Big news: I just made the best dessert treat ever—and it’s both vegan and gluten-free:
I know. I know. And oh yeah, that’s not even vanilla icing in the center—it’s macadamia maple butter cream.
Here’s these cookies’ backstory: This weekend, I yet again found myself charged with the task of preparing a vegan and gluten-free dinner (though this time for a friend who is in fact both vegan and gluten-free). And to make my life a little more difficult this time around, I wanted to give myself the challenge of making an awesome new gluten-free dessert. I already had the perfect inspiration: Bunner’s Bakeshop’s famed Chocolate Chip Creamie—basically two chewy chocolate chip cookies with a lovely layer of icing in between—which I had just tried for the first time at this year’s Vegetarian Food Festival and loved. Everything at Bunner’s is already vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free, so I knew this was a feasible gluten-free dessert. But would it be feasible for me and my limited baking skills? Turns out, yes—I feased these cookies so hard, and what I ended up with was one of the best desserts I’ve ever made full stop.
My sandwich creme cookies were a combination of two components: chewy oat cookies, a variation on these vegan gluten-free chocolate chip cookies from Oh She Glows; and macadamia maple butter cream icing, a recipe from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan (which I actually had left over from these cupcakes, in case you’re keeping score). I sort of screwed up the original cookie recipe, forgetting to process my gluten-free oats into oat flour, but it turns out that this was a wonderful mistake, as I loved the oat-y texture and crunch this gave my cookies, and I’ll be making them this same way from now on for sure.
Finally, because it’s me, I needed to add a silly name to these tasty treats. And after cutting each sandwich in half to make crescents and thus increase the yield, their new name just popped into my head: Half-Moon Spectaculars! (Get it? Get it?) Anyway, enough punning—here’s what you’re really here for: the recipe! Enjoy!
Vegan Gluten-Free Sandwich Creme Cookies
(makes 8 to 10 cookie sandwiches, or 16 to 20 sandwich crescents)
The Cookies (based on this recipe from Oh She Glows)
- 1 cup gluten-free oats, lightly processed or as is (you want them still very coarse)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 7 tbsp Earth Balance + 1 tbsp olive oil (or: 1/3 cup canola oil)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup organic cane/white sugar
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Prepare your flax egg and set aside.
- If you wish, lightly process your oats: pulse just once or twice in a food processor—you want your oats to still be very coarse.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: the oats, almond flour, baking soda, kosher salt, and cinnamon.
- If using Earth Balance: With an electric mixer or stand mixer, or simply in a blender (that’s what I do), beat the Earth Balance and oil until fluffy. Next, add the sugars and beat for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Finally, beat in the flax egg and vanilla extract.
- If using canola oil: In a medium bowl, mix together canola oil, sugars, flax egg, and vanilla, until well mixed.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry, and lightly stir together until a well-mixed batter forms.
- With a tablespoon, scoop out small spheres of batter and place on baking sheets. No need to flatten the spheres; however, the cookies will drop and spread out a lot while baking, so be sure to leave a lot of space in between each one.
- Bake for about 10-11 minutes, until they look done and slightly golden along edges. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes.
The Creme (found in Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan)
Because this recipe is from a book, I feel wrong posting it here, but since it’s so simple, I will tell you that this icing is just a mix of silken tofu, macadamia nut butter, maple butter, and a splash of vanilla: simply whirl all these together in a blender/food processor and adjust amounts to taste. If you don’t have maple butter, maple syrup will also work; and if you can’t find macadamia nut butter, you can sub in some other variety—I’d particularly recommend cashew butter. Additionally, if all this seems too vague of a recipe for you to attempt on your own, you can simply find and make some other vegan gluten-free icing (the internet can help you with that). However, I especially enjoy this icing because it’s not sugary sweet and full of healthy fat and protein. So maybe you should just buy Dreena’s book.
And there you go! Even if you’re not vegan, and even if you’re not gluten-free, these cookies are outstanding, and hands down one of the best things I’ve ever tried. So make them for yourselves and see what you’re missing. Happy eating!
Until we eat again,