Here’s my best attempt yet at gluten free cookies. There are many gluten free folk attending retreats at Trigonos (where I cook). The people attending last weeks mindfulness course loved these cookies and to be honest, there was very little difference in texture between the normal cookies that I made. Chewy and gooey in the middle, with plenty of chunks of melted chocolate. Quite a treat!
I use trail mix in these cookies, but you can substitute any dried fruits and nuts you like. Xantham gum is something that most gluten free cooks will have around, it really helps to bind GF baked goods together. I don’t normally use it in the BHK, as it is like gluten in being hard to digest. The difference in texture though is pronounced. I never thought I’d say this, but Xantham has changed the way I cookie!
Simple, crispy, gooey (gluten free) cookies, we salute you!!!
Based on the recipe ‘Brazil Nut and Chocolate Spelt Cookies’ taken from ‘Peace and Parsnips’. I made these cookies for Steve Wright on BBC2 Radio and he loved ’em! Hear my full interview with Steve here.
The Bits – Makes 8 cookies
1oog gluten free white flour mix (Doves Farm do a good one)
30g brown rice flour
1/2 teas ground cinnamon
100g unrefined brown sugar
1/2 teas bicarb of soda
3/4 teas baking powder
Large pinch salt
2/3 teas xantham gum
90ml vegetable oil
1/2 teas vanilla extract
30ml water (splash more if needed)
1 big handful vegan dark chocolate (roughly chopped into chunks)
1 big handful of trail mix (or mixed dried fruits and nuts of your choice)
Preheat an oven to 180oc/ Gas Mark 4.
Sift all the dry bits into a large bowl. Mix all the wet together in a measuring jug, make a well in the centre of the dry bits and pour in the wet, stirring as you go. Mix in the chocolate and trail mix. Things should come together, but still be a touch powdery (nothing like a cake mix for example). Add a splash more water if needed to bind things together.
Make small balls, smaller than a squash ball, in your hands. Press in some of the goodies (choc and nut) and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Press them down a little with your fingers to form a fat disc, they’ll expand in the oven, bear this in mind when spacing them out. Leave a 5cm gap around each cookie.
Pop in the oven and bake for 11-13 minutes. Ovens vary, if its a fan oven, check after 11, otherwise 13 minutes is good. A little overbaking will make them crispier, but I like them gooey in the middle. Remember, cookies are done when they have a crisp coat around them, they will be soft, but firm up on the cooling rack.
Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes and them transfer carefully to a wire cooling rack. Eat as soon as cool enough to scoff!
Have you ever made a cookie ice cream sandwich? Go for it, especially when they’re hot. Place on cookie into a bowl, spoon over some ice cream and place the other cookie on top. WOW!
Eating small quantities of dark chocolate daily can help the heart, assisting blood flow. It also contains several compounds that make you feel good, even the chemical that is released when we fall in love! Flavanoids are also present that help to regulate blood sugar and it is packed with anti oxidants. These are just a scattering of the incredible benefits of our favourite sweet nibble.