Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Vegan & gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin cookies filled with chunks of bold dark chocolate. Perfect cookie (not cakey) texture without a single ounce of butter–something even I thought was impossible!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree.jpg

I  get a little sad every year around this time. The end of pumpkin season. The day after Thanksgiving, I spend the next 10 months waiting for September 1st so I can start posting pumpkin recipes again. Every year, without fail, I’m left with a handful of recipes that never made it to the blog before the season ended.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

I had just about given up on pumpkin cookies. I loooove pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cupcakes–anything that is supposed to be light and cakey, the pumpkin basically works like a dream, but cookies? I don’t like my cookies cakey, and especially while trying to avoid using butter, I just thought that pumpkin cookies were an impossible task.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

After seeing my girl Sally’s recipe for her pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, I was inspired to try again. It was the first pumpkin cookie recipe I’d seen where you could see just from the photos that the texture was perfect. I did a little more research and saw this recipe on Baked by Rachel. They also looked ridiculously good–and again, with that perfect cookie texture.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

I was pretty sure once I got rid of the butter, there was no way I’d be satisfied, but it turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. The texture was absolutely spot on. The edges got ever so slightly crisp, and the middle was soft, gooey, and everything I’ve ever wanted in a cookie. The pumpkin flavor shines through, and the huge chunks of dark chocolate are the perfect finishing touch. I used a sea salt dark chocolate which I would highly recommend, but any good quality dark chocolate will do. I also made a batch with bits of Heath toffee thrown in, and let me tell you, that was magnificent. You could use white chocolate, add cranberries, anything really–the dough is the perfect container for all your favorite add ins!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: approx 2 1/2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Vegan & gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin cookies filled with chunks of bold dark chocolate. Perfect cookie (not cakey) texture without a single ounce of butter--something even I thought was impossible!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tbsp apple butter
  • 6 tbsp pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch, and salt until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together sugars, coconut oil, apple butter, pumpkin and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Gently, stir in chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. If you leave it in longer (ie: several hours to overnight), you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping and baking.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Line two large baking sheets with silpat of parchment papers. Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough to baking sheet.
  4. Bake until edges are lightly golden and cookies are just set, about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes

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My Gluten-free Baking Blend

A simple & easy gluten-free flour blend perfect for cookies, cupcakes, quickbreads, and more! Looking for more gluten-free recipes? Check these out!

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

Almost 6 months ago, my husband discovered he was gluten intolerant. He (obviously) cut out gluten completely, and as a result, I now eat about 90% gluten-free as well. I had toyed with gluten-free baking a little bit, but mostly using just almond meal or oats. I tried many gluten-free flours, and even when I enjoyed the end result, you could always tell they were gluten-free. The texture was never quite right. Sometimes they’d be gummy, or other times too crumbly–it is definitely a challenge, and it’s taken quite a bit of time, resources, and trial & error to get to a place where I feel like I’ve started to figure it out.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

I’ve been making vegan desserts for quite some time–something that is so easy in my opinion. I already use butter alternatives, and cornstarch replaces an egg seamlessly in most cases (I’m not vegan, I just like to bake things that work for many different diets). Gluten-free on the other hand? I feel like it’s a constant learning process.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

However, after trying a lot of different combinations, I truly feel like I’ve found my winner–my go-to flour blend that I will use 90% of the time. Of course, I will still try new things and learn lots of new tricks as I go, but after a series of successful baked goods (teenager approved and all!), I finally feel ready to share my blend with you guys. In fact, tonight I told Steve I may even like this better than wheat flour. The texture is ultra-soft, and perfect for baked goods.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

A couple things to note: While I have used this blend to replace wheat flour in many different recipes, sometimes (especially in cookies) you may need to some extra flour. I often add an extra 1/4 to 1/2 cup compared to what a recipe calls for in cookies. My suggestion is to start off following the recipe, then add extra as needed. I usually start by adding 1/4 cup if the mixture is overly sticky and unworkable. Be careful though–too much flour leads to dry and cakey baked goods.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

My favorite part of this blend? No weird ingredients. No xanthan gum, nothing too obscure, and no need to add any extra ingredients when baking. And it’s a whole grain mix! You better believe I’m not about to start baking with refined grains just because it’s gluten-free. ;) The method is simple–it’s a 3:3:2 measurement of brown rice flour, gluten-free oat flour  (you can buy this at the store, or easily make your own with gluten-free oats in a food processor), and almond meal (you can also buy this, or make your own). You can simply mix these flours together for a recipe, or you can make a larger batch so that the measurements are already taken care of.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

Making the blend ahead of time in a larger batch is a great time saver. You could also make a batch as a gift for a friend who maintains a gluten-free diet. If they haven’t found a lot of products they like yet, they will seriously love you for helping them enjoy the delicious treats they’ve been missing. This blend literally tastes no different than any regular flour, and is great for everyone no matter if you follow a gluten-free diet or not.

My Gluten-free Baking Blend

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

My Gluten-free Baking Blend

A perfectly soft whole grain gluten-free baking mix perfect for cookies, cakes, quick breads, and more.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups brown rice flour
  • 3 cups gluten-free oat flour*
  • 2 cups almond meal*

Instructions

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

*Oat flour and almond meal can each be made by pulsing oats or almond in food processor until a fine flour forms. Be careful with almonds not to over-pulse or you will end up with almond butter.

*This mix can replace all-purpose flour in most recipes. You may need to add a little bit extra (especially in cookies).

*Recipe inspired by Edible Perspective

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Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Big, tall, soft and fluffy blueberry buttermilk muffins topped with coarse sugar that will give those bakery muffins a run for their money!Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I am out of just about every food imaginable at my house. Yesterday I had frozen enchiladas for breakfast, and today I started a fire in my microwave trying to spice up my oatmeal. Maybe I should explain. I really like drippy peanut butter (or almond, or whatev) on my oatmeal, and I’m completely out of all butters except for a 1 tablespoon packet of almond butter. You know? The kind you have to knead first and it never really gets drippy like the stuff from a jar? So I thought it would be brilliant to put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. It was not the first time I’ve ever made that type of mistake, but it was the first time anything has actually caught on fire.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I stared at in in disbelief for a moment, then I blew the fire out. It was mildly scary, and also a little funny. You know, one of those times where you’re really glad no one else is at home and has to see how dumb you are, but then you tell the entire internet, and the whole idea of any discrepancy is completely lost.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

It’s funny. You go away for a weekend leaving the man in your house to his own devices, and you come home to find no new groceries, just lots of receipts from Chipotle. And somehow I can’t find the motivation to go grocery shop. Or make more muffins. Or get off the couch? Post adventure hangover is apparently still in play.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Basically, I wish these muffins had lasted more than 48 hours and magically withstood the 3 months that have now passed since I made them. I would eat the crap out of them, and I wouldn’t even have to burn the house down to do it.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I’d been eyeing my girl Sally’s blueberry muffins for a good long time, and been dyyyying to try to make some muffins as tall and beautiful as her’s, so one day I had some leftover blueberries in my fridge, and just decided they needed to happen already.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

The result was the tallest, most gorgeous muffins I have ever seen come out of my oven! Sally uses extra baking powder and starts with a high oven temp which is the secret to these perfect muffin tops. So much better than my usual muffin top (#whatisgoingonwithmymuffintop)<–Inside joke from Hood to Coast just for you, Laurel. ;)

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (preferably organic)
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray, or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in buttermilk, applesauce and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Gently, fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Evenly divide batter between 12 standard muffin tins. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a nice pinch of coarse sugar. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue to bake for an other 17-20 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (with just a few crumbs).
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve or transfer to a wire rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

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Drink & Dish: Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

When I was a little girl, my brother’s mom (yeah, my family is hard to explain…she’s not my mom, or my step mom…) always kept the creamsicle ice cream in the house. You know, the swirl between the orange sorbet, and vanilla ice cream? The one that is 100x superior to just the bar with the ice cream on the inside? She always had it, and I always finished it. She probably never got more than a bowl full, and I didn’t even live there.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

There is something so refreshing about the bright, citrusy, orange flavor against the smooth and creamy vanilla that is just about perfect in every way. Great on their own, better together.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

I’m a little obsessed with stuffing cookies. I mean, I love a good chocolate chip cookie, but it is almost always better if all of the chocolate (or white chocolate as the case may be) is contained to the center, so that when you bite into the cookies you have the same experience as, say, a jelly-filled donut. And if you don’ know it’s in there, you get an AWESOME SURPRISE!!

creamsiclecookies-13

These creamsicle cookies are dangerously addictive. The cookie is soft and chewy, and the white chocolate filling stays perfectly creamy, even after the cookies have cooled. In fact, these are a rare cookie case when they taste BETTER after cooling completely. They come out slightly underdone, and need about a full hour after that to set, and cool completely. I mean, I was impatient, and I still loved them right out of the oven, but it wasn’t until I had one the next day that I fell deeply, deeply in love. In fact, the second batch didn’t even make it past the filming day. They were that good.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Cookie stuffing can be one of those things that no matter how well you try to describe it, it’s better just to see it in action, so Nicole and I are bringing you an awesome summer episode of drink and dish! Be sure to check out her recipe for her delicious rum punch!

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12-16 cookies

Serving Size: 2 cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 oz good quality white chocolate squares or chopped into large chunks

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together sugar and orange zest. Then beat in cream cheese, egg white, and orange juice until combined. Slowly, beat in dry ingredients until combined, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Refrigerate dough for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Roll cookies into 1? balls, then stuff with a white chocolate square. Re-roll into 1? ball, making sure all the white chocolate is covered. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden. Cool completely on baking sheet. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.
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Plain Ol’ Chocolate Chip Cookies {vegan}

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

 

Sometimes you just need plain, simple, classic comfort food. This is one of those times.

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

Would you believe I didn’t have a chocolate chip cookie recipe on here? I’m actually more intimidated by simple, well-known recipes. I feel like it has to be *perfect* and I don’t want to post it, until I know I’ve gotten it right.

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

Chocolate chip cookies with no butter is not an easy feat, my friends. You see, with peanut butter cookies, it’s easy–the fat in the peanut butter works perfectly, and you don’t realize you’re missing the butter, but in a plain ol’ chocolate chip cookie? The flavors I associate are butter, brown sugar and, well, chocolate! But honestly, butter is probably number one.

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

The secret? It’s the combination of apple butter, which gives the perfect texture (far superior to applesauce or yogurt in cookies) and the tiniest bit of butter extract. That stuff is magical. Using cornstarch in place of an egg not only makes them vegan, but helps keep them thick and chewy, and the massive amount of chocolate chips is 100% necessary. Also, a tiny sprinkle of salt on your dough just before it goes into the oven will take your cookie flavor to the next level! Not quite salted, but it evens out the sweetness.

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

The result is healthier chocolate chip cookies that taste like the real deal. Thick, chewy, with a slight crunch on the outside, and that perfect soft, gooey, and extra chocolatey inside. I am finally ready to share my chocolate chip cookies with you, because I finally got it right.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Simple, classic, vegan and whole grain chocolate chip cookies that taste just like the real deal.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp butter flavoring (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together apple butter and sugars until combined. Beat in almond milk, vanilla and butter flavoring. Slowly add in dry ingredients, beating until just combined. Beat in chocolate chips. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.Use a small cookie scoop, or roll dough into 1" balls. Add a tiny pinch (or more if you want them to have the "salted" taste) of sea salt to the top of each cookie dough ball.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and just set. Do not over bake. Allow to cool completely on cookie sheet. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.
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