Sunday, March 10, 2013

Vegan Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies



This recipe has been in the making since October.  About 5 months now!  It first started with a recipe I pinned called Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie.  But of course, I had to make changes.  First of all, I'm not a huge fan of chocolate & pumpkin together because I feel chocolate overpowers the pumpkin flavor, and if I'm having something pumpkin, it's because I want to actually taste the pumpkin.  (I just LOVE all things pumpkin!!!)  But, omitting the chocolate chips was not my only change here, so, once again, I bring you a Pin Re-Spin.  My other changes include, pumpkin pie spice in place of cinnamon, making these cookies more comparable to pumpkin pie.  I also added molasses to add a touch more sweetness and to bring more depth to the pumpkin flavor.  I added flax seed meal (as an egg replacement) to bind the cookies a little more.  Lastly, I swapped out the oil for almond coconut milk (though I'm sure just about any dairy free milk would work here, I just really love the almond coconut blend.).  Almonds are quite high in the fat & calorie content so, I felt the oil was just a bit overkill.  In the end, I finally had a vegan, grain free Pumpkin Spice cookie that we LOVE!

The cookies had just a bit of crunch on the outside and they were super soft in the center.  (But, I put them in my cookie jar before cooling 100% so they lost that bit of crunch.  Next time, I know better.)  These were seriously addicting...it took a lot of will power for me to stop at 2 cookies in one sitting.  (If I wait 5 minutes, is that long enough to consider it a new sitting?)  ;)  and even my husband said that he couldn't stop eating them.  (I'll take that as a compliment).  These were also delicious dipped in a hot cup of coffee.  Mmmm!  Or along side a nice cup of tea.  (Tazo's Sweet Cinnamon Spice is the perfect pairing for these cookies).  I have worked on & tweaked this recipe about 6 times in the last 5 months and the 2nd time I made them I tried something different, which didn't workout the way I had hoped.  But, that mistake turned into something else entirely better & different...a Pumpkin Spice Crumble Topping.  (link coming soon!)  What are you waiting for?  Go make some cookies already!  

Vegan Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies (a Pin Re-Spin)

Dry Ingredients:
2 C almond flour (I used both Honeyville Grain & Bob's Redmill w/ similar results but, Honeyville is MUCH more affordable)
1 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Wet Ingredients:
1/3 C coconut sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp. molasses
1/3 C  almond coconut milk
1 Tblsp vanilla
1/3 C pumpkin puree
2 Tblsp very hot (almost boiling) water
1 Tblsp golden flaxseed meal

Directions:
  1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2.  Mix the flax seed meal with the hot water and set aside.
  3.  In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients.
  4. In a larger bowl, first mix the coconut sugar & molasses with a fork until very well combined.
  5. Now mix in the rest of the wet ingredients, including the flax seed mixture.  Whisk until well blended.
  6. Fold dry ingredients into wet (work smarter, not harder).  Keep mixing until the batter looks moist.
  7. Use a tablespoon to spoon dough about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and lightly flatten the cookies with the back side of a spoon (or your fingers). 
  8. Bake for 20-25 min.
  9. After removing them from the oven, gently transfer the cookies to the cooling rack by sliding the parchment  paper right off the cookie sheet onto the cooling rack. Let them cool at least 10 minutes before handling.   (Who doesn't love a warm cookie?).  But, to keep that crunch, make sure they cool completely before storing.  And if you don't like your cookies to have a crunch, then store them while they are just barely warm.
Makes about 12 cookies.

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