Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gluten-free Trail Mix Cookies

My children are growing up cookie-less.  I think this is the second batch of cookies I have made since drastically altering our diet and sugar intake about two years ago.  The main reason is that I wasn't sure how decreasing the sugar content would affect cookie texture.  Muffins can be made savory.  Other desserts such as puddings, etc. don't depend on sugar for structure or texture, so I have felt pretty confident at severely decreasing the amount of sweetener used.  Cookies are a whole other ballgame, however.  The whole texture of a cookie is dependent on the subtle ratio differences of sugar, fat, and flour.  I don't need to worry about texture with this cookie though.  This cookie has so many add-ins that it defeats any discussion about chewy vs. crispy vs. cakey.  Even though I decreased the sweetener by more than a third, this cookie is still plenty sweet.  I might play around with decreasing the honey even more (to 3 ounces perhaps?) since the dried fruit and chocolate add a lot of sweetness, too.  These are really my kind of cookies--chocked full of oats, nuts, and seeds.  I like a cookie that will fill me up.

I adapted this recipe from one posted on Annie's Eats.  Most of my recipes are adapted from normal, wheat-based recipes.  I will always link back to the original source of inspiration, so hopefully those of you not confined to a gluten-free diet (uh, all but one of you?), can still find these recipe posts interesting.

Gluten-free Trail Mix Cookies


3.4 ounces all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3.9 ounces honey

1 large egg
, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla

1¼ cup old-fashioned oats

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup dried cherries

¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon; whisk to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the egg.  Mix in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Stir in the oats until evenly combined.  Use a spatula to fold in the raisins, cherries, walnuts, chocolate and sunflower seeds, mixing just until evenly incorporated.  Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least a couple of inches apart.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until golden brown and just set, about 10-12 minutes total.  Let cool on the baking sheets about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 17 cookies.

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