Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Tea Cakes {vegan/gluten-free}

Get these cookies away from me. I have eaten so many of these that I'm not sure when I'll be able to make them again. That being said, they are delicious. They aren't quite a cookie, so I've started calling them "tea cakes" which I'm not sure is an appropriate name, but hey, I'll run with it. As the name "tea cakes" implies, they are very cakey and soft, instead of crisp or chewy like most cookies. The flavor is akin to a good pumpkin bread and, dare I be this cheesey?; harkens the fall. That's right, it's officially fall. Now go make some tea cakes.

2 1/2 c. gluten-free baking blend (I used a mixture of tapioca starch, potato starch, sorghum flour, white rice flour, oat flour, and garfava flour).
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. all spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
A pinch of salt

1/2 c. Earth Balance, melted
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
1 tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 Tbsp water
1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 c. Earth Balance, Softened
1/4 C. Tofutti Cream Cheese, softened
2 c. confectioners sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients
In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
Add the dry mixture to the wet, being careful not to overmix.

Drop scoops of dough on prepared baking sheets using a rounded scoop. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. Cool completely.

Beat together Earth Balance and Tofutti cream cheese until combined. Add the sifted confectioner's sugar slowly until smooth. Frost tops of cooled cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (vegan/gluten-free)

How many months has it been??? A relocation (for those of you unaware, I moved to New York), a new job, and a bunch of other significant changes have occupied my time as of late. However, the main reason behind my lack of posts has been the fact that summer in NYC has been HOT (and not just in Paris Hilton sense of the word). Apparently this is the hottest summer they have on record for New York. As it's generally been in the 90's and air conditioning is a luxury I can only afford in my room, turning on the oven makes my kitchen feel like the 7th circle of hell. Thus, cooking has been somewhat of a rarity in my apartment. However, I recently got back from a trip to the Pacific Northwest and for some reason, New York decided it was suddenly going to be fall. Let the cooking begin.

In Portland and Seattle I was able to sample a bunch of different baked goods from various vegan/gluten-free bakeries. Unfortunately, most were sub-par. As I have recently been craving a good cookie, I decided I would fire up the oven and bake some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Outside of some (delicious) vegan/gluten-free ice cream sandwiches I had been making this summer, I haven't baked many vegan cookies, so I thought I'd play around a bit. I worked with this recipe and I have to say, it turned out amazingly. I tested them on a non-vegan/non-gf friend and got rave reviews. She hadn't eaten all day and was starving...but still. Rave reviews.

2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used this breakdown: 1/2 c. tapioca starch, 1/2 c. oat flour, 1/4 c. sweet sorghum flour, 1/4 c. white rice flour, 1/4 c.potato starch, 1/4 c. bob's red mill baking blend (or just use another 1/4 c of something else))
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted vegan margarine
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 TBS ground flaxseed whisked with 6-8 TBS water (I added a bit more than 6tbs because the mixture was a bit too thick...)
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups (almost 1 bag) Dark/bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli Semi-sweet)
Sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

On medium speed, cream together the margarine, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the flaxseed mixture and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Using a large spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

Using two tablespoons, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Lightly sprinkle each cookie with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet or a cooling rack and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.