Cookbook Preview: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan, Part 2


Fran Costigan’s new dessert cookbook, Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts*, is due to hit stores in mid October, but you can pre-order one now. In the meantime, how about trying her luscious Chocolate Dulce de Leche or the cookie recipe below?

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Can gluten-free chocolate chunk cookies possibly be any good? Yes! This chocolate chunk cookie will make any and all cookie lovers happy. Similar in texture to the soft and gooey studded Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie, nobody will think these easy-to-make cookies are anything but delicious, even though they use gluten-free all-purpose baking mix (my favorite is from Bob’s Red Mill) and gluten-free chocolate chunks (I like those from Enjoy Life or simply chop up any gluten-free chocolate bar).

Note: You don’t need skill but you do need extra time to make these cookies: Make sure you allow 30 minutes for whisking and allowing the dough to thicken. And remember when using melted coconut oil, all the other ingredients need to be at room temperature or the oil will harden into lumps during mixing.

Makes 1 dozen Cookies

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon / 87 grams all-purpose gluten-free baking mix
3 tablespoons / 18 grams Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
3 to 4 grinds of black pepper, optional
1 tablespoon/ 6 grams ground chia seeds
2 tablespoons / 30 ml hot water
2 tablespoons / 30 ml nondairy milk
2 tablespoons / 30 ml pure maplesyrup, Grade B or dark amber
2 teaspoons / 10 ml pure vanilla extract
5 tablespoons organic granulated sugar / 65 grams, plus 1/3 to 1/2 cup / 64 to 111 grams for shaping
2 1/2 tablespoons / 37.5 ml coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup / 52 grams gluten-free chocolate chunks

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F / 190°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the baking mix, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder to the strainer and stir with a whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. (If any small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the mixture in the bowl.) Add the pepper if using; whisk to aerate the mixture, and set aside.
  3. Make the chia gel: Put the ground chia seeds into a small bowl. Pour the hot water over the chia and set aside for 1 minute. Whisk for 30 seconds. (The paste will be thick.)
  4. Whisk the nondairy milk into the chia paste until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes and whisk again. Whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes and whisk again.
  5. Add 5 tablespoons of the sugar and whisk vigorously for 1 minute to “cream” the sugar. Add the coconut oil and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a silicone spatula until no traces of dry ingredients remain.
  6. Mix the chocolate chunks into the dough—it will be shiny and thick but soft.  Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature to allow the dough to thicken, stirring every five minutes.
  7. Shape the cookies: Put 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar into a shallow dish. Scoop the dough in a measuring tablespoon and push off into the sugar with a teaspoon. Roll the pieces in the sugar until thoroughly coated. Add more sugar as needed. Lift the cookies onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, placing them 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Press to flatten.
  8. Place the baking sheet into the oven; immediately reduce the heat to 350°F / 180°C, and bake for 11 minutes until the cookies are puffed and set. The cookies are soft when they come out of the oven but will firm as they cool.
  9. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack. Wait 10 minutes until the cookies are cool, then run a spatula underneath to release.

Cold cookies offer up the crunch of hardened chocolate chunks, and warm cookies are gooey.

Store the cookies in a covered tin or jar, layers separ-ated by parchment, for up to two days. Freeze for up to one month.

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