October 16, 2011

Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our community potluck is coming up next Friday and I'd like to bring some seasonal goodies.  It's October and time to cook some pumpkin.  I've got two new pumpkin recipes to try:  pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin carrot cake. I didn't get very many pumpkins from my garden this year.  I am lucky to know some local organic farmers, Mike and Ruth from Willow Grove Gardens.  They have a very large portion of their farm dedicated to pumpkins.  They host a large part of the community every day through October.  They bring the animals out for a little petting zoo and have a pretty nice hay cart ride out to the fields where there are hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins to choose from.

I cooked up two of them today thinking I wouldn't have enough purée.  I ended up with about 5 quarts. Half made it into the freezer, the other half will be pumpkin carrot cake and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

These cookies are from the latest Food Issue of the VegNews Magazine.  They're vegan and gluten-free.  I've been practicing with gluten free more and more since my granddaughter has been advised by her doctor to try to avoid gluten.  We have quite a few guests at the potluck who are sensitive to gluten and avoid it.  These are a light cake like cookie.   I tried a batch and I'll make another and freeze them right away.  They'll be perfect if I take them out of the freezer Friday morning and that will give me some more time to work on that pumpkin carrot cake with a vegan creme cheese frosting.

I didn't have enough almond butter, but I do have some pumpkin seed butter.  It worked out great. The recipe called for white vegan chocolate chips.  I am lucky to find regular vegan chocolate chips at our stores.  I just used dark ones and only 3/4 of a cup.  I also used cinnamon, fresh ground nutmeg, and a dash of cloves for the pumpkin pie spice.

Gluten-Free Double Chip Pumpkin Cookies
                  Beverly Lynn Bennett

1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup canned pumpkin, (I used fresh pumpkin)
1/2 cup nut butter of choice
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup each vegan gluten-free white and dark chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 375º degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.  In a large bowl, stir together water and flax seeds and set aside for 5 minutes.  Add brown sugar, pumpkin, nut butter, sunflower oil, and vanilla, and stir well to combine.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir well to combine.  Fold in chocolate chips.

3.  Portion cookie dough using a 2-inch scoop or heaping 2 tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until very lightly brown on the bottom.  Let cool slightly before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Using a 2-inch scoop this recipe yields three dozen cookies.  I noticed they weren't spreading out any.  I didn't want pumpkin balls. I flattened them a little with a piece of parchment paper and my hand about 6 minutes into cooking.  Then I cooked them another 8 minutes.

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