Monday, April 30, 2012

Vegan Seed Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

Cookies make the world go round.  It might sound grand, but I wholeheartedly believe it.  I have a vegan cookie for you that I’m pretty sure you’re going to love.   It’s a fun recipe to make with kids.  They can help you throw in the ingredients, many of which are seeds.  This recipe is also terrific because it’s customizable.  Is there a person out there who doesn’t like to put their own personal spin on dessert?  An ice cream sundae tastes infinitely better with the topping of your choice.  I like caramel on mine.  Chocolate is good too.  And salted peanuts!  You get the point.
For the record, I am not a vegan and have no plans to become one either.   I do however enjoy baked goods and have a life goal to try every dessert on the planet before I die.  Forget “100 places to see before you die,” for me it’s all about the sweets.  But I do try to eat healthfully most of the time.  If I make cake or pie for dessert then I will almost certainly prepare dinner with lots of vegetables and healthy protein.  I try to eat several servings of fruits and vegetables every day if for no other reason than to counteract all the sugar, chocolate, and butter I consume.

This vegan cookie is a terrific option if you are looking for something sweet that still errs on the side of healthy.  It’s chewy in the middle and crispy around the edges and contains tasty flecks of dark chocolate that complement the seeds and peanut flavors.  It would be wonderful with dried fruit and shredded coconut, if that’s your thing.  Mine contain sesame seeds and sunflower seeds but any seeds will do:  poppy, pumpkin, and hemp are three that come to mind.  Flax seeds are essential and you’ll want to “water” them to bring out the moisture before adding them to your wet ingredients.  Actual water comes in handy too since you want a rather moist dough and the only moisture comes from the wet flax and peanut butter.  You are welcome to try almond butter in addition to (or in substitution of) the peanut butter.

Vegan Seed Cookies with Chocolate Chunks
adapted from

2T / 40g whole flax seeds
2T / 40g mixed seeds of your choice (I used sesame and sunflower)
1/2c + 1T / 75g rye flour (substitute any other interesting flour such as buckwheat or whole-wheat)
1c + 2T / 150g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4c / 120g unrefined sugar
4T / 80g all-natural peanut butter (or 40g each peanut butter and almond butter)
2T / 40g chopped dark chocolate

Put the flax seeds in a small bowl and cover with 80ml of water; set aside 10-15 minutes until mixture is thick.
In a medium bowl, combine the seeds, flours, baking powder, sea salt, and chocolate pieces.

In another bowl, beat together the wet flax seeds, sugar, and nut butter(s) until smooth.  Fold in the flour mixture, adding a little water as needed for the dough to come together.  It should be slightly sticky.
Transfer the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and roll it up into a log about 2 inches or 5cm in diameter.  Place the log in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until firm enough to slice neatly.

Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the log into slices, about 1/2 inch or 1cm in thickness, and place them on the cookie sheet, giving them a little room to expand.

Bake for 12-15minutes, until golden and slightly dark around the edges.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely. 

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