A few days ago, my husband tweeted, “If loving cookies is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”
That man is a cookie fiend, but the cookies he was eating when he wrote that are especially delicious. They are made from a recipe I created by altering a recipe I’d already created. The first recipe calls for sorghum, teff, buckwheat, and mesquite flours. One day, maybe six months ago, when I had a craving for the unique and marvelous taste of mesquite, I began pulling out my flours to make the original cookies . . . but I discovered I was out of buckwheat. Then I noticed a package of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour mix that had been opened but barely used. I decided to try the recipe using Bob’s in lieu of the teff, buckwheat, and sorghum. And honestly? Even though the batter itself didn’t taste as good as the first version (Bob’s has the tin-like beany taste in the flour), when the cookies were baked, the beany flavor evaporated, and I thought the finished product was better than the original.
After I made the new variety, I ate a couple and put the rest in the freezer—an action that I usually take with cookies to avoid the on-the-counter incessant munching phenomenon. When I popped by a friend’s apartment a few days later, I took her a couple of the frozen cookies, which she adored. Ever since then, she’s mentioned those cookies whenever I have prepared other foods around her. So when she had surgery a few days ago, I bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill, pulled out a pack of mesquite flour, and got to work.
She ate a couple of cookies with her pain pills. They certainly don’t make it all better, but every little bit helps.
Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies, Take II
Gluten-free, Egg-free, Casein-free, Vegan
6 Tbsp. hot water
3 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
1 tsp. oil
2 1/4 c. Bob’s Red Mill GF baking flour mix
3/4 c. mesquite flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (use a bit more if you don’t use salted nuts or seeds in your version)
1 c. Spectrum shortening or ghee
1 c. turbinado sugar
1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 c. dairy-free chocolate chips
1 c. roasted, salted pecans (or salted sunflower seeds, for a non-nut option)
possibly 1-3 tablespoons of water
Put the oven racks in the top half of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the flax meal, hot water, and oil in a small bowl (I use a ramekin for this). Allow to gel while you perform the next steps.
If you’ve never used mesquite flour before, open the package and put your nose to it so that you can inhale it malty, nutty, chocolaty aroma. Combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Cream the shortening/ghee with the sugars and vanilla until well-mixed. Add the flax egg replacer, and mix well. Add the flour in three or four doses, mixing between each dose. Fold in the remaining ingredients. The batter should be mildly crumbly but should be easy to press or roll into small balls of dough. If you think the batter is too crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water, mix the batter thoroughly, and test it again. Repeat if necessary.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Scoop or press about two tablespoons of dough into a ball or somewhat flattened ball. (The cookies seem to spread more if they’re made with shortening rather than ghee.) Place the cookies about two inches apart on the pans.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until cookies are fairly firm. (They will firm up more while they cool.) The cookies will be a bit darker than traditional chocolate chip cookies due to the flours in them. Remove the cookies from the oven, and transfer to a wire cooling rack after a couple of minutes.
(You may refrigerate the dough, covered, for a day before shaping and baking the cookies. Sometimes I think they even come out better that way.)
Makes a lot of cookies. My batch made about 36.