I don’t talk about it much here (because nowadays I eat everything), but I had quite a few food sensitivities at one point in my life. This was a while ago: back in my early 20s. Boy do I wish I’d had a book like Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free back then!
Ricki Heller was one of the very first bloggers I met (albeit virtually) when I started blogging. She’s an absolute sweetheart and I’ve always admired her incredible creativity when it comes to recipes. Ricki’s diet may be limited, but her recipe offerings are anything but…she’s an absolute whiz at coming up with innovative baked goods that don’t contain any animal products, gluten, or refined sugars.
Ricki sent me a copy of her book Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free: Allergy Friendly Vegan Desserts to review. It’s beautifully photographed and everything looks very delicious.
Most of the recipes in the book do require quite a few ingredients, some of which I do not keep on hand. Since I do not have dietary restrictions, I adapted one of the recipes so I could make it with ingredients I already had.
These Chocolate-Flecked Sesame Cookies are adapted from Ricki’s Chocolate-Flecked Pumpkin Seed Cookies. They are so yummy: I have been snacking on them all week. The coconut sugar gives them lovely flavor and a bit of crunch I just adore, but be warned: they are a little crumbly due to the almond flour (and the flax seed being the only “binder”).
Ricki’s recipe is below…my changes are in parentheses.
Be sure to follow Ricki on facebook and twitter for more news about her book!
Chocolate-Flecked Pumpkin Seed (or Sesame) Cookies
- *⅓ cup 55 g coconut sugar (I used 3/4 cup coconut sugar)
- *20 to 30 drops pure plain or vanilla liquid stevia liquid I omitted this ingredient
- *¼ cup 60 ml water (I omitted this)
- *1 tsp 5 ml pure vanilla extract
- *½ cup 120 ml natural smooth pumpkin seed butter, at room temperature (I used sesame butter/tahini instead)
- *¼ cup 25 g finely ground flax seeds from about 2 Tbsp whole seeds
- *½ cup 75 g brown rice flour (I used almond flour instead)
- *⅛ tsp .5 ml fine sea salt
- *¼ cup 50 g unsweetened carob chips or dairy-free chocolate chips, coarsely chopped (I used mini chocolate chips and increased the amount to 1/3 cup)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
- 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, stevia, water, and vanilla until the sugar dissolves (note: I omitted the stevia and water).
- 3. Add the pumpkin seed butter (I used tahini), flax, flour, and salt and mix well to form a very thick and sticky dough. Stir in the chips.
- 4. Using a heaping teaspoon (5 ml), scoop the dough and roll it into small balls, placing them about one inch (2.5 cm) apart on the cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with your palm or a silicone spatula (I made my cookies a bit bigger than this, and ended up with 8 cookies).
- 5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheet about halfway through, until the cookies are light golden brown (the dough will lighten as the cookies bake). Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet.
- 6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. May be frozen.