Picture a cookie.
A vegan cookie.
A vegan, shortbread-esque cookie, delicately scented with orange and cardamom.
These cookies were the result of a weekend experiment gone terribly right. I woke up last Friday at the crack of dawn thanks to an uncomfortable night’s sleep (due in large part to the DOMS I was experiencing after trying a new workout routine) and felt the urge to fill the house with the smell of something wonderful.
While I’m no stranger to decadent baked goods – it’s no secret that I far prefer a wholesome, naturally sweetened and delicately spiced baked treat when I choose to indulge. A quick survey of the ingredients in my kitchen alluded to just that.
- ¼ cup of coconut oil, softened
- ¼ cup date paste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp gluten-free flour blend
- Preheat your oven to 176 C/350 F and line a large cookie sheet with baking parchment paper.
- Start by combining all the wet ingredients together using a mixer (or just a whisk and some elbow grease). First cream the coconut oil with the date paste until it forms one cohesive caramel coloured base, then add in the vanilla, orange juice and zest.
- Next in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
- Fold wet into dry and mix until you have a nice buttery looking dough that you can roll into a ball. Note that if the mix is too dry, you can add some more date paste or even maple syrup – whereas if it’s too sticky, try adding 1 tbsp of flour.
- Roll the dough into balls, then flatten out on a piece of baking paper and use your cookie cutter of choice to cut out shapes. Carefully transfer them to the cookie sheet and bake for no more than 14/15 minutes OR until the edges are just golden (careful not to burn).
- Allow to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes then enjoy.
My first round baking these, I was a tad to wary and took them out before they crisped up properly, which made for a slightly denser cookie especially later on in the day – but when baked to perfection they are heavenly.
The orange and cardamom marry together beautifully, and I’m honestly shocked at how well my date paste held up as a sweetener – though if you prefer a sweeter cookie you may choose to use maple syrup instead.
Mother and man-friend approved, by the way. The latter ate the bulk of my batch, and commented on how moreish they were.
They are the perfect cookie to have with a tea or coffee – or even just good old non-dairy milk. Light and airy, and not too sweet, they made for an ideal mid-morning snack.
As for why gluten-free, the answer is why not! I am not coeliac, nor do I have any serious gluten intolerances (and I never claim to) – however I enjoy experimenting with all styles of baking, and personally feel better when I limit the amount of wheat I consume. That’s not to say that a basket of freshly baked roti or a slice of vegan cake don’t make their way to my plate every once in a while. As the old adage goes, everything in moderation. But anyways, I digress.
These cookies – make them!