There is a time to let a cookie be what it is. A cookie. The original version sweet soulfood that you don't scrutinize, you just savour to the last crumb. Or devour Cookie Monster style.
And then there is a time for the cookie, next gen.
If you are eating vegan, gluten free, or just looking to cut back on refined sugar and white flour, you are going to have to give your old standards a makeover.
Let's take the classic Gingersnap, for instance. Here's the recipe for the crinkly spicy chewy rolled-in-sugar delight I've enjoyed every Christmas all my life (thanks Mum xo). Old school. Pulled straight from The Joy of Cooking, I'm going to reproduce it here so that you may compare the ingredients in the original to those in the upgrade below.
Joy of Cooking Gingersnaps
3/4 C butter
2 C sugar
2 well-beaten eggs
1/2 C molasses
2 t vinegar
Sift and add:
3 3/4 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 t soda
2-3 t dried ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t cloves
Mix ingredients until well blended. Form into 3/4 inch balls. (Wha'? I can hardly believe that it doesn't actually say roll in sugar in my version of The Joy of Cooking. But we all know roll-in-sugar is just what. is. done with these bad boys.).
Bake on greased cookie sheet for about 12 minutes.
And now... here's the Gingersnap 2.0. Inspired by you, Cindy, my friend and culinary genius, I created this recipe that will satisfy everybody's gingerbread craving this holiday season. Vegan. Gluten free. And dare-I-say better than the original (sorry Mum xo).
2 C oat flour*
2 C almond meal
1/2 C coconut sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
fresh ground pepper - 5 or 6 turns of the grinder
2 t cinnamon
fresh grated nutmeg - about 1/2 t
fresh grated ginger - about 4 heaping T (yes, that's a capital T Tablespoon. Trust me.)
2 flax "eggs"**
6 T coconut oil (unmelted)
2 T tahini
4 T blackstrap molasses
2 t vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment.
Combine dry ingredients and in food processor, and then pulse in the fresh ginger. Add wet ingredients and process until you recognize it to be cookie dough. Smile! It's cookie dough! Hale yeah!
Roll up your sleeves and dig in. I went for golf-ball sized and came out with 21 cookies. To roll these darlings in sugar seemed kind of widdershins (a new-to me word I've been dying to use. Synonyms: retrogressive, ass-backwards), so I popped a bit of crystallized ginger in the centre and baked them. 18 minutes left them super moist and chewy.
For the win!
*In my typical exuberant gotta do this thing NOW fashion, I jumped into this GF cookie experiment without any GF flours on hand. So I used what almond meal I had in the freezer (not enough), and made "oat flour" by throwing some rolled oats in my food processor for a couple of minutes. The result is a coarse flour that makes for a rustic log cabin type cookie experience. Which, frankly, really appeals to me. If you are going for something that might work better on a doily, I'd suggest that you purchase and use finer grind whole oat flour.
**Soak 2 T ground flax in 6 T water and let sit for a few minutes.