Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies {vegan/gluten-free}

Clearly I've been into making cookies lately. A sub-par attempt at vegan/gluten-free brownies led me to believe I should continue making cookies, this time to satiate some sort of chocolate craving I was having. I originally made these cookies (using oil instead of margarine for chewiness) in the ice cream sandwiches I made this past summer. They're just as good sans-ice cream filling and were received with great welcome by friends and coworkers alike.

(Adapted from the Post Punk Kitchen)

3/4 cup vegan margarine (at room temperature)

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon ground flax seed, plus 1 teaspoon ground flax seed

1/2 cup soymilk

2 cups gluten-free flour

1 tsp. xanthan gum

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups semisweet vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine the ground flax seed and soy milk in a small sauce pan. Whisk over medium heat until gently boiling. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking soda,

salt, and xanthan gum.

Cream the sugar and margarine using an electric mixer. Add the flax/soy milk mixture and mix well. Stir in the vanilla.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients.

Mix in the chocolate chips. Roll dough into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet prepared with a silpat or parchment papper. Flatten dough balls slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 9-10 minutes. Let cool slightly, remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes {vegan/gluten-free}

In due tribute to the fall season, I have turned a bit "pumpkin crazy". But honestly, I wait all year for the vegetable-that- is-rarely-eaten-as-a-true-vegetable to arrive and it would be a crying shame if I didn't take advantage of it. This recipe was developed on a rainy fall day as my mom was visiting me in New York (hence the flowers on the table - I got a bit fancy and placed wildflowers all over the apartment). As my mom slept peacefully, I was busy in the kitchen filling the apartment with the warm, spicy smell of these pancakes and the earthy scents of vegan maple-sage sausage (I can't give you this recipe because I didn't use one...but let me tell you, I don't like sausage very much and these impromptu patties were delicious). As my mom was learning about veganism (she's already had to learn plenty about my gluten-freeism) I felt like whatever I made better live up to any "normal" person's expectations. From her remarks (yes i know she's my mother but she isn't obligated to say nice things about my cooking) she could "eat vegan everyday if it tasted like this! (she) would never miss meat or anything!" And there you have it; my goal achieved.

1 1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used hemp milk because I had it, but normally I would use almond milk)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/4 c. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 c. sweet white rice flour
1/4 c. sorghum flour
1/2 c. oat flour
1/2 c. tapioca flour
1/4 c. potato starch
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon*
1/2 tsp. ground ginger*
1/4 tsp. ground cloves*
1/4 tsp. ground allspice*
Pinch of salt

*(please note that all spices are an estimate as i didn't actually measure them....oops.)

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the first five (wet) ingredients. In another medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, ensuring they are equally distributed. Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, breaking up any lumps. Let the batter stand for 3-5 minutes. If the batter seems too thick, add a bit more almond milk until it is to your desired consistency; just be aware that over-mixing can mean a slightly tougher pancake.

Preheat griddle or skillet on medium heat. Spray pan with non-stick cooking oil.

Using a 1/4 c. measuring cup, pour batter onto the hot griddle (you will likely have to spread them out a bit with the back of the measuring cup). When bubbles are on the surface of the cakes, flip and cook a bit longer, until bottom is golden (avoid frequent flipping as over flipping pancakes also makes a tougher cake). Be patient, vegan and gluten-free pancakes take longer than normal pancakes to cook.

Serve with REAL maple syrup and enjoy!