Double Chocolate Molasses Cookies

These cookies have a chewy, soft interior, and crisp edge. They are chocolately with just a note of molasses. Unfortunately, I’m without a photo, but if you love chocolate and love molasses, you’ll definitely enjoy these.

Double Chocolate Molasses Cookies

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup nondairy margarine (I use soy-free Earth Balance)
Scant 1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar (I use Sucanat, and will probably use 1/3 if I make these again)
6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 cup nondairy semi-sweet chocolate chunks (I use Enjoy Life)

In a medium bowl, put the sorghum flour, teff flour, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum. Whisk well. Add the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until well combined.

Put the nondairy margarine in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Using the stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, and beat again, for an additional minute, until well combined. Add the maple syrup, molasses. Beat well.

Turn the mixer to low speed. Add the flour mixture, letting beat until smooth and well combined. The mixture will be sticky. Stir in the chocolate chunks. Refrigerate directly in the bowl for 30 minutes.

When the 30 minutes is almost over, preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Roll tablespoonfuls into balls and set them about 3 inches apart. Flatten with your palm to about 3/4-inch thick. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until firm around the edges. Let cool directly on the pan for about 5 minutes, then put the cookies directly on a wire rack to cool completely.

Revamped Peanut Butter Balls

Just like the shortbread recipe that I remember, another stand-by favorite during the holidays was Peanut Butter Balls. Similar to Buckeyes, these are peanut butter and rice crisp cereal balls coated in chocolate. Super easy to make and so addicting. Despite making them every year since my early childhood, I don’t have a photo.

Peanut Butter Balls

1 heaping cup all-natural smooth or  crunchy peanut butter
3 tablespoons nondairy margarine
1 cup icing sugar
2 cups (plus a little more) gluten-free brown rice crisp cereal
1 1/2 cups nondairy semi-sweet chocolate chips

Put the peanut butter, nondairy margarine, and icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Stir in the crisp rice cereal, careful not to crush it. Since natural peanut butter is a little runnier than conventional varieties, I tend to add a little more cereal until it binds nicely together.

Use a teaspoon to portion mixture on a cutting board or large plate lined with waxed paper. Use damp hands to shape into balls, and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Nearing the end of the 20 minutes, melt the chocolate chips either in a double boiler or the microwave. Dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate, then put back on the waxed paper. Freeze again until firm, then store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.

Nostalgic Shortbread

My favorite shortbread recipe came off the box of cornstarch from when were a kid. It’s simple, traditional, and most of all, reminds me of Christmas with my family. These are adapted from the box of Canada brand cornstarch, called “Grandma’s Shortbread”. Here is the original recipe. I do recommend if you are rolling it into shapes or want it to hold a particular shape that you refrigerate it for a bit, first. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of these, despite making them year after year.

Simple Shortbread

3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
3/4 cup nondairy margarine (I used soy-free Earth Balance), softened

Put the sorghum flour, quinoa flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, and icing sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Add the nondairy margarine and stir with a wooden spoon until soft and smooth.

Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes (or longer if you are rolling them out).

Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. The original recipe says not to line them but I always do out of habit.

Roll about 1-inch balls between your palms. Either press down with a fork or make a finger indent if you want to fill them with something (as I did).

The original recipe says to bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. I find that mine don’t brown on the Silpat, and take about 20 minutes. Let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.