So I figured I’d go out with a bang to conclude my dairy-free month. Not only is this recipe dairy-free, it’s a delish dessert. That’s also gluten-free. And sugar-free (get ready February!). And it is from one of the most celebrated (and totally adorable) vegan bakeries in New York – Babycakes.

I had come across Babycakes a while back – it is a tiny little shop in NoLita that is charming in that vintage-yet-cool-yet-sardonic way that captures my heart each and every time. I didn’t even know it was vegan till Chelsea told me about it.

And then we had to go. And go again. I apologize to my Instagram followers, who have been subjected to – oh, “several” – pictures taken there. Of cupcakes. DoughnutsSandwich cookies. More doughnuts.

I am SO impressed with Babycakes, and founder Erin McKenna. She has completely hit the mark in creating sweet treats that are really – truly – delicious, without the use of butter, eggs, white flour or white sugar. They are sweet without being cloying, moist but never greasy, and – most astoundingly – have that perfect “mouth feel” and texture that would make you hard pressed to figure out that they are gluten-free.

As with the vegan blog Happy. Healthy. Life. I am  blown away by these ladies’ ability – and commitment – to cooking and baking food that you are happy to eat regardless of your dietary restrictions.

Since I wanted to end this series with a dessert, I figured why not one from Babycakes? And I’ve chosen Chelsea’s very favorite from the bakery – the creme-filled sandwich cookies.

Truthfully? I’m not expecting all (or even most) of you to attempt this. Though the recipe itself is quite easy to execute, the ingredient list is long and weird specialized, and not really conducive to general baking. But if you need to make a dessert for a friend or loved one who has  a limited diet, or if you find yourself having to impose limits in your own home, you will love this recipe.

For me  – a serious and devoted baker – it was an interesting experiment in using ingredients and techniques that were completely unfamiliar, and to have such great results!

I would love to hear from any bakers out there who are well-versed in working without sugar and/or gluten. How do you do it? Please share your resources (and secrets!) here!

babycakes vegan sandwich cookie

on weighing ingredients
my favorite baking tips and tricks

Babycakes Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 c. (209 g.) coconut oil, melted and cooled
6 T. (128 g.) unsweetened applesauce
1 t. salt
2 T. vanilla
1 1/4 c. (200 g.) evaporated cane juice
2 c. (258 g.) gluten-fee all-purpose baking flour (Babycakes uses Bob’s Red Mill brand, which I used as well)
1/4 c. (26 g.) flax meal
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. xanthan gum
1 c. (6 oz.) vegan chocolate chips

Vanilla Frosting
3/4 cup rice milk or unsweetened soy milk
3/4 c. dry rice milk powder or soy milk powder
1 T. coconut flour
1/4 c. agave nectar
1 T. vanilla
1 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 T. lemon juice

For the cookies:

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a bowl mix together the oil, applesauce, salt, vanilla and evaporated cane juice. In another bowl whisk together flour, flax meal, baking soda and xanthan gum. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir till well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Freeze the dough for about 20 minutes, or till firm enough to scoop. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, make evenly sized cookies and place on prepared sheets. Slightly flatten each cookie with the heel of your hand. Bake for about 15 minutes, or till crisp around the edges but still soft in the centers. Cool cookies on sheets on a cooling rack for 10 minutes; transfer to rack to continue cooling.

Make the frosting:

Combine milk, milk powder, coconut flour, agave nectar and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Blend for 2 minutes. With machine running, add oil and lemon juice (alternating between the two) till fully incorporated. Transfer mixture to a covered container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (and up to one month).

Assemble the cookies:

Spread about a tablespoon of frosting on the flat sides of half the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze for longer storage.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver

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