Recently, I had a conversation about baking that inspired me to try and develop a cookie recipe without any cholesterol, added salt, or added higher-sodium ingredients.
I played around with developing cookie dough and made a few test batches.
Baking is all about chemistry, so my concern was getting the chemistry right for cookies that held together, had a decent texture, and, of course, actually tasted good.
The test batches resulted in a rather delicious batch of vanilla-flavoured, sugar-cookie-esque drop cookies with chocolate chips and unsalted pecans. No pictures exist of this batch. The cookies were given to people and, I believe, these people ate the cookies. The feedback seemed to be positive.
The no-cholesterol part was relatively easy as I don’t use eggs when baking anyway and use vegetable or seed oil instead of butter or lard.
The no-added-sodium part seemed a little more tricky to me as I often use baking soda and baking powder as ingredients to substitute for egg. Also, I like cookies that are slightly salty. Not adding salt itself was easy. I solved the egg substitute problem by using freshly-ground flax seeds – I used a coffee grinder – and adding water.
While making peanut butter cupcakes last week, I was putting away a bottle of molasses – and I got the idea that, hey, maybe I could make a GINGERBREAD version of the no-cholesterol, no-added-salt-or-sodium cookies. So I did:
The cookies were delicious. They were crispy on the inside, soft on the inside – and they had a nice, spicy, gingerbread flavour.
Here’s what I used:
-1/3 cup vegetable oil – I used canola oil
-1 cup sugar – I used regular, white, fine-grind sugar
-1/4 cup molasses – I used blackstrap molasses
-ground flaxseed – I put two tablespoons of whole, brown, flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and ground to a very fine grind
-2 teaspoons cornstarch – you could also use arrowroot or another powdered starch
-2 teaspoons ground ginger – I wanted the cookies spicy, you could use less ginger – or chopped, fresh ginger – if you’d like
-1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon – adjust this amount to your taste
-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg – adjust this amount to your taste
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves – adjust this amount to your taste
-1/3 cup cold water
-1 cup flour – I used regular, unbleached, all-purpose flour
Mix all of the ingredients but the flour in a large bowl. When the mixture is well-combined, add the flour. You may need to add slightly more water or flour after all of the other ingredients are added if the dough is too dry or wet for your liking
Roll dough into ping pong ball-size pieces, put on a cookie tray, and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes. Check on the cookies to make sure that they don’t over-bake. They should be done when the outside of the cookies are ever-so-slightly crispy or hard to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.