We are so close to Spring–so close to long walks, decent morning runs, day-trip hikes and noon-time picnics, you can almost taste it. And you can taste it! Because I have created the perfect vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free cookie that is just perfect for dropping in your basket or slipping in your backpack.
So you’re thinking “yeah, right.” Sounds healthy but maybe not yummy like a cookie. But it is! And here’s how I did it with a little help from two special friends.
Remember Angie Carl, the owner of My Coconut Kitchen? Her innovative flavored coconut spreads make many of my recipes over-the-top delicious—my Ground Cherry Chews, for instance. Here, her Toasted Coconut flavor (my personal favorite) provides the “buttery” richness in the seed cookie.
Then for the filling, I added my friend Jackie’s amazing homemade no-sugar apple butter to some hydrated mission figs. Jackie, the owner of The Family Garden in New Douglas, IL, has been featured several times on this blog—she’s doing everything right on their small farm—she’s my egg supplier, pumpkin producer, jam and jelly queen and—most of all–my very good friend. She’s really hit the mark with this no-sugar apple butter, so if you can buy from Jackie in my area, do it! If you can’t connect with Jackie, go for the best, no-sweetener-added apple butter you can find. And let us know if you have a personal favorite!
Now let’s start those ovens and begin the cookies because we don’t want to miss one single sunshiny day!
- 10 ounces dried mission figs, stems removed and rough chopped
- Juice from two large organic oranges--You need one half-cup plus three tablespoons juice. (While organic is always best, you are also using the zest in the cookie, so organic is critical here.)
- Two tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- One-quarter cup unsweetened apple butter
- Pinch or two of fine sea salt
- One tablespoon flax seed, ground fine
- Zest from two large oranges to equal two tablespoons or more
- One-half cup oat bran
- One-half cup almond flour
- One cup oat flour
- One teaspoon baking powder
- One-half teaspoon fine sea salt
- One-half cup coconut sugar
- One cup raw shelled pistachios
- One-half cup raw, unsweetened coconut
- One-half cup raw hemp seed hearts
- One-half cup chia seeds
- One-half cup My Coconut Kitchen Toasted Coconut Butter
- One-half cup coconut spread such as Earth Balance
- One teaspoon vanilla
- Begin by preparing your oranges: zest with your microplane, reserving at least two tablespoons of zest for your cookie. Slice open the oranges and juice them, reserving at least one-half cup fresh juice to hydrate your figs. If you find you don’t have enough, juice a third orange. Extra zest is not a problem, but don’t use extra juice to soak the figs....just drink it!
- Now move onto the filling: place your chopped figs in a medium bowl, add the ginger and sea salt and cover with the fresh orange juice. Stir and allow this to sit for at least 30 minutes—you want the figs to completely absorb the juice. Sitting longer is not a problem, so you can move along to the rest of your recipe at your own leisurely pace.
- At this point, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and have ready two large baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.
- To create the binder for your vegan cookies, combine the remaining three tablespoons of fresh orange juice with the tablespoon of ground flax seed. Allow this to stand while you prepare the rest of the cookie ingredients, at least five to 10 minutes. It will get thick and gummy, which is what you want.
- In the bowl of your food processor, combine the oat bran, oat flour, almond flour, coconut sugar, orange zest, pistachios, coconut, baking powder and sea salt. Pulse until you have a fine, even flour mixture. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl and stir in the chia and hemp seeds.
- In a small saucepan, melt the toasted coconut butter and coconut spread. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Using a rubber spatula to start, combine the melted coconut butter/vanilla mixture with the dry ingredients and the soaked flax seed. Once you get this going, you will need to use your hands to get it into a thick even dough. It will happen, but you will need to be a bit patient. Keep working it until it all holds together well.
- Wash hands before the next step—forming the cookies with clean, slightly moist hands makes things a lot easier.
- Using a tablespoon, form the cookies by squeezing the dough into your clean palm to get it to hold together well, then placing it on the prepared cookie sheet and patting it into a circle about a quarter-inch thick. You need to shape these cookies so that they look as they need to look when you “sandwich” them. Once you have one cookie sheet filled (I got 12 cookies per large sheet, spaced about an inch apart.), stick the cookies in the frig to chill slightly while you shape the rest onto the second baking sheet. You want them in the frig for approximately five minutes, just enough to help them hold their shape while baking.
- Move the chilled cookies to the oven as you put your second baking sheet of cookies in the frig. Bake each set of cookies for 10 minutes, rotating your sheet at the 5-minute mark. Remove from the oven when the edges are toasted and slightly browned. Cool at least 5 minutes on the sheet so that the cookies firm up; then, transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. These cookies remain somewhat fragile, so extra care in handling.
- Once all the cookies are baked and cooling on the rack, complete your filling by placing the hydrated fig mixture in the bowl of your food processor and adding the quarter-cup of apple butter. Pulse until you have a smooth, even paste. Transfer to a small bowl until you are ready to assemble the sandwich cookies.
- Once they’ve cooled, I think it is best to store the cookies in an airtight container and the filling in its bowl in the frig until you are ready to assemble your Super Seed Sandwich Cookies. I assembled them as I needed them, and this worked well. I didn't prepare too many ahead.
- To assemble, place one cookie on your work area and top with about a teaspoon of filling. You can gently spread the filling out a bit and then use a second cookie to squish down the filling. Easy does it, as these are fairly delicate, but they still travel well—I took them all over just to test. A small container such as Tupperware or stainless food box will work well.
Prep time includes all your steps prior to baking, and cook time equals time in the oven. Assembly takes about two minutes per cookie sandwich, if you are really wanting perfect cookies.
Note that you can serve these cookies without filling, if that’s your preference. They are not super sweet but really rich. If you go for the filling, you’ll have extra, which can be quite nice as a jam at breakfast. Don slathered it all over a grilled pork patty. Whacha gonna do?
I also want to bring your attention to a good resource: One Green Planet. This is my go-to for stuff like the flax seed binder—they have a great page on this. Plus, they provide information on everything green—recipes, environmental news, current affairs that affect the planet. They are a top eco-friendly org that could use your support to keep going. Just a thought.
See you out on the trails! Let’s share a log and munch a cookie…yes?