This post, Alternative cookies & other tasty treats, was originally posted on November 16, 2010. But, I’ve had some technical issues that I can’t seem to resolve, so I decided to repost it. I hope this works! Happy Baking!
Flourless chocolate pecan cookies (photo above) are gluten-free, easy to mix up, and (most importantly) really tasty!
My good friend asked, “the hubby and I make Christmas cookies as gifts, can you recommend some better alternative recipes besides the processed bleached flour and refined sugar ones I have?”
I have lots of ideas. But, I should note, most of my baking is pretty traditional. I believe butter tastes better and is better for you than margarine. Flour can be pretty flexible, and I’ve made many gluten-free things, as well as things with alternative flours just ’cause they’re tasty. One really easy thing I’d suggest is to switch to unbleached flour. It’s more natural, and has a prettier color (in my opinion) than bleached flour.
As for sugar… well, sugar, honey, molasses, anything natural is great. Stevia, although natural, is not sugar and should be used according to the recipe you have, as it’s not always a one for one substitute. However, I can’t suggest the use of fake ingredients like Splenda or Aspartame. If you want to know more about these alternative sugars, I’d suggest reading the book, Skinny Bitch.
With that, here are some suggestions for tasty alternative homemade cookies & gifts…
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
The cake recipe is here. And the Caramel Frosting (not vegan) recipe is here.
This cake is so good that no one will guess that it’s vegan! And, everyone loves a cupcake!
Coconut Oat Cookies
These thin crisp cookies have lots of fiber from the oats and coconut. Find the recipe here.
Almond Butter Chocolate Chunkers
- 1 cup almond butter well stirred (this can be homemade or purchased)
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large organic egg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 oz dark chocolate broken or cut into small chunks
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix first five ingredients (almond butter through salt) until well blended. Stir in chocolate. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cook completely (about 10 minutes) on baking sheet (cookies are soft when warm, and may fall apart). Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Make Ahead: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies I’ve never made this low-fat variation, but I keep meaning to. It has 1/2 the fat of the original. Plus, the oatmeal is full of fiber and flavor.
King Arthur Flour’s chewy almond cookies
Chewy, flourless (gluten-free), and unleavened
I love meringues. They’re crunchy and chewy. Soft and crisp. You can vary the stuff inside – like nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, or whatever you like. Meringues are gluten-free, super low-fat, and can have some nice fruit inside.
And, there are some non-cookie options, like…
Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Banana Bites This one might be a little difficult because it’s frozen, but it’s really tasty and people love ’em.
Honey Roasted Pecans
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread pecans out on a shallow baking pan that’s been lined with a silpat. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle the honey over, then, toss to coat the pecans with the honey. Sprinkle the sugar over the top. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until honey is fragrant. Stir, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and separate pecans with two forks while they are still warm. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Speaking of pecans, how about some Crisp Pecans. Recipe here.
homemade herbed vinegars