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Apr 12, 2011

Post your amazing baking recipes, adventures, and disasters here!

I see we had a holiday baking thread last year, but it's not QUITE the holidays yet and I felt weird posting in a thread that had been dead for a few months, so here we go. New thread!

I am not the world's best baker by any means, but I DO make a lot of cookies. I am a member of a Buddhist group that meets for meditation, tea, and cookies every week, and I provide the cookies. We always have vegan and/or gluten free people there and so I've been trying to find good recipes for both for the last couple years. There's one recipe that I've been tweaking and I think I finally mastered it, and felt it was too good a recipe to not share with the world.

There are probably times when some of you need to make a dessert for someone who is vegan or gluten free, and you don't feel like buying tons of weird ingredients, and there are so many really, really bad recipes online so you don't know where to start. I can't even tell you how many recipes I've made that have been cakey, or melted into super thin crackers, or have felt chalky when you eat them. Gluten free and vegan cookies don't have to be like that. You also probably have all the ingredients already if you've got a decently stocked pantry. If you don't, you can use all the ingredients in other things and they'll be delicious. There's no need to buy a specialty bag of gluten-free flour blend that you'll never use again.

Tahini-Maple cookies (vegan, gluten free)
makes about 20 cookies, depending on size

These cookies are crunchy, but not thin. They don't spread out and become crackers like so many gluten free recipes do. The tahini makes them nutty and a little savory- the flavor profile is a little grown-up, but I think that makes them better. These cookies also lend themselves to customization. I like to add coconut and chocolate chips, but you can also add nuts, or raisins, or ginger and spices, or anything else you could think of. You could probably also replace the tahini with peanut butter (I haven't tried that yet- if you do, let me know how it is!) and you can definitely replace the coconut flour with almond flour, they're still delicious.

3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar (use organic no-bone-char sugar if your vegan friend is very finicky)
1/2 cup maple syrup (honey would probably work too, but I haven't tried it)
1/2 cup tahini (you could possibly use peanut or almond butter, but I haven't tried that either. Maybe that will be next week's experiment)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut flour (or almond flour)
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
(1 cup whatever add-ins you like: chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, raisins, etc)

Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together oil, sugars, maple syrup, and tahini and whisk until it forms a thick paste. The sugar and oil has a chemical reaction when you whisk it together- it should thicken quickly.

Mix dry ingredients separately (minus the add-ons), or, if you're lazy like me, just dump them all on top of the wet ingredients in the same bowl. Mix wet and dry together until fully combined. This recipe is gluten free so you don't need to worry about over-mixing! Finally, add whatever extras you like.

Form into balls- I usually make them into a heaping tablespoon or so, and then flatten and add to the baking sheet. These will spread out a little bit (like normal cookies) so position them a few inches from each other.

Bake for 15 minutes, then let rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. They will firm up and stay crispy for days. These also freeze really well, so you can make a big batch and then chuck them in the freezer for the next time you need them.

I hope some of you try this recipe and let me know what you think! I also have been experimenting with apple crisp recipes and have yet to find my PERFECT one, so if any of you have a good recipe for that, please share! And let us know what you're baking these days!


Jul 13, 2013

I got super tired of seeing your avatar throwing those fuckin' glasses around in the astrology thread so I fixed it to a .jpg

I'm not much of a dessert baker, but I think those cookies sound really tasty. Hopefully we get more recipes and discussion posted soon.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

Fun Shoe

I'll bite. Tis the season for pumpkin, so here's the pumpkin muffin recipe I worked out back when I was the breakfast guy for a bakery.

Ingredients :
3 C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
3 C sugar
1 ½ tbsp pie spice (apple pie spice = pumpkin pie spice, same thing)
4 large eggs
15 oz canned pumpkin
½ C vegetable oil
½ C water

Method :
Preheat oven to 350.
Spray ~30 muffin cups with non-stick spray, or use papers if you wish

Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and spice.

Combine sugar, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and water in a large bowl. Beat until fully combined with a large whisk.

Add flour mixture and stir until even texture is achieved. Less stirring is better.

Fill muffin tins ¾ full, bake for 25-30 minutes. When a toothpick inserted at the center of one of the center muffins in the pan comes out clean, you’re good.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes or so, then turn out onto a rack. If desired, dust tops with powdered sugar for presentation.

For something even better, sub out the water for apple cider.

Apr 12, 2011

Do you know if canned pumpkin can be subbed for fresh on a 1:1 ratio? Fresh is usually a bit more watery, right?

I grew over 20 pumpkins this year so I have a lot of pumpkin baking to do!

This weekend I made pear spice muffins. They didn't look very pretty and the pear chunks were too big so the muffins crumbled apart a bit. Next time I might make a sliced coffee cake or something with pear instead of muffins, I don't think it was the best use of pear.

Tomorrow is cookie day again so I'm going to try my recipe with peanut butter and almond flour and almond extract and see how it goes.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

Fun Shoe

Should be fine so long as it's cooked fresh pumpkin. Just cut the water a little if you're worried about it, that recipe's fairly robust.

Crusty Nutsack
Apr 21, 2005

If you're worried about the moisture, I remember a technique that I saw on a Cook's Illustrated recipe where they spread the pumpkin puree on a couple layers of paper towel in a thin layer to absorb some of the liquid. It just peeled right off the paper toweling once it had drained a bit.


Apr 12, 2011

I made the cookies with peanut butter instead of tahini, and almond flour instead of coconut. The dough was very loose so I added a bunch of coconut flour until it firmed up. The cookies were 100% delicious.

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