Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Elegant Sesame-Ginger Cookies (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

For our Gluten-Free Book Signing, I wanted an elegant dessert that would be gluten-free and vegan so our circle of family and friends could eat together. I consulted the newest cookbook on my shelf, Isa Chandra Moskowitz' and Terry Hope Romero's "Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook" (NY: Marlowe & Company, 2007) and there was an appropriate recipe, but alas, unlike many of the recipes in this awesome tome, it was not gluten-free. Undaunted, I tied on my apron and went at it.

I used a combination of flours to replace the wheat flour: garbanzo bean for taste, buckwheat for structure and brown rice to make it fluffy. There was no hope of rolling out this squishy cookie dough, more the consistency of mayonnaise than a stiff dough the authors encourage you to mix with your hands. Instead, I spooned out tablespoons of the dough out on the cookie sheets and sprinkled on a combination of black sesame seeds and Turbinado sugar crystals. The cookies spread out too much and got brittle, so I made the second batch out of teaspoon-sized lumps and kept the baking time short and they came out very elegantly.

These are cookies for grownups: not too sweet, elegant to look at and a sophisticated blend of flavors. I will be serving at our book signing this Saturday and will report back on their success. Without further ado, here is my gluten-free adaptation of Veganomicon's

Peanut-Ginger-Sesame Cookies

1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean (or chick pea) flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (I used corn syrup)
1-1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tsp. vanilla
5 oz. candied ginger, diced finely

1/4 cup black sesame seeds
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon.

In the large bowl of a standing mixer or using a handheld mixer, cream shortening until fluffy. Add peanut butter, rice or corn syrup, sugar, soy milk and vanilla. Beat until creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in candied ginger by hand.

Place teaspoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets. Don't use more dough, as the cookies really spread out while baking. Separate each lump of dough at least one inch apart. Sprinkle with a blend of sesame seeds and Turbinado sugar crystals.

Bake 12 minutes in oven. Let cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes before lifting gingerly with a thin spatula to let them cool on baking racks. These cookies are pretty delicate when cooling.

Makes 50-60 cookies.


Shannon B. said...

Those sound very interesting! I'm a huge fan of ginger (in drinks, foods, etc) Very interesting recipe!

Unknown said...

Mmmmm.... I want some!!

Totally need to make this for myself. :D Great job!