These cookies started out as a desire to make gluten-free thumbprint cookies. After looking around I found that almond flour was a popular choice for thumbprint cookies, usually with a jam center. But after checking out a few examples I realized they would probably flatten out at altitude and not look very thumbprint-y. So I morphed a few recipes together, added chocolate chips (of course) and came up with these.
The original recipe that I started with had too much sugar for my liking, and excess sugar is bad at altitude. So, I removed some sugar. I also used less baking powder for high altitude, and added milk to counteract the dryness. The next change was to substitute vegan margarine for the shortening because I prefer the taste. Then I decorated the cookies with chocolate chips because all the best cookies have chocolate in them somewhere.
Almond Cookies with Chocolate Chips loosely adapted from SarahBakesGFFree
1 3/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup tapioca starch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 TBS almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
chocolate chips for decoration
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together almond flour, sugar, tapioca starch, baking powder and salt. Mix vegan margarine, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla in a stand mixer. Add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Place tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough onto cookie sheet. Flatten with palm of hand. Top with a few chocolate chips and gently press into cookie dough.
Bake cookies 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet sitting on a cooling rack. Remove cookies from pan and place on cooling rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container. Makes 24 cookies.
When I first spotted vegan phyllo dough at the market I was very excited. The odd thing is that I’ve never made anything with phyllo or had a desire to use it. My mom made baklava when I was a kid and it seemed way too labor intensive. But, I do love a good vegan baking challenge so I bought a package. After scouring recipes using phyllo, I chose one that sounded relatively simple and looked like a nice snack.
For this recipe I didn’t need to veganize or high altitude it. I figured the experimenting would be the phyllo dough itself as the difficulty would be the correct and quick handling of the dough. The most important thing I learned was to have a partner handy to brush the sheets with oil while you assemble the dish. The dough is finicky and dries out quickly, but having help made it go more smoothly. It also made preparation more fun.
The treat is messy to eat because the phyllo wants to crumble when you take a bite. The best part of this experiment was watching my husband take an entire piece and shove it in his mouth in order to be neater. I wish the illustrating photo could have been of that moment but I was too busy laughing.
Chocolate Phyllo Crispies adapted from Native Foods Celebration Cookbook
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces dark chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups almonds, roasted and ground
zest of 1/2 an orange
1/4 cup canola oil
12 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted per package directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Chop chocolate into 1/2” pieces and mix in blender with sugar. Combine chocolate mixture in a bowl with almonds and orange zest. Brush bottom of a 9×13” pan with oil. Cut phyllo sheets to fit the pan.
Place a sheet of phyllo brushed with oil in the pan. Sprinkle chocolate-almond mixture lightly over top. Alternate phyllo sheet (with brushed oil), then chocolate, until all phyllo and mixture are used. Cut into squares or triangles with a sharp knife. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.