Junior Chefs' Best Cookies - Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free
AuthorDenise Pare-Watson - The Urb'n'Spice Chef
"Kids in the Kitchen" had a different type of baking challenge. The cookies needed to have certain favourite ingredients as well as they had to follow some dietary restrictions: gluten free, dairy free and low refined sugar. The children appropriately named them, "The Junior Chefs' Best Cookies."
Yield: approximately 3 dozen (32 to 36 Cookies @ 25 g each)
½ cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy (120 g)
½ cup coconut butter (100 g)
½ cup coconut sugar (70 g)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (10 ml)
1 cup gluten-free flour blend (150 g)
1 cup whole oats (110 g)
¾ cup unsweetened coconut (70 g)
1 teaspoon baking powder (3 g)
1 teaspoon baking soda (4 g)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (2.5 ml)
½ teaspoon salt (3 g)_______________
½ cup mini chocolate chips (95 g)
½ cup golden raisins or Thomson raisins (75 g)
½ cup dried cranberries (70 g)
½ cup chopped pecans (65 g)
Preheat the oven to 350F/325F Convection setting. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream the peanut butter, coconut butter and coconut sugar until the mixture is smooth.
Add the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Add the vanilla extract.
In another medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, whole oats, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Mix to combine the dry ingredients well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine until well mixed.
Add the remainder of the ingredients to the bowl and mix to combine: chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries and pecans.
Using a small cookie scoop, portion the cookie dough (approximately 1 oz.) and place them on the prepared cookie sheets, 12 cookies to a sheet. Keep them well spaced. Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the cookies appear to change colour. CHEF TIP:Gluten-free flour does not brown the same as wheat flour. Press the centre of the cookies after 10 minutes. The cookies should feel slightly firm as they bake. If they are still soft in the center, bake for a further 2 minutes. I typically spin the trays halfway through the baking time for even baking. Remember, all ovens are not the same, which is why oven temperature accuracy is so important – please see LEARNING TIPS.
Cool the cookies on the trays. Enjoy them with a large glass of milk and something that the farmer grows!
The baked cookies will keep for a few days at room temperature in a cookie jar. For longer storage, freeze the cookies in an airtight container.
CHEF TIP: Another alternative is to freeze the unbaked cookies portions. Flatten the scoops of cookie dough slightly as directed above, and place them on the parchment lined baking tray, spaced closely together. Freeze the cookie dough until firm and then transfer the frozen cookie nuggets into an airtight container or zipper bag in the freezer. Bake as needed, adding a few minutes to the baking time if you are baking them from frozen.
For learning tips and techniques, including step-by-step photographs, please refer to the original Urb'n'Spice Junior Chefs' Best Cookies post.