I accidentally started my Thanksgiving cooking early (what, that doesn't happen to you?). I meant to make a half-batch of these as a test run but, oops, made a whole batch. This happens to me every time I mean to make a half-batch of things, I should just give up on that dream. Fortunately, cookies freeze really well.
On a night filled with pies and pumpkin-y grossness, I wanted there to be a dessert my dad could eat. I also plan to force other people to eat them so they can be astonished that, yes, Virginia, gluten-free and vegan cookies are delicious. And if people start talking about what a culinary genius I am then, well, so be it. That's my burden to bear.
These cookies were great! Your kitchen will smell like syrup when they're baking, but the maple flavoring isn't overwhelming at all. The batter smelled and tasted too maple-y, but don't be put off by that, the flavor really becomes much more subtle after baking. The biggest obstacle with gluten-free baking is the texture, which was barely noticeable especially with all the chopped nuts. I think that only people who are familiar with gluten-free baking would be able to tell that these weren't made with wheat flour.
- 1/2 c canola oil
- 1/4 c pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp maple extract
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c rice or soy milk
- 2 Tbsp tapioca starch [I used this] or arrowroot or corn starch
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour [I used a 1/2 c each of quinoa flour, brown rice flour, and oat flour]
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 c chopped walnuts
- 3 dozen walnut halves [I mostly used pecan halves because it is hard to find whole walnut halves]
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease three cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
Combine the oil, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla and maple extracts, and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. The oil will separate a little but it's okay. Add the soy milk and tapioca starch and mix until the tapioca is dissolved and the mixture resembles caramel.
Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Fold in the chopped walnuts.*
Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Press a walnut [or pecan!] half into the center of each cookie. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let sit for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
* My batter was really liquidy, which I've read is a fairly common problem. Just add flour (a couple tablespoons at a time) until it is not so runny. I added 1/4 c more tapioca starch and 2 Tbsp brown rice flour and that worked perfectly.