Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is set to be released on December 18th, just one day away. My little Storm Troopers at home have been waiting for this movie with great anticipation, so last week when I walked by William Sonoma and saw these Star Wars cookie cutters I couldn’t say no.
There was just one itsy bitsy problem: I am a cook, not a baker. Give me three random ingredients and a knife and I’ll make something delicious for you. Now, give me flour and baking powder and I am lost. To me, baking is a science. You add an extra 1/2 of a teaspoon of baking soda to your mix and your cookies will end up with the wrong color, flavor or texture. I usually follow my instinct when I am in the kitchen. I hardly ever follow instructions to a T. When I want to try new recipes, I tend to read the instructions twice, memorize them and start cooking without referring to them. You can’t do this when you are baking, unless you have extraordinary talent or lots of experience preparing desserts.
For this Star Wars project, I not only wanted to bake cookies but I wanted them to be vegan and gluten-free. Let the force be with me!
I tried several recipes and failed miserably. Then, I came across Erin McKenna’s book “BabyCakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles”. For those that don’t know Erin, she is the owner of Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC ( originally called Babycakes), the world’s premier vegan gluten-free bakery in Lower East Side Manhattan. Her bakery focuses on the under-served people with gluten, dairy, egg, and soy sensitivities, the health-minded, and, most importantly, allergic kids who are often unable to indulge.
I reached out to Erin to make sure it was fine to share her recipe since it’s copyrighted. I forwarded her the pictures of my final product and she replied almost immediately with “Permission granted–nice work!!” . I feel honored!
Enjoy this treat, everyone! I know… I know, there is sugar in the cookies but you have to put a little bit of life into living sometimes.
DISCLAIMER: These cookies might transport you to a galaxy far far away!
- 2 1/4 cups rice flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 cup vegan sugar
- 1/4 cup arrowroot
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 cup melted coconut oil or canola oil
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 1/2 cup of cold water
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice flour, the sugar, arrowroot, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Add the melted coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and lemon extract to the dry mix. Stir with a rubber spatula until a very thick dough is formed. Gradually add the cold water and stir until the dough is slightly tacky.
- Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Dust a clean work surface with some rice flour. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
- Cut out the cookies with your desired cookie cutters** and transfer from the work surface to one of the prepared baking sheets with a spatula, placing them 1 inch apart. Repeat with the remaining of the dough.Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the baking sheets, and bake for 7 minutes more, or until slightly golden.
- Let the cookies cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
- **I used William Sonoma's Star Wars cookie cutters
- *Recipe from BabyCakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles by Erin McKenna. Published here with permission from the author.
- Photo Credit: Ciry DG aka @sunshineandkale