Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I’ve eaten a lot of desserts in my life—A LOT—but as far as sheer enjoyment goes, I still think it’s pretty hard to beat homemade chocolate chip cookies. The combination of caramelized brown sugar cookie and semisweet chocolate chips is about as perfect as it gets, don’t you think?Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is in the archives along with a chocolate chip cookie cake that’s bigger your face <—make that! I’ve been working on another iteration of this classic for about a year, too. I wonder if the people I work for have noticed that every batch of cookie dough I’ve made for the last year has been just slightly different than the last…

But enough about old favorites and the cookies to come—today is all about Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}That’s right—these delectable chocolate chip cookies are made with creamy cashew butter in place of a traditional flour base, making them gluten-free. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I have a bit of an obsession with reimagining classic cookies with a cashew butter base. The smooth, buttery flavor of cashews is a perfect jumping off point for revamping all sorts of cookie jar favorites! I posted Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles about a year ago and Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies around Christmas, but I think this is my favorite so far. I mean, hello—melty chocolate chips, y’all!Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Another great thing about these Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies? They’re vegan! The natural oil in the cashew butter negates the need for butter, and the usual egg is swapped for a few tablespoons of aquafaba AKA the cooking/canning liquid from chickpeas. Sounds weird, but it totally works, it’s inexpensive and readily available, and no, it will not make your cookies taste like beans. If you’re still skeptical, you can use a flax egg. Either way, you’ll end up with a batch of spectacular vegan, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}You’ll notice that these cookies don’t have the slightly raggedy edges of my other forays into cashew butter cookies. That’s because I finally figured out that these cookies bake up in a more aesthetically pleasing way if you flatten them before they go in the oven.Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}*cue “The More You Know” jingle*Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I’m going to gush a little more about these cookies and then I swear I’m done 😉 This recipe doesn’t require anything beyond a whisk, a silicone spatula, and a bowl. There’s no required chill either–if you turn on the oven right now, you can have an entire batch of cookies ready to go in just about an hour!Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Seriously, there are so many good things to say about Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Their shockingly-close-to-the-real-deal flavor and soft & chewy texture are enough to capture just about any cookie-loving heart ❤ My favorite thing about them though is that they’re vegan and gluten-free, so I can share them with more friends. I’m pretty sure that the only thing better than a fresh homemade batch of chocolate chip cookies is having people to share them with.Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes about 2 dozen small cookies

1 cup creamy-style cashew butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea canning liquid) or 1 flax egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 1/4 cups dairy-free chocolate chips + more for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cashew butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Mix in aquafaba (or flax egg) and vanilla. Use a silicone spatula to fold in cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Fold in dairy-free chocolate chips.

Scoop dough by the tablespoon and form into balls. Place dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared pans and press down to flatten. Bake 10-11 minutes, just until no longer wet-looking. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Press more chocolate chips onto the tops of the warm cookies, if desired. Repeat baking process with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Cashew flavor will mellow slightly over time.

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Sometimes I fall in love with an ingredient or a recipe and I just can’t help but blog about it twice in rapid succession.

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Exhibit A: that time I posted two layer cakes in a week.
Exhibit B: when I made cinnamon rolls and monkey bread in the same week with the same dough.

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}This time (Exhibit C?), I’ve gone a little nuts about old-fashioned oats. I’ve waxed on and on (and on and on and on and on) about how much I love making and eating granola, but even I need a little variety in my repertoire. I mean, who eats their regular everyday breakfast on the weekend?!

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I have lots of weekend breakfasts (or brunches or company breakfasts or holiday breakfasts or whatever you want to call them) in the archives. The one I make most often is a Puff Pancake, but I think that’s about to change because I can’t get enough of these Oatmeal Blender Pancakes.

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I’ve made these easy-peasy pancakes four times since I got back from Christmas vacation and I don’t see any end in sight. I mean, what’s not to love about a stack of pancakes that’s completely whole grain, comes together in the blender, uses ingredients you probably already have, is vegan and gluten-free, and is still soft and fluffy?!

Seriously, y’all. I’m in love.Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes 12-14 small pancakes

5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
~1 2/3 cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free pancakes)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (I like canola), plus more for cooking

For Serving:
pure maple syrup
butter or vegan margarine
fresh fruit

Place apple cider vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Pour in milk of choice until it reaches the 1 2/3 cups mark. Let sit 5 minutes or until curdled.

Combine remaining ingredients in a high-powered blender. Add milk mixture. Blend until smooth, about 40-60 seconds. Scrape down the inside of the blender as necessary. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes; it will thicken slightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add batter to the pan in 1/4 cup increments, leaving space between pancakes. Let cook until bubbles form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Repeat process with all remaining batter, adding oil to the pan as necessary.

Divide pancakes among serving plates. Top with butter, maple syrup, and/or fresh fruit. Serve immediately.

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

10 Minute Stovetop Granola

10 Minute Stovetop GranolaIf you’ve been around here awhile, you know I’m a bit of a granola junkie. I eat the stuff almost everyday. I have five recipes in the archives and another twenty that haven’t been posted. Heck, I even have a recipe for Granola Cookies! What I’m saying is that if you’re into granola, you’ve come to the right corner of the internet.

10 Minute Stovetop GranolaAll the recipes in the archives are made the traditional way—baked at a relatively low temperature with frequent stirring to prevent burning. Each variation makes enough for three weeks worth of breakfasts. Yes, granola is a great thing to prep-ahead and have stashed in your cabinet on busy mornings.

But there are times when I am out of town for a week, or that I am working on a breakfast recipe for an extended period, or even that I just don’t have time for breakfast at home. And, very occasionally, I come up with a flavor combination that simply doesn’t work (Orange-Pistachio comes to mind), and then I’m stuck eating subpar breakfasts for three weeks so that I don’t waste food…10 Minute Stovetop Granola

…until recently, that is.

10 Minute Stovetop GranolaI started making granola on the stovetop this past October and I totally love it. Not only does it take just a quarter of the usual cook time, but it makes a smaller batch! This means that I don’t have to worry about it turning stale in a few weeks or just growing tired of the flavor combination—it’s gone long before that happens.

10 Minute Stovetop GranolaToday’s granola recipe was made as most of mine are: as a way to use up odds and ends from my mix-in cabinets. There are oats of course, but the rest is just based on ratios.

10 Minute Stovetop GranolaFor two cups of oats, I add in one cup of chopped nuts and seeds (pecans, pepitas and sunflower seeds, in this case). Those get toasted in a dry skillet until they are fragrant and the seeds are starting to pop.

10 Minute Stovetop GranolaNext come three tablespoons of oil (I used coconut) and six tablespoons of sweetener. I went for maple syrup and dark brown sugar for this batch, but if you don’t like the idea of straight-up sugar in your breakfast, you may sub coconut sugar or use all maple. Don’t forget to add some salt for balance.

10 Minute Stovetop GranolaCook the granola a few minutes more before removing it from the heat and adding in some dried fruit. I went with dates—I impulse-bought a huge bag of them on a recent trip to Costco and now I’m throwing them in everything. If dried fruit isn’t for you, leave the granola as-is.

10 Minute Stovetop Granola10 Minute Stovetop GranolaSpread the granola out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let it cool. If you’re the type of person who adds chocolate chips to granola, this is the time.

10 Minute Stovetop GranolaPile your finished granola into a jar. Who knew oats, nuts, and seeds could look so pretty?!

10 Minute Stovetop GranolaThis Stovetop Granola doesn’t cluster much, but that can be remedied by using a thicker sweetener like honey or brown rice syrup. Real cluster enthusiasts might want to add an extra tablespoon or two, just in case.

I, however, don’t mind clusterless granola. Paired with some plain yogurt and a full French press…well, I have no complaints at all.10 Minute Stovetop Granola

10 Minute Stovetop Granola
makes about 1 quart

2 cups old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup raw pepitas
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup chopped dates (I used deglet noor)

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add oats, pecans, pepitas, and sunflower seeds. Cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant and toasted (about 4-5 minutes). Do not burn.

Remove pan from heat. Add coconut oil and allow to melt. Stir to coat the oat mixture. Stir in dark brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Return pan to medium heat and cook/stir for 2-3 additional minutes, until sweeteners are incorporated. Remove granola from heat. Stir in chopped dates.

Transfer mixture to parchment-lined pan and allow to cool.

Store granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

10 Minute Stovetop Granola

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

Everyone meet my nephew, Haskell.

Pumpkin Oat Dog TreatsI love that guy, but he just seems to like me okay.

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

I mean, it makes sense that the feelings aren’t all mutual. I keep showing up to his house every few months with treats for his mom (my older sister) and the rest of his human family, while he just gets his everyday food. He’s never voiced a complaint to me, but an aunt just knows.

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

Coming down to Austin for Christmas, I was determined to make sure Haskell had a holiday treat of his own. My dear dog walker friend, VJ, gave me a tried-and-true base treat recipe, I messed with it just a tiny bit, and these Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats are the result.

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

They’re made with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen: rolled oats, pumpkin purée, coconut oil, natural-style peanut butter, and water. Just pulse the oats in a food processor…

Pumpkin Oat Dog TreatsPumpkin Oat Dog Treats

…stir them together with the remaining ingredients until a dough forms…

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

…roll it out and cut some treats. I just kept it simple with this bone-shaped cutter, but feel free to do something a little less traditional. Maybe use some of those cutters you have out from all those holiday cookies.

Pumpkin Oat Dog TreatsPumpkin Oat Dog TreatsBake the treats for twenty minutes or so.

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

Let them cool…

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

…and share with a dog friend. Or a dog nephew, if you’re lucky enough to have one.

Pumpkin Oat Dog TreatsPumpkin Oat Dog Treats

Here’s a reminder that I am just a baker. I recommend checking with your vet before adding any new foods to your dog’s diet.

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats
makes about 20 4-inch treats

2 1/2 cups organic rolled oats
1/2 cup organic pure pumpkin purée
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon natural-style peanut butter
2-3 tablespoons warm water

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a food processor, grind oats just until there are no visible whole oats. Measure 2 cups and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, coconut oil, peanut butter, and 2 tablespoons water. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir until a dough forms. If it appears dry, add 1 tablespoon water.

Roll dough between two sheets of parchment until it reaches 1/4-inch thickness. Use a 4-inch cookie cutter to cut dog treats. Place close together (but not touching) on prepared pan. Re-roll and cut more treats. Bake 20-22 minutes, until starting to turn golden at the edges. Treats will harden as they cool.

Serve treats, making sure to break it into smaller pieces.

Keep treats in an airtight container at room temperature. They may soften slightly over time.

Pumpkin Oat Dog Treats

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The time for holiday cookies and candy and extravagant breakfasts that are actually dessert. The time for family and friends and hot chocolate and caroling. But also, time for taking extra care of those for whom this holiday season might not be so wonderful.

The Sweetest Season GraphicThis year I am participating in The Sweetest Season, benefitting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. As you may know, cancer is the #1 cause of death-by-disease for children in the U.S. In spite of this startling statistic and the 40,000 children currently battling cancer nationwide, less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s $4.6 billion federal budget goes to pediatric cancer research.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that encourages people to raise funds for pediatric cancer research in the most delicious of ways: by making cookies and sharing them with friends and family. The goal is to raise funds to find a cure, one cookie at a time. Many supporters (called “Good Cookies”) choose to have bake sales or cookie swaps, but this year I’m teaming up with many fellow bloggers to post new cookie recipes and donate directly. If you’d like to learn more and/or make a charitable donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, click here.

I made my donation on Giving Tuesday, so now it’s time to talk about cookies–Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies, to be exact 😍😍😍

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Y’all, I’m just crazy about these ginger cookies. They’ve got all the flavor, chewy texture, and sparkly sugared edges you love, but without the gluten, eggs and dairy, so your gluten-free vegan friends can eat them without consequence. I love an inclusive recipe!

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}The base of these cookies is a jar of cashew butter. It gives the simple dough plenty of structure and a buttery, nutty undertone. Dark brown sugar and a couple of tablespoons of molasses keep the finished cookies soft and chewy, while ground ginger and cinnamon amp up that classic holiday cookie flavor!

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}As far as egg replacement goes, I am all about aquafaba these days. If you haven’t heard of this miracle of modern vegan baking, well, you’re in for a surprise and a treat.

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Aquafaba (literally translated “bean water”) is the liquid from cooking and/or canning chickpeas. As the beans cook, they release lots of proteins into the water, creating a nearly-flavorless, almost-gel-like liquid. This is the aquafaba.

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}As aquafaba can be whipped to stiff peaks, many bakers like to use it to make vegan meringue cookies, mousses, and macarons. I haven’t used aquafaba for any of those things (yet!), but I have used it in my Chipotle-Sweet Potato Hummus and Cornmeal Pancakes. <–try those!

If aquafaba isn’t your thing, you could use the “flax egg” mixture I use in my Cashew Butter Snickerdoodles, but know that there will be a difference in flavor from the flaxseed. If you’re not vegan, feel free to swap in one large egg. No matter which option you choose, your cookies will be delicious.

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}But enough about egg replacers! The dough for these Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies comes together quickly. After a short chill and a roll in granulated sugar, they’re ready to go in the oven. The cookies bake up in less than ten minutes, just until they’re soft in the centers and crisp and sparkly at the edges.

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}These little cookies are going to steal the show at your parties and cookie swaps, y’all. They look and taste just like the soft ginger cookies we all know and love–I bet that if I hadn’t just told you that these cookies are made from cashew butter and aquafaba, you wouldn’t even notice. And even if you do, the richness of the cashew butter, hits of molasses and spice, and chewy centers are nearly guaranteed to keep you coming back for more.Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Cashew Butter Ginger Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free} 
makes about 3 dozen small cookies

1 16 ounce jar cashew butter
3 tablespoons aquafaba* (chickpea canning liquid)
2 tablespoons molasses (not blackstrap)
1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Coating:
1/3 cup granulated sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine cashew butter, aquafaba, molasses, dark brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Use an electric mixer (or a silicone spatula and some elbow grease) to beat ingredients together until smooth. Add cornstarch and mix again. Cover dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Pour granulated sugar into a small bowl.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. Scoop dough in one tablespoon increments and roll into balls. Coat in granulated sugar and place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, until puffed and golden at the edges. Let cool on the baking sheets for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process with any remaining dough.

Leftover cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Note:

If you are not vegan, you may use one large egg (at room temperature) in place of the aquafaba. Proceed with the recipe as written.