Vegan Spiced Pecan Chip Cookies
Gluten-free, Vegan, refined sugar-free
When it comes to baking, I like to bake with the usual butter and eggs. But when one of my best friend’s little girl turned out to be allergic to eggs, I started playing around more with vegan baking. I wanted to make sure that one of my favorite little ladies could have a sweet treat.
Vegan baking can be tricky, but there are tricks. Ovenly is a master at it. I used to go to their bakery in Brooklyn and grab their salted chocolate chip cookie and peanut butter cookie and it was heaven. When I bought the Ovenly cookbook, the first thing I wanted to make was the salted chocolate chip cookie and realized it was vegan! Not only was it vegan, but it didn’t contain weird butter and egg substitutes; just oil and water.
I have made many a riff on their recipe, but that was sort of the inspiration for this cookie.
So a few things first. I use cashew flour in this recipe, which I make at home. I just buy roasted, unsalted cashews from the Whole Foods bulk section. Put about 2 cups of cashews into the food processor, pulse to get going and then blend for another 2 to 3 minutes until a coarse flour. Boom. You have cashew flour. I recommend storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. Cashews have a lot of oil that can go bad.
I used paprika and ground coriander in this recipe. I realize that this sounds very strange, but I read about it in Claire Ptak’s Violet Bakery Cookbook, tried it and loved it. You don’t taste those spices, but you get the earthiness from them that balances out the sweetness and spice. They’re totally optional, so try if you want to.
One last note: the dough will be pretty sticky and wet. I threw the dough into the fridge for 15 minutes before I scooped and baked them. You can even chill the dough overnight to really let things meld together (this is what I usually do and prefer to do) before scooping and baking.
1/2 cup smooth almond butter (unsweetened)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup maple syrup (Grade B is preferred)
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal and 3 tbsps warm water)
1 tbsp warm water
1 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
1/2 cup cashew flour (I make my own)
1 cup gluten-free measure-for-measure flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
Pinch of sweet paprika (optional)
Pinch of ground coriander (optional)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
In a small bowl, make the flax egg. Combine the tablespoon of flax meal with the 3 tablespoons of warm water. Let sit for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside
In a large bowl, combine the almond butter, coconut sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk until all smooth. Add the flax egg and the tablespoon of water and whisk again until everything is combined and smooth.
Add the flour mixture to the almond butter mixture and stir together with a spatula. Add the pecans and the chocolate chips and fold with the spatula until they’re somewhat evenly distributed.
The dough will be wet and sticky, so throw it in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. Perfect time to turn the oven on to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop 1 tablespoon size balls of dough on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Let cool for 15 minutes. These make excellent “bread” for ice cream sandwiches. Using your favorite non-dairy ice cream, of course.