Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Pecan Sandies (Gluten Free, Vegan & Refined Sugar Free]

I whipped up these cookies a couple of weeks ago. And, I chose the word whipped on purpose - these actually come together fast! They're gluten free, dairy free, egg free and refined sugar free but you would never know! These cookies call for easy ingredients and they come together with very little fuss! If you are looking for an easy peasy dessert that are allergen friendly, this recipe is for you!

The recipe is on page 19 of Cara Reed's Decadent Gluten Free & Vegan Cookbook. You can find the book HERE (if you are looking for a great GF & vegan cookbook, I highly, highly recommend this book!).

Before we get into the actual recipe, I need to share Cara's GF flour blend. We have tried these cookies 2 ways - once with America's Test Kitchen GF flour blend and once with Cara's GF flour blend. And even though I normally swear by ATK's flour blend, these cookies are far better with Cara's flour!

For Cara's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour blend, combine 3 cups of of brown rice flour, 3 cups of sorghum flour, 1 1/2 cups of potato starch and 1 1/2 cups of arrowroot powder in a large mixing bowl. Stir the flours together to combine into the blend. Store the blend in an air tight container. We keep ours in a plastic bag in the freezer.

Once your flour is mixed, you're ready to start the cookies! The very best thing about these cookies is they mix together in one bowl. You just need to toss all of the ingredients in one bowl, mix them together and you're ready to go!

Start by toasting 1/2 cup of pecans. To do this, you'll need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the pecans out over a baking sheet and bake them for for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the pecans should be lightly toasted and fragrant. Chop up the pecans into small pieces so that they're ready to add into the cookie batter later on.

After those 2 little starters, we're ready to start the cookies! In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of Cara's All Purpose Gluten Free flour blend, the 1/2 cup of chopped pecans, 3 Tablespoons of maple syrup, 3 Tablespoons of non-hydrogenated shortening, 2 Tablespoons of vegan butter, 1 Tablespoon of non-dairy milk, 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

I know that in some recipes it's important to add ingredients in a certain order, or to cream the butter and sugars before adding them to the rest of the batter but this isn't one of those recipes! You really can add everything to the mixing bowl, then just use a fork to mix it all together. It's that easy! You might need to use your hands near the end of the mixing process to help the batter hold together in a ball.
Place the ball of batter between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll the dough to be about a quarter inch thick. Once the dough is rolled out, use a 2 inch round cookie cutter cutter to cut cookies out.

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and place the cut out cookies on the baking sheet. These cookies don't spread so you don't need to worry about spacing them out too much, but I would give them a little room. I recommend about a half inch between cookies. I sprinkled a little coconut sugar on the top of my cookies but this part is totally optional, :)

***The original recipe recommends dusting the tops of the cookies with icing sugar. I have yet to find a non-refined option to replace icing sugar. If you have any ideas, please drop me a comment! In the mean time, I sprinkled a little coconut sugar on top of the cookies.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. My cookies were done after 10 minutes, so I recommend checking them after 10 and deciding whether or not to put them in for an extra 2 from there. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before enjoying.

[Gluten Free, Vegan & Refined Sugar Free]
yield 25-30 cookies

1 1/4 cups Cara's All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
3 Tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening
2 Tablespoons vegan butter
1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
coconut sugar for sprinkling

1. Toast the pecans (let them bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes) and chop them up before starting on the cookie batter.
2. Add all of the ingredients to a medium mixing bowl (yes, you read that right! All of the ingredients in one bowl!) and stir to combine. Mix until the batter holds together in a ball.
3. Place the dough ball between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Roll the dough out to be about 1/4 of an inch thick.
4. Use a 2'' round cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about a half inch apart.
5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Once they are fully baked, let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.