Every two years while I was growing up we would go to New Zealand for Christmas, as my mum is a Kiwi and her family still live there. My memories from these Christmases are often driven by my ‘smell’ memories. I remember how my grandparent’s house would smell, due to my granny’s baking. She would have two cookie jars for me that were always full of her home-baked coconut and chocolate chip cookies. These gave the house a heavenly aroma, and they were the best cookies I have ever had. Sadly, the recipes died with granny as none of my family has a record of them. I have tried recreating the coconut cookies, but now as vegan gluten-free cookies, making them is that bit more difficult.
I have finally created a cookie that produces exactly the same smell in the house as granny’s cookies made. It is amazing that the way things smell can invoke such strong memories, and baking these takes me straight back to the kitchen with granny and her lowering the cookie jar to me. Yum!
These cookies are made from completely different ingredients and the only similarity is that they contain coconut. Somehow, they do taste similar and the real bonus is that they are healthier being made with buckwheat and being refined-sugar free (except for the chocolate chips but you can make your own to be refined sugar free). They have a special texture, soft on the inside, but hold a nice crunch on the outside. Sadly, this doesn’t last, as these cookies lose the crunchiness after a day, but nevertheless, still taste good.
I have developed the cookies from my Cacao Buckwheat Mousse recipe. It is the same recipe for the buckwheat mousse base, just without the cacao.
- ¼ cup buckwheat flakes or creamy buckwheat
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- 3 tbs brown rice syrup
- 2 tbs melted coconut oil
- 1 tbs ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbs warm water
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 tbs brown rice flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- * I use a dry cup measurer for all my measuring (liquid and dry)
- Chocolate: Add 4 tbs cacao powder and 2 tsp of non-dairy milk
- Chocolate chip: Add ⅓ cup of chips
- Double chocolate chip: Add ⅓ cup chips to chocolate base
- Coconut: Add ⅓ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
- Mix the ground flax seed and warm water and leave in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, longer if you have time.
- Put the buckwheat, water and milk in a pot and simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes if using flakes, and 10 minutes if using creamy buckwheat. Add the brown rice syrup and put the mixture in a food processor or whizz with a hand-held blender. Blitz for 1 minute if using flakes, nearer 3 minutes if using creamy buckwheat. Leave in the fridge to cool for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- In a bowl put the buckwheat mixture, the remaining ingredients and your variation of choice to make coconut/chocolate/double chocolate cookies and mix until well combined.
- Take a golf-ball sized lump of dough and roll it in your hands to a ball-shape and place on a lined or greased tray. Repeat for all 9 cookies. Using the back of a fork gently press down onto the balls to flatten to just over an inch thick. If you fancy a bigger cookie, then make 5 double-sized cookies. Press down with a fork to an inch and a half thick.
- Pop into the top of the oven.
- After 5 minutes turn the temperature down to 185 degrees and leave for 25 more minutes. Move to the middle or low part of the oven if getting too brown. If you have made double-sized cookies they need 5 more minutes in the oven.
- Remove from the oven and cool on cooling tray, but they are also delicious eaten warm, especially if you had chocolate chips inside as they stay melted and scrummy.
Warning: these cookies loses their yummy crunchiness after a day, so if you are organized and making them ahead of time it is best to leave the dough in the fridge and bake on the day you need them.
* Cookies any time any way.
* Sandwich together with chocolate icing.
* Before baking, push your thumb into the centre of the cookie leaving an indent to put a teaspoon of jam.