Monday, December 08, 2014

German Chocolate Cake Cookie Revamp

Life has been a little different around here the last couple of years.  A sudden sensitivity to wheat has been aggressively working at changing the way I understand, relate to, and consume food.  Honestly, it's rather annoying, and I totally wish I could just be one of those people that could eat whatever I want to and maintain a healthy body.  Alas, such is not the case for me.  I have been one of those people that gain five pounds when I smell brownies baking for most of my life.  Food allergies have a way of stopping us in our tracks and forcing us to look at the world of food with different eyes.

That being said, I love dessert.  I especially love baked goods.  My husband loves German Chocolate Cake, and I make it for him for his birthday every single year without fail.  That is, until this year.  The kids had been sick for weeks, I was tired, and there was the whole ban on wheat and sugar going strong in our house.  Sadly, we let his birthday go by without dessert.  Crazy, right?

Well, I made up for it on Thanksgiving.  I took the recipe that I found on the blog A Dash of Sanity, and I tweaked it.  I made it gluten free, and I omitted the refined sugars.  Here is what we came up with:

Gluten Free German Chocolate Cake Cookies


Chocolate Cookie

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sucanat
1 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
2 1/4 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch salt

German Chocolate Frosting

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup coconut sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks for melting


Chocolate Cookie

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  (This is my new favorite kitchen tool.  It totally changes the game.  Love this stuff!)

In a stand mixer or large bowl using a hand mixer, blend the butter, sucanat, coconut sugar, vanilla and eggs.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and blend until combined.

Drop the dough by tablespoonful (I used what Alton Brown calls a disher.) onto the prepared baking sheets.  The original recipe says 12 cookies per sheet, but I got 20 total cookies.  I'm guessing using the disher made them a tad bigger than the original author intended, but there were no complaints here!  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  (I baked mine for 4.5 minutes, had the pans switch shelves in the oven, and baked for another 4.5 minutes.  They turned out perfect!)  Cool on a baking rack.  

German Chocolate Frosting

Add evaporated milk, coconut sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla to a large pan, and place on stove top over medium heat.

Stir so that it becomes well combined.  Continue stirring until thickened.  This takes about 11-12 minutes.  (This can be a little tricky to judge on an electric stove, especially for those of us that are electric stove cooking challenged...don't get me started!)

Once thickened, remove from heat, and add coconut and pecans.  Beat until thick enough to spread.  I found that the frosting thickens as it cools, so I allowed it to cool for about 15-20 minutes on the counter before frosting the cookies, stirring occasionally.  

Melt chocolate using double boiler method, and drizzle over top of frosted cookies.  (The original recipe says this is optional, but I just don't think so.)

I think these cookies would make a wonderful gift, but I'm really not sure how you'd package them effectively.  Stacking them would be totally out of the question.  If you come up with some good ideas, let me know.  Either way, they are totally fun to eat, and the clincher is that my family had NO CLUE they were gluten free.  I never did tell them, and my picky hubby gobbled them down blissfully.  Success!

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