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A BFA Painting and Drawing graduate gone cookie designer and decorator.  I bring my knowledge of art, composition, and color to pastries to create the perfect cookies and cakes for your events or occasions.
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Vegan Apple Peanute Butter Cookies

My mom recently switched from vegetarian to vegan.  As a congratulations for her first month, I wanted to make her some celebratory cookies.  The only complication was I had never made cookies before that had neither butter, eggs, nor refined sugar (regular refined white sugar or any brown sugar is not vegan.  Only organic white sugar  or brown sugar is.  You can find lists of vegan white sugar online). So I did some research, found ways to substitute that I preferred and found a recipe that I thought she would like and that I could also make gluten free easily.  Apples and Peanut Butter and a perfect match.  They're healthy but they're also something I used to have when I was a kid as a healthy treat--and still frequently have!  These cookies are for everyone, not just vegans, looking for a healthier version of a cookie, while still being just as indulgent any other cookie.

Vegan and Gluten Free Apple Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe adapted from The Tolerant Vegan
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Print Recipe

- 1 Tbsp flax, ground
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour*
- 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I used Earth Balance Natural Shortening)
- 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (I used Nature's Promise Smooth, Salted Organic Peanut Butter)
- 1 cup organic brown sugar (I used Florida's Crystals)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced (I used a fuji)

*When I made these I used a mixture of flours (1/2 cup brown rice four, 1/3 cup oat flour, 1/3 cup white rice flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour).  The result was the cookies were very soft when baked.  The were delicious but a little too soft.  I think using only brown rice flour, or maybe even brown rice and oat flour, will toughen them up and make them the correct texture.  If you try it let me know the outcome!!  I will update this when I try the recipe again!

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Stir the ground flax with the water.  Set aside.  Whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Mix the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until fluffly.  About 3 minutes on medium-high.

Gradually add the flour mixture.
Add the flax mixture.  The flax serves as a replacement for eggs.  You'll see it thickened up.  It's the binding agent.  This is useful if you even need to take eggs out of a recipe either for vegans or egg allergies.  Use 1 Tbsp of flax, ground, and 3 Tbsp water per 1 egg.
Add the applesauce.
Fold in the dice apples.

At this point I chilled the dough to make it a little easier to handle.
Roll the cookies into balls and press them slightly.  I chilled each tray for five minutes before putting them in the oven.
Bake for 12-15 minutes from chilled.  Let cool on the tray before transferring to a cooling rack.
They last for several days in a sealed container.  They also freeze well.  The flavors develop even more the second and third day and the cinnamon really pops.  Not that they're not completely delicious right out of the oven!  Also, I dare you to not eat some of the raw batter.  With no eggs it's completely edible raw and it's tempting to just eat it all like that!


  1. I made these with a mix of chickpea and brown rice flour and left out the applesauce. They were soft but firm, and nice and chewy! Great base :-)

    1. I'm glad that worked out!! I'll have to try leaving out the applesauce next time!

    2. Forgot to mention they take a lot longer to bake to that state though - I "double baked" mine a la biscotti and they were perfect! They made better “bar” cookies in an 8” pan (bake @ 350˚F for 35 minutes).

    3. That's a great idea! I can see that working great with these...thanks for sharing!!

  2. can you use an all purpose baking mix? that is all i have on hand

    1. I'm so so sorry it took me so long to respond! Yes you can substitute an all purpose baking mix...or even use all purpose flour if you are not gluten intolerant!