Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Raisin Un-Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

June 7th, 2011 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Cookies, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Sorghum, Vegan, potato allergy 14 Comments »

I have long been a cookie-lover. Cookies are my favorite baked dessert even over pie, and definitely in preference to cake. It is odd that despite this long love for the crackley, sugary-sweet and buttery cookie, I don’t have more cookie recipes on the Book of Yum. I think it is because I often make the same chocolate chip recipe based on the Tollhouse recipe when I do make cookies. And, I like cookies so much that I have no willpower when I finally do make them, so I try to limit the frequency. Besides chocolate chips, one of my favorite cookies is sold at Mariposa Bakery- a nutmeal cookie that I could eat by the dozen. Oh, it is so good. But I’d never really tried to make it until I saw a recipe by Isa Moskowitz in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar for a chewy carrot-raisin cookie. I was inspired by the idea of a cookie with grated carrot, and set off from there to make my version of a yummy, spiced raisin cookie with chewiness from slivered almonds and coconut instead of oatmeal. I tried several variations of flour, oil, sugar and even baking powder before coming up with this one. The first version had too much starch, giving it a chalky taste. The second version was a little too healthy and while it had great flavor, it had an “Enjoy Life” processed cookie texture. Not bad, but not what I was going for. The final version is the kind of cookie that spreads a little, but not too much, and browns around the edges just like a chocolate chip cookie. The DH has liked every version of this cookie I’ve made, and gobbled them up, but I have a feeling this one will be his favorite too, as soon as he gets home and tries some. Baby Yum was content to sniff the cookies deeply and earnestly, but she prefers creamy yogurts and sugar snap peas to cookies. I’m sure she’ll get over that, but until she does, who am I to fight a kid with healthy taste buds? I hope you enjoy this relatively healthy cookie just as much as we do in our house! How often can you actually get your veggies from a cookie? *You will notice I don’t use xanthan gum or guar gum in this recipe. I don’t have anything against them, but I don’t find them necessary in cookie recipes with their forgiving high-ratios of sugar and oils.

Looking for more gluten-free cookie recipes? Try these:
gluten-free cookie roundup
Grain-free coconut raisin cookie recipe
Stevia Sweetened Sugar Cookie Recipe
Rosemary Lime Cookie Recipe
Gluten-free Dairy-free Thin Mint Cookie Recipe
Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Recipe
Soft Molasses Vegan Cookie Recipe
Coyote Cookie Bar Freezer Fudge Recipe
Chocolate Frosted Coconut Cokie Recipe
gluten-free cookie smores recipe
Cocoa Bean Cookie Truffles
Grain free Chocolate Raisin Rum Cookie Recipe
Dairy-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Thumbprint Macaroon Cookie Recipe

This recipe was shared with Gluten-free Wednesdays and Real Food Weekly

Carrot Raisin Un-Oatmeal Gluten-free Cookie Recipe
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Earth Balance Margarine (or oil) – chilled
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon, lime, or orange zest
2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla (I use Costco’s Kirkland)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy, but you could use almond or hemp milk as well)
1 tbsp +1 tsp. ground flaxseed
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour (or millet, or additional sorghum)
1/2 cup tapioca starch flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup shredded coconut (or coconut flakes if you have them)
3/4 cup slivered blanched almonds, broken up a bit (I use Trader joe’s brand)
Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375F.

Combine margarine and both sugars in a bowl and mix until you have a creamy texture. Either a hand-held mixer or standing mixer works well, but you could do it by hand if you like that sort of thing. I’m lazy. Add your zest, vanilla, spices and salt and mix again.

Combine your non-dairy milk with ground flaxseed in a blender or small food processor bowl. If you have sweetened or flavored milk you may wish to decrease the sugar and possibly vanilla in the overall recipe, to taste. Process or blend the mixture until it is smooth and has a slimy texture.

Add your flax egg to the margarine and sugar mixture and mix it all together.

Meanwhile, combine your flours and baking powder in a sifting cup and sift into the mixing bowl with your flax egg, sugar, and margarine. Fold together and add carrots, coconut, almonds, and raisins, folding in one last time.

Drop tablespoons of dough in round 1 or 1 1/4 inch cookies onto your parchment paper covered cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Smooth tops of cookies if necessary and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they start to brown on the edges and the top is firm.

Cool on parchment paper for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Makes 2 large sheets of cookies and a few extras. Enjoy with some nondairy milk!

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Review of Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-free Cupcake Cookbook

April 27th, 2011 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Fellow Food Bloggers, Gluten Free Blogs, Gluten Free Cookbook Recipe Review 16 Comments »

First, let me just say that I think I should rename the House of Yum the House of Cupcakes after the last few weeks. I went from having cupcakes once or twice a year to having them three times in half as many weeks. And you know what? I like cupcakes! I do! I never had heart palpitations over cake, except for our wedding cake -swoon- but something about a cupcake really appeals to me. Maybe it is the serving size- so cute, so demure, and yet so satisfying. Maybe it is the fact that you can dress it up in a little holder with hearts or silver or- ooh- even silver hearts. But maybe, just maybe it is the frosting. The fact that you can cover the entire top with an absurdly huge frosting dome and it is yours! All yours! Try doing that with a cake. Not only will the physics cause you some serious issues, but cutting it will be a big, gooey mess. Give me a cupcake any day. This is why when I heard that Elana Amsterdam of Elana’s Pantry was coming out with a new gluten-free cupcake cookbook I was beside myself with excitement. And then I got my very own review copy- plus one for a giveaway. Wheeee! Sometimes being a food blogger has its perks. In this cookbook, Elana adds a new gluten-free, low carb flour to her repertoire- coconut flour. I have experimented a little with coconut flour myself, and it can be a tricky flour to love. It eats eggs like nobody’s business and has this personality that just doesn’t work well with savory. Elana has somehow whipped coconut flour into shape and made it work for her in this cookbook. Really impressive. Now, if you have a sensitivity to coconut flour and are curious- 11 of the main cupcake recipes do not contain coconut flour. About half of those recipes are savory (yum yum, such a nice surprise), and then most of the frostings are coconut free. Still- probably not an ideal for the coconut-allergic reader. Almond flour is also featured in many (but not all) of the recipes, for your information. Time to re-order from Honeyville! And Elana still uses agave nectar in most of her recipes, although she has yacon syrup in a few as an alternative sweetener (Pecan Pie Cupcakes and Gingerbread Molasses Cupcakes). This woman keeps me busy ordering from Amazon. But I know what you really want to know- how were the cupcakes?
Elana’s Lime Cupcakes
The hardest thing about this book is actually only picking one recipe to try. They all sound so good. Read the titles when you aren’t hungry sometime- vanilla fig, apple spice, cinnamon crumb, german chocolate. You will be hungry by the time you’re finished flipping through this little book. I finally gave up on picking one- I handed the book to the DH and said “You pick it, I’ll make it.” So he picked Elana’s lime cupcakes, which was a pleasant surprise. Of all the recipes I tried, this one was my favorite. It was deceptively simple but flavorful and fresh with the tanginess of lime and only the barest whisper of coconut. We didn’t actually try her suggested frosting accompaniment- the DH whipped up a zesty lime cream cheese frosting that made us both very happy. This recipe has great texture, subtle but wonderful flavor, and I will definitely be making it again. Oh, one quirk that you might want to know- the recipes don’t exactly conform to a 12 muffin pan. Recipes tend to make between 8-12 cupcakes. If baking for a large family, you might want to double the recipe. Oh, darn, more cupcakes! I’m sure no one will object.
Strawberry Cupcakes
I made Elana’s strawberry cupcakes for a gluten-free South Bay Area potluck, and frosted them with a coconut cream whipped frosting garnished with freshly sliced strawberries. I have to admit I went a little rogue- what is it with me improvising my own frostings? I really should try one of her frosting recipes, too… But anyway, these cupcakes were a big hit, especially when people found out they were both nut and dairy-free. My good friend JM declared them “wicked good” and liked the delicate, complex flavors. The DH and I both liked them, although I think I would have tried Cream cheese frosting next time. What can I say, we are addicted to the stuff. Recipe for Strawberry Cupcakes found on Elana’s blog.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Elana’s recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes had me at “Chocolate Peanut Butter” and I couldn’t resist taking them to our local potluck. The DH thoroughly enjoyed them and said I could make them “any time” and that if he hadn’t known they were gluten-free, he wouldn’t have thought they were anything but a regular cupcake. High praise indeed! My chocoholic friend JM surprised herself (and me too) by saying she liked the strawberry cupcakes best. Fine with me. She can have the strawberry cupcake leftovers if I get to keep every single lime cupcake to my greedy self…and I think the DH would be happy to hog more than his fair share of the chocolate! Just goes to show that there is a recipe for everyone in this book.

I was very happy to get permission to share the lime cupcakes with you here. I hope you enjoy them, and enjoy Elana’s cookbooks as much as I do. I’ve been baking gluten-free my entire life, and I’m used to shuffling canisters of gluten-free flours out of the pantry, but baking from her books is like taking a vacation from being gluten-free. Just one (or at most two) flours and basic, whole ingredients, and you have a great tasting, quality recipe. If I hadn’t made her recipes myself, I’m not sure I’d believe it.

You’ll need these ingredients… especially if you win the extra copy of Elana’s book I’ll be giving away on Facebook at the Book of Yum Page!

Want more?
Shirley of Gluten-free Easily made her Marble Cupcakes
Kim of Cook it Allergy-free made many of Elana’s sweet cupcakes, a savory cupcake and also the lime cupcake!
Heidi of Adventures of a Gluten-free Mom also tried Elana’s lime cupcakes! (Great minds think alike, I guess!)

*All photographs from the House of Yum except of course for the cookbook cover.

Lime Cupcakes
Makes 10
Sweetness: Medium

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons firmly packed lime zest, plus more to decorate (about 3 limes)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, almond flour, salt, and baking soda.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, grapeseed oil, agave nectar, and 2
tablespoons lime zest. Blend the wet ingredients into the coconut flour mixture
with a handheld mixer until thoroughly combined.

Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 hour, then frost, sprinkle with the remaining lime zest, and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. Copyright 2011 by Elana Amsterdam, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.
Cream Cheese Lime Frosting
1 package lowfat cream cheese (for dairy free, you can try Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese)
1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar (*start with 1/4 cup and keep adding to taste)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
one half of a small lime, juiced (or less, to taste)
1/2 tsp lime zest
Put your cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl and microwave briefly until soft enough to stir. Add vanilla and begin adding powdered sugar to taste, whipping together with a standing or hand-held mixer. Add a dash of lime juice and your lime zest to the mixer and combine thoroughly. Taste and add more if needed. It will be too soft and runny for frosting at this point, so put in a freezer safe ziploc bag and chill in refrigerator until it is thick enough to frost with (at least 30 minutes).
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