Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil and Gluten Free Vegan Almond Cookies

I have decided in this post to do a review and a recipe at the same time. I was sent a jar of Kelapo Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil, and I have been having so much fun with it that I didn't know where to start. Coconut oil has many health benefits which you can read about by following the link below. The most relevant health benefit here, however, is that it is a dairy free, soy free baking alternative! Now I know some people don't like the taste of coconut. In the almond cookie recipe below you really can't taste it. For those of us who DO like coconut, I have to tell you, I tried spreading it on toast like the company suggests and it was amazing! The first thing you taste is coconut, then after a few seconds I swear it tastes and feels like butter on your tongue. Tonight we are going to try melting it and pouring it over popcorn. Oh yes, and I've been cooking my stir fry and root veggie casserole in it too, this really is wonderful stuff! Thank you to Jen over at the Kelapo company for introducing me to a wonderful new baking alternative! I would also like to mention that this product is organic and fair trade certified. I am having trouble with my integrated links, so please follow the link below to find out everything you want to know about Kelapo Coconut Oil http://www.kelapo.com/index.php.
On to the recipe...I'll keep this short, but I have to mention why I made these. When I was a little girl my Grandma would occasionally bring home a little pink bakery box with fresh baked Chinese almond cookies inside. They were so amazing! I recently felt an overwhelming desire to share this with my kids, so I altered a recipe to be gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and soy free. Guess what...they didn't even like them! Silly kids!!! Anyway, despite what the kids may say I think these are incredible. I ate the whole batch! :)

1 c Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil (please see link above)

3/4 c Sugar

1 Eggs worth of Ener G Egg replacer

1 t Gluten free almond extract

1 c Almond flour

3/4 c Brown rice flour

3/4 c Sorghum flour

1/8 c Potato starch

1/8 c Tapioca starch

1/2 t Xanthan gum

1 t Baking powder

1/4 t Salt

24 Whole blanched almonds

Optional: 2 parts corn syrup to 1 part water to be used as an "egg wash"

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine Kelapo Coconut Oil and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg replacer and almond extract; beat until well mixed. Add flours, starches, baking powder and salt. Beat until well mixed. If dough is too dry and crumbly, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it JUST comes together. If you add too much water your cookies will be like marzipan in the middle (believe me- I know).

Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to about ½ an inch thick. Press an almond into the center of each cookie.

Optional: If you want to mimic the look of egg wash, mix 2 parts corn syrup with 1 part water in small bowl, then brush tops of cookies with the mixture before baking.

Bake for 15 minutes or until just set. Cool completely.