Grain Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is one of my favorite recipes…these cookies take about 15 minutes to make, they only have a few ingredients, and everyone always loves them. My coworkers and friends swear that I’m such a talented baker, and beg me to bring more. (Little do they know how easy these are to make. Once they read this recipe, my gig will be up.)

This recipe comes from a blog called Elana’s Pantry. Elana specializes in baking with almond flour, which was my best discovery for gluten-free baking. It makes baked goods moist, soft, rich and wonderful. I love her recipe books, “The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook” and “Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour.”

Gluten Free Cupcakes

Gluten Free Baking with Almond Flour

I have experimented with a few variations to this recipe….there are some fun superfood ingredients you can add. My new favorite is Mesquite Powder. That may sound strange, since we think of mesquite and bbq, but the mesquite root is actually quite sweet. It has a flavor reminiscent of cinnamon and nutmeg, and is chock full of nutrients.

So check out these variations, and let me know if you have come up with any of your own experiments.

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour*
  • ¼ teaspoon sea saltGrain Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey*
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    *Please see below for variations on these ingredients.
  1. Combine almond flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl or food processor.
  2. If using a food processor, pulse in shortening, honey and vanilla until dough forms. If you don’t have a food processor, simply use a whisk to combine ingredients until they form a dough.
  3. Stir if chocolate chips. (If using processor, remove blade and stir in chocolate by hand).
  4. Scoop dough one level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  5. Press balls of dough down gently
  6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes
  7. Cool for 15 minutes (do not handle prior or cookies will break)
  8. Serve

Makes 18 cookies

**Variations:

  • Replace 2 tbsp almond flour with 2 tbsp Mesquite Powder.
  • If trying to reduce sugar, replace 1 tbsp of honey with 1 tbsp Yacon Syrup.
  • If you don’t have Yacon Syrup, try replacing 1 TBSP of honey with 1 tbsp of coconut oil, then add 6-10 packets of xylitol or stevia.
  • If you need some carbohydrates for a pre-workout snack, replace 1/4 cup almond flour with 1/4 cup brown rice flour. Then add an additional 2 tsp of oil.

Although coconut oil is my favorite for baking, you can also use: Palm Shortening, Olive Oil, or any other oil you have.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

I LOVE red velvet cupcakes, but I was hard-pressed to find a recipe that didn’t use fake red dye. I’ve read that the original recipe is supposed to use beets. I have something to admit…I don’t like beets. So, I modified a recipe to use red fruit instead! I have something else to confess…they aren’t very bright red. There’s a whole complication with using special, non-acidic ingredients, and I don’t always have the patience for such things. So, I chose taste over color! The cupcakes still have a nice tint to them, and I will probably post an updated recipe when I discover an easier way to create red baked goods.

(If you really love red cupcakes and want to see the original gf recipe that included red dye, and more sugar than I like to use, you can find the recipe here.)

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 c. coconut oil (or vegan shortening/olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup blended cherries or strawberries
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • Stevia or Xylitol, 1-4 tbsp (optional) Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcake
  • 2 eggs, beaten (room temp)
  • 1 and 1/4 c. brown rice flour
  • 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 3/4 c. tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. flax meal (or xanthum gum)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. dairy free “buttermilk” (1 Tbsp cider vinegar mixed with 1 c. milk substitute)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut cream (Not coconut milk, coconut cream. If you don’t have access to coconut cream, see direction below.)
  • 1/4 c agave necter/honey/yacon syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Frosting Instructions:
(Make the frosting first, since it needs to sit in the refrigerator).

1. Take a can of coconut cream, and scoop it into a bowl. Make sure you only get the thick cream, don’t mix in any liquid. Whisk in the sweetener and vanilla until blended.

**If you only have access to coconut milk, you can still make the dairy free custard. You just at least 3 cans of FULL FAT coconut milk. The cream will rise to the top, so when you open the can, scoop out the more solid cream. Leave the liquid, and save it for another recipe. Do this with all 3 cans, and you should have enough cream to frost the cupcakes.

2. Using a electric blender, beat the coconut cream until well blended, and it forms little peaks.

3. Put it in the refrigerator. The longer it cools the better, as it will form a thick, custard like consistency. (It will melt when heated, so do not frost warm cupcakes.)

Baking Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Red Velvet Cupcake2. Use an electric mixer to cream the oil, sugar, vanilla stevia and blended fruit.  With the mixer still going, add one egg at a time and beat until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated. (This step creates an emulsion that holds the batter together)

3. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (including cocoa).  Make sure they are well mixed. I usually whisk the flours, but it’s even better if you can sift them.

4. Add the flour to the wet mixture in 3-4 parts. Alternate the flour with the “buttermilk” (almond milk and apple cider vinegar). You should begin and end with dry ingredients, and make sure to mix in everything completely before you add the next part. (If you were to start with the liquids the emulsion would break.)Silicone Baking Cups

6. Pour the batter into a greased cupcake tin. (Or, you can use silicone cupcake molds. I like them better. They take up less storage space, they’re easier to get the cupcakes out whole, and you don’t usually need to grease them.) Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 25-30 minutes. (If it’s done, a toothpick stuck into the middle of a cupcake should come out clean.)

7. The each cupcake has cooled completely, frost with Coconut Cream Frosting.

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcake