Hey, Valentine. Want a cookie? A grain-free, vegan cookie?
You’re just my type.
For those of you who never had to stand in front of the supermarket in the February chill, I’ll fill you in: it’s cookie season. Not just because of Valentine’s Day (or “Singles Awareness Day,” if you’re going to be a smartass about it.) Girl Scout cookie season.
I’m reminded of this seemingly every time I leave the house lately, because this is Girl Scout country. It’s hard not to pass the Juliette Gordon Low House when you’re downtown, and you better believe there’s a group of grinning pigtailed Brownies out front selling their little hearts out. Remembering my days standing in the cold in front of a deserted suburban convenience store, I’m jealous of their killer location.
Confession? I sold Girl Scout cookies through my senior year of high school. Yeah. Out-lame that.
I’ve heard through the grapevine that the Girl Scouts have a few gluten-free cookies up their sleeve. One with toffee bits, and a peanut butter, chocolate chip, and oatmeal cookie. While I appreciate the effort, here’s the bottom line: if it’s not a Samoa or a Thin Mint, I don’t want it.
So instead, I’m channeling all that chocolatey, coconutty goodness in a different direction today: macaroons.
This brilliant vegan recipe, that also happens to be gluten- and grain-free, comes to you by way of Chocolate-Covered Katie, one of the better blogs out there for health-conscious desserts that actually taste good. I tweaked it by adding ground goji berries and dipping them in chocolate, because why not? It’s that time of year where we’re all about berries and dipping things in chocolate.
Now, I know they look like carrot haystacks. Doing a little preliminary research before I tossed the berries in my coffee grinder, I knew others had tried goji macaroons and found the berries’ color a little…off-putting. If I changed up the method, perhaps they would turn out differently?
But after pulling these out of the oven and smacking my husband’s inquiring hand away from the glowing orange macaroons, I remembered the carrot candy from an Indian sweet shop by my parents’ house: gajar ka halwa. Carrots for dessert are totally a thing, guys.
But if you look at them a little differently…are you seeing what I’m seeing? Toasty coconut, a nice chew, dipped in chocolate? C’mon, tell me these aren’t just slightly reminiscent of those forbidden cookies that torment the dreams of all gluten-freeple!
Even if you can’t have a Samoa, these are a darn fine solution for your February “screw this diet already” cookie craving. This Valentine’s Day, go forth and bake some easy vegan superfood-filled and chocolate-covered treats for your valentine (or yourself!). Food is love. Who doesn’t need a little more of that?
- 2.5 ounces (1/4 cup) agave syrup
- 2.75 ounces (1 cup) unsweetened medium flake coconut
- 1 ounce (1/3 cup) goji berries, ground in a coffee grinder
- pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional
- 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
- Topping: a handful of your favorite vegan chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking liner.
- Mix together all ingredient except vanilla, if using, in a microwave-safe bowl with a fair amount of extra space. Microwave on standard power for 3-5 minutes, until mixture thickens, stopping once or twice to stir. Alternately, cook on the stove in a saucepan until it thickens. Stir in vanilla.
- Using a Tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop batter into small mounds on your prepared cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes, until just beginning to brown on the bottoms.
- Remove and allow to cool almost completely.
- Melt chocolate chips in a ramekin on 50% power in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring a few times. Dip each macaroon in the chocolate and return to the lined baking sheet. To speed up chocolate hardening time, place in the fridge for 20 minutes.