Among the cards I have in my wallet there is one that I really appreciate having: the Edmonton Public Library card. On its purple shiny cover it recites: "This card makes you smart" and I do believe so. I've always been an avid reader, since I was a small child. I started reading when I was 5 years old and I don't remember not having a book around me. I love books, I love their paper smell, love the covers, the written pages, the spine...yes, I am a bookworm 🙂 . I haven't been awestruck by the new reading technology, e-books and so on. I am a sentimentalist and I keep every book that I buy and read. Not only, my husband and friends they know about my passion, so what a better present -highly appreciated- than a book for me? You can easily imagine how things were getting a little out of hand with my possession of books. My only help was that I could spread my possession among different houses: my parents' house, my house in Rome and here in Edmonton.
When a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go with her to the local library and then asked me if had a library card, I stared at her dumbfounded and mumbled "err, no...". I had never thought of that until that moment, being so used to the idea of buying all my books. I followed her into the library, got my brand new card and since then I have been a frequent affectionate visitor. In one of my last trip, I got "Home Cooking" by Laurie Colwin and a recipe book that caught my attention: "Flying Apron's - Gluten-free & Vegan Baking Book" by Jennifer Katzinger. I brought them home with me, started reading "Home Cooking" (lovely!) and thinking of which vegan recipes I was going to try.
I started with a classic: "Chocolate Chip Cookies". In my defense I have to say that I wanted to make them right away and I didn't have all the ingredients, of course, so they turned out a little different from the original, but still very very good.
The differences: I used a dark chocolate bar that I hand shaved instead of using chocolate chips (I do that often);
I didn't make the cookies gluten-free, because I uesed kamut flour to replace the garbanzo bean flour (that I didn't have). The cookies are still vegan, though;
I replaced the rice milk (that I tasted once and didn't like, the reason being too sweet for my taste) with coconut milk;
I replaced the organic whole cane sugar with organic coconut sugar (that is what I had in my pantry).
You feel free to follow her recipe at the letter, I am going to, next time I make them. And I am going to make them again for sure!
The batter is super easy to make, smells wonderful and it has the right consistency. The ice cream scoop helps you create the same -more or less- exact shape and size.
I did 2 batches: in the first one I didn't press the cookie dough with a fork (she didn't mention that in her directions) so they turned out puffy and ball shaped 🙂 . In the second batch I pressed them down with a fork and the result is more similar to the regular chocolate chip cookies. The taste doesn't change anyway...yummy!
I followed her suggestion to sprinkle them with cocoa powder when they're just out of the oven. They look prettier and the cocoa powder blends well with the other ingredients.
As you can see from the following pictures, I found, hidden in the back of my pantry upper shelf, some dark chocolate chips. Too late to use them in the recipe, perfect for the shots 😉 .
I've been making vegan baked goods from quite some time, now, and I must say I love them! After I took that Vegan baking course in Rome last march, my love has grown even more. These cookies are soft and crumbly at the same time, not extremely sweet, with a crunch from the walnuts and the sweet bitterness of the dark chocolate chip and cocoa powder dusting on top. Definitely a healthier, yet delectable version of everybody's favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies.
From a recipe found in "Flying Apron's - Gluten-free & Vegan Baking Book" by Jennifer Katzinger.
A little update: I made these cookies a few more times after this post following the original recipe that called for chickpea flour. The result is a lighter color and texture, less sweet and dense than when I used kamut flour. They are extremely good and a crowd pleaser.Print
- 2 and ¾ cups brown rice flour
- 1 and ½ cups + 1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour (also called chickpea flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ taspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup organic whole cane sugar
- 1 taspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup rice milk
- 1 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- cocoa powder, for dusting the cookies at the end (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Combine the brown rice flour, garbanzo bean flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer combine the canola oil, organic whole can sugar and vanilla until well mxed.
- With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture and the rice milk alternately, a little at a time, until smooth (about 3 minutes).
- Stir in the chocolate chips and the optional nuts.
- Scoop the dough onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheets with an ice cream scoop.
- Bake until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch, about 17 minutes.
- For a fancy look, dust the cookies with cocoa powder while they are still hot.
In my version I used kamut flour to replace the garbanzo bean flour I didn't have (that makes the cookies vegan but NOT gluten-free). I also replaced the rice milk with coconut milk and hand shaved a dark chocolate bar instead of using chocolate chips. The result is amazing anyway!