Babycakes Cookbook and Chocolate Chippers Recipe

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

(Psssst: If you haven't checked out our first giveaway yet -- head over there now! You have until 9PM EST to enter. 3 winners will be announced at some point tomorrow, 1/15/2010.)

This post is dedicated to my friend Liz who brought to my attention that I've included nuts in pretty much every single recipe on this blog. I can be a one-track mind. And I love nuts (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!), peanut butter, Nutella, etc. But I realize many people have food allergies, so today's recipe should be safe for many special dietary needs.

I bought the Babycakes cookbook this week (my friend Emily made some amazing cupcakes from it recently) on Amazon for an impressive $16.32 (list price is $24). Last week, I almost bought the same exact glossy-covered book at Barnes and Noble for the full price. What can I say, I'm an Amazon convert. So, like with anything else -- don't pay full price! The book arrived at my house only days after I ordered it . . . with free shipping!

What is Babycakes? I've never actually been there . . . but it's a bakery -- initially opened in Manhattan -- that exclusively serves up gluten-free, vegan baked goods. But not the heavy, granola-y ones you might think about when you hear they've got nothing "normal" in them. We're talking legit, incredible cookies, cakes, and pies that even your MOM wouldn't suspect to be sans wheat, eggs, milk, sugar, etc.

I started safe with their chocolate chip cookie recipe. One critique I have of the book is that most recipes include at least one ingredient I don't normally use in my own baking. In this case, it was both xanthan gum AND evaporated cane juice. Here's what I did to fix the xanthan gum problem: NOTHING. I just left it out entirely . . . and my cookies turned out great. Crispy and light. A texture I've not achieved before. The evaporated cane juice required some research. I ended up taking some Sugar in the Raw and processing it until it was a fine powder (though not TOO fine like powdered sugar). Worked very well. These cookies actually snap (like ginger snaps) when you try to break them apart. It's so much fun!

What you'll need . . .
  • 1 cup coconut oil (you can get this at most grocery stores -- I believe this is the reason they turned out so delightfully crispy)
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups raw sugar (pulsed in the food processor until it's a fine powder)
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-purpose Baking Flour (I had bought some to try out -- however, you may use whatever flour you're comfortable with -- like wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used Sunspire)

Method . . .
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the coconut oil, applesauce, salt, vanilla, and sugar. Beat until fluffy.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, flax meal, and baking soda.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until a "grainy dough" is formed. Then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop dough onto prepared sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart (they do spread). This next part's important: press each with the heel of your hand to flatten/help them spread.
  6. Bake on center rack for 15 minutes -- rotating 180 degrees after 9 of those minutes.
  7. Finished cookies will be crisp on edges, soft in middle.
  8. Let cool completely on wire rack before storing.

Amid all the tasty recipes are several celebrity testimonials. Above is my favorite. Yes. I'm in love with Jason Schwartzman (though some people, including my husband, question why . . . and I question: HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE THAT FACE?). Guess it's truly a topic for great debate, much like in that episode of The Office. The one where the characters bring about that eternal question: "Is Hilary Swank hot?"

I'm in need of Michael Scott's wisdom on this matter.

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