- 1 ⁄2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose gluten-free baking mix
- 3 tablespoons 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 ground chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 2 tablespoons nondairy milk
- 2 tablespoons pure maplesyrup, Grade B or dark amber
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons organic granulated sugar, plus 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup for shaping
- 2 1 ⁄2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 ⁄3 cup 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack. Wait 10 minutes until the cookies are cool, then run a spatula underneath to release.
Serving: Cold cookies offer up the crunch of hardened chocolate chunks, and warm cookies are gooey.
Keeping: Store the cookies in a covered tin or jar, layers separated by parchment, for up to two days. Freeze for up to one month.
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.
Recipes reprinted with permission from VEGAN CHOCOLATE © 2013 by Fran Costigan, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Photo credit: Kate Lewis 2013