven dry ingredients. Whisk to combine thoroughly, set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugars with shortening, cream with a hand mixer. Add milk, oil, and vanilla, beat on low speed until creamy. Add the flour mixture in two stages, mixing to combine. By hand, stir in quinoa flakes, dates and walnuts.
3. Roll the dough into one-inch balls, and place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Press the dough balls slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just starting to turn color around the edges. The center will look doughy in the cracks, but they will continue to bake as they cool.
3. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for five minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. The cookies will stay fresh (covered) for a day. If they are around longer than a day, they should be stored well wrapped in the freezer.
Makes 20 - 24 cookies.
Tip: To avoid a whole sheet of too-flat or too-round cookies, bake two test cookies first so that you will know exactly how far to press the dough.