Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vegan Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies

Makes 3-1/2 dozen

Our baking day at Against The Grain runs from 5AM until 9PM, five days a week. Sometimes, due to snowstorms or holidays or just to keep up with demand, we need to run a voluntary Saturday shift. It isn’t easy for anyone to give up his or her Saturday after a 40-hour week of hard work. I try to make it a tad more pleasant by baking something special for the crew (and they are always good sports about being guinea pigs for my endless creations!) As you might expect in a bakery, especially a gluten free bakery that works with fresh ingredients, our staff is populated by health-conscious foodies as well as individuals with various dietary restrictions. To meet everyone’s needs, I developed my first vegan chocolate chip cookie. This grain-free, gum-free, and nut-free cookie is soft and tender, a tad chewy, and melts in your mouth--you’ll wonder whether you are nibbling on a brownie or a cookie. The combination of coconut, light buckwheat, and tapioca gives it an excellent crumb, and the acidity in the cocoa and molasses interacts with the baking powder to give the cookie a light rise. Made in a food processor, this is a versatile cookie dough that can be prepared in minutes, made into cookies, or frozen into logs for later use and then sliced to bake.

½ cup palm oil
½ cup packed brown sugar (100g)
¼ cup white sugar (50g)
¼ cup molasses
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup coconut flour (30g)
1 ½ cups (180g) light buckwheat flour
½ cup (70g) tapioca starch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 to 5 tablespoons water
175g soy-free chocolate chips (such as Equal Exchange Semi-Sweet)

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the oil, brown sugar, white sugar, and molasses in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the salt, coconut flour, light buckwheat flour, tapioca starch, cinnamon, and cocoa powder and blend until full mixed. The dough will be crumbly. Blend in the vanilla and baking soda; then add the water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Transfer the dough to a medium bowl and mix in the chocolate chips by hand. Form the dough into 1-inch balls separated by about an inch-and-half and flatten the balls until each cookie is about ¼ to 3/8-inch thick. The unbaked cookie will be about 1-3/4 to 2 inches in diameter. Bake for 10 minutes until set. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. The cookies will be tender and will continue to set as they cool.

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