Prep time: 20 min Bake time: 10-14 min Makes about 20 cookies
The annual holiday baking was a full event this year. My sisters and I flew home for the holidays, took some time to visit with the family, cuddled with Charles Barkley (the dog), and half-unpacked when I decided it was time to start baking. It feels like I've recently reignited a passion for baking, I think it's because I'm letting go of the idea that everything I create needs to be perfect... thanks to a few wise words from a friend. I've almost always approached baking with a lot of stress. Stress over getting it right the first time (as if that actually happens), stress over not understanding what went wrong, and frustration when my family didn't love the result... I've had countless batches turn out like this.
But this year, I wanted to change my approach. To holiday baking of course, but really anything I try and make. Although baking can be frustrating and sometimes quite defeating, every so-called "failure" is an opportunity to learn. And hopefully, apply that to the next batch. So as I settled into a few days of baking, I went in with the goal of learning. And boy did I learn a few things after 6 batches of subpar cookies:
The first batch had dough so dry that the cookies stayed the same shape in the oven
The second batch became one big cookie
The third got better but lacked flavor
The fourth, I finally figured out the bakery-style cracked cookie top
The fifth is when I realized the magic of adding an egg
The sixth... I was happy with
Honestly, each batch bummed me out a little more. Mostly because I wanted to hand these out and I get very self-conscious about people trying my food, I want them to genuinely like it, though I understand you can't please everyone... I'd imagine any baker or chef (not that I'm either of those) probably feels this way. But at the same time, each batch motivated me to keep going.
If you take anything away from this, I hope it's that you keep trying, and keep learning, especially when it's something you're deeply passionate about. And when you do accomplish that thing (because you will) it'll feel monumental. Not because it's done, but because of the obstacles it took overcoming to get there. Without them, what would the accomplishment really be?
Anyways, if you didn't come here for my TED talk and just wanted the recipe, here you are! The goal was to recreate my ginger (not so snappy) cookie recipe, but gluten-free. I subbed the AP flour for brown rice (a very neutral flour) and added an egg (like I said, magical). If you were to ask me, I actually prefer this version.
C O N S I D E R A T I O N S
If you don't want to make flax egg, you can try just one egg, I think it would be fine.
To make these vegan, just use flax egg. That's what the original version calls for, I would make 2 large flax eggs and note that the dough may be a bit annoying to shape, but it'll work.
Can always lessen the sugar / oil, but I would keep the ratios the same, so reduce both.
A pinch of extra salt could go a long way here
I N G R E D I E N T S
2 1/2 c brown rice flour
1 c melted coconut oil
1c coconut sugar
1/4 c molasses
1 egg + 1 flax egg (1 large Tbsp ground flax / 3 Tbsp water)
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
extra coconut sugar to roll dough in
S T E P S
Preheat oven to @350 F. If you're using flax egg, make and set aside.
Melt the oil and add the sugar to the mixture.
Add the molasses, egg, and flax egg to the sugar/oil then mix.
Mix all other ingredients in another bowl.
Slowly add the flour to the sugar/oil. Stir together until there is no dry flour remaining.
Roll into balls (mine were larger than the average cookie but that's my preference), coat in a little sugar, pop in the oven.
Bake for 10-14 min (or until golden brown) @350 F - 10 min makes a very gooey cookie, I found 12 to be the sweet spot, and 14 + to be a chewier texture. *See the note below
N O T E: If you're looking for that cracked, bakery-style look on top, follow these steps:
1. At about 7 minutes in, forcefully knock the pan against the oven rack a few times. The cookies will deflate and begin to crack. Close the oven door and wait about 2 minutes, the dough will inflate again.
2. After the time has passed, knock the pan again. If you're baking for 10 minutes, take the batch out just after the second tap and let them cool (do not touch them). If you're waiting a bit longer, put them back in the oven and repeat this rest / tap process until your bake time is over.