You know the scenario, at the last minute you were asked to bring cookies to your gluten-free, allergen-free child’s classroom that have an autumn theme. But since being diagnosed with multiple food allergies, you have no idea if the kids in the classroom will even LIKE the ‘new normal’ gluten-free, allergen-free cookies. Sound familiar? This recipe produces a soft cake-like cookie, is kid-friendly, husband-approved, and even friends who don’t know it’s free of the top 8 allergens and gluten-free enjoy it. A few years ago, Allergic Girl, Sloane Miller and I baked these together in my kitchen for Silvana Nardone’s “Silvana’s Kitchen” blog giveaway – here’s my Brooklyn Allergy Mom post as well. This year, faced with two little sweet baking pumpkins who were crying out ‘cook me, cook me!’ I made this recipe with them…it’s very similar to last year’s recipe, but with a few changes to make it a bit more kid friendly.
CHOCOLATE CHUNK WHOLE FOOD PUMPKIN COOKIES (makes 5 – 7 dozen depending on the size you like)
1 Cup Earth Balance Shortening Sticks (note: they now contain FLAX – hopefully that’s OK with your family, if not sub something safe)
1 1/2 Cups White Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 (4) oz containers of natural unsweetened applesauce (this is an egg replacer, if you can have eggs, use 2 eggs)* if you’re allergic to apples, as we were for years, take a pear and cook it in the microwave, then mash and measure a little less than 8 oz, or alternatively use a banana (an allergen for us!)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract (make sure yours is gluten free)
15 Ounces Roasted pumpkin**(see note below for roasting your own pumpkin) or (1) 15 oz can organic pumpkin
4 Cups GF Flour – (I break it down this way 1 Cup Maseca 1 Cup brown Rice Flour 1 Cup Sorghum Flour 1 Cup Corn Starch or Tapioca Starch – if you can’t use corn, I suggest adding White Rice Flour in place of the Maseca, and potato, arrowroot or tapioca starch in place of the corn starch)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (make sure it’s peanut free)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg (this is not a nut, but a spice)
1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life Food Chocolate Mega Chunks, or your favorite allergen-free chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease Cookie Sheets if you like, or use parchment paper
Mix shortening and sugars in large bowl until smooth and then beat in applesauce
Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin, blending well.
In a separate bowl, combine your flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, add to the pumpkin mixture and mix well.
Stir in chocolate mega chunks or chocolate chips
Drop tablespoons of batter onto a cookie sheet and shape into circles (teaspoon fulls if you want a smaller bite-sized cookie) and place on cookie sheets.
Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
***Now for baking those little pumpkins! Super easy – I used 2 little ones and it yielded a little over 15 oz. Make a note that you will have to puree the pumpkin.
This is not hard – just like Squash! Take the stem off, and cut those pumpkins in half. Take the seeds out with a spoon. Place the pumpkins cut side down on a cookie sheet or baking dish with parchment paper or lightly greased with olive oil. Cover with foil. Place in 375 degree oven for about an hour or until the pumpkins are done. The skin should just almost lift off of them. Let them cool. After they cool, place in a blender or cuisinart to puree with the littlest bit of rice milk or water.