The Cuisinart Food Processor giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered, and Congrats to our winner, Carolyn. But here’s the deal. It’s the season of giving, and as I mentioned before, I’m in a giving mood. I also realize that posting a vegan eggnog ice cream recipe was a tease for those who are without the tools to make it (i.e. an ice cream machine), which is why I’m following up my first-ever giveaway with another one: a Cuisiart Ice Cream Maker (from Sur La Table) in the color of your choosing. And just to whet your appetite, here are some vegan ice cream recipes that you can look forward to making if you win. Actually, I wish I were Oprah and had the ability to give away one of these babies to all of my awesome readers. Because this really is one of my favorite things. But alas, I am not even currently employed, let alone a billionaire. Sigh…To enter, please leave a comment on this post. Specifically, I would love to hear your favorite holiday treat or memory, or just say hello! This giveaway will close on Tuesday December 21st at 4 p.m. While it will likely not arrive in time for holiday gift-giving, you will have a new kitchen tool to start your 2011 off on the right foot (if you’re resolutioning, you can just make this or this). As always, all winners will be chosen at random (I number all comments and choose a number randomly through random.org).
Anyways, onto the cookies. So, I know that Christmas is not too far away and that around this time of year, if you’re going to be posting a cookie recipe, it better be one for the holidays. I guess you could say I was feeling rather uninspired (read: lazy) this year, because the best I could come up with was to take a chocolate chip cookie recipe and add some mint flavor. But to be fair, one of my earliest holiday season food memories was my mom’s obsession with peppermint ice cream — a seasonal, otherwise unavailable winter treat. Now as a result — despite the fact that my mom is now on a strict no sugar, no dairy diet and would probably deny that she was ever obsessed with an ice cream you can buy at a non-health food store (for the record, she was, along with Coldstone’s Cake Batter ice cream. Don’t tell her I told you) — I will always and forever associate the month of December with peppermint and ice cream. Hence, the mint in the cookies. Hence, the ice cream recipe in December (see: previous post).
Still, I know that mint in cookies is not everyone’s thing (though I can’t imagine why). As a result, I will tell you that you can make a perfectly regular, good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie (sans mint) by swapping in two teaspoons vanilla extract for the mint flavor.
For those looking for some cookies that scream “holiday,” I’ve compiled a rough list of some gluten-free, vegan cookies recipes from my fellow bloggers below. I’d love to see more, so if you have a holiday-ish cookie recipe on your blog, let me know and I’ll add it to the list!
Holiday Cookie Recipes:
I made two versions of these cookies. One batch is sweetened with agave nectar and the other with yacon syrup. I prefer the yacon-sweetened cookies, as they got really thin and crisp and make the perfect vehicle for an ice cream sandwich (bonus! see below). But the agave-sweetened version is good, too, albeit a bit more thick. Given their thickness, you’d think they’d be of the soft and chewy variety. But alas, they are not. I did actually try undercooking one batch to see their potential for chewiness. They were decidedly not chewy in the traditional sense, but turned out more cakey and sort of stuck to the teeth in a weird way. When cooked fully, however, they turn into crisp little morsels that are totally yummy. So, I suggest you refrain from a foray into the undercooking territory.
Full disclosure: I searched high and low for peppermint extract to use in these cookies and couldn’t find it anywhere. Therefore, I used mint flavor, which real foodies will probably tell you is not a viable substitution. Well, my cookies turned out just fine. And while I’m sure an extract would have yielded more concentrated flavor, I see no need for you to make yourself crazy looking for it like I did. If mint flavor is all you can find, it will work just fine.
Yacon-sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies:
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
1 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Corn Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
2/3 cup yacon syrup
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 teaspoon mint flavor (add 1 1/4 teaspoon first, then adjust to taste), or half as much mint extract
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Add flours, baking soda and salt to a food processor fitted with a sharp blade. Run through processor for about 10 seconds, or until flour mixture is very fine. Add shortening, yacon syrup and mint flavor and pulse until mixture roughly comes together in a loose ball.
3. Remove to a bowl and fold in chocolate chips until incorporated. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough into a smooth sphere with your hands. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, a few inches apart, and lightly press down with the palm of your hand.
4. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until cookies are evenly browned around the edges. Cool on cookie sheet for about a minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
* as you can see from the picture, I got lazy and used actual chocolate chips (I ran out of cocoa powder and coconut oil for my homemade versions and didn’t feel like going to the store). I actually used Sunspire grain-sweetened chocolate chips, which are not gluten-free, but which I can tolerate because I am not sensitive to barley (note: I have a wheat — not gluten — sensitivity). Please, please check with your doctor and read all labels before using any chocolate chips, and do not use any grain-sweetened chips if you are gluten-free. If you can tolerate barley (and corn), and if you’re not on a strict candida diet at the moment (I should be, but am getting a little lax with the holiday season), these might be a good option for those who don’t feel like taking the time or spending the money to make their own chocolate chips.
To make these cookies using agave, make the following changes:
1. Add 1/4 cup almond flour to the dry ingredients.
2. Use 1/2 cup agave in place of the yacon syrup.
3. Add a few more tablespoons of chocolate chips.
4. Lay cookies flat on an unlined, ungreased baking sheet (still flattening slightly with the palm of your hand).
Baking time should be the same, but you can add another minute for extra crisp and browned cookies.