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I’m back again with another gluten-free, casein-free and vegan recipe, for all to enjoy!  Seriously, ALL to enjoy.  I don’t think anyone would be able to detect that these are a delicious alternative to cookies made with tons of refined flour, eggs, and obscene amounts of butter.  They are just that good.  There are a few ingredients that might not be staples in your cabinets, so read through and hit the store before starting these.  You don’t want to start making substitutions half way through and alter the results!

Lets talk egg replacer.  Fun topic, I know.  When baking cookies, eggs act like a binder.  They are kind of a crucial element, so taking them completely out would compromise the overall texture.  Most commercial egg replacer products are in a powder form and need to be mixed with water.  As a rule, check the ingredient list!  Some are made with wheat gluten!  The Ener-Gbrand promises to be gluten-free.  Other substitutes include 1/2 a mashed banana, 1/4 cup applesauce (or other pureed fruit) and 1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water.  Be careful when choosing these methods as they will alter the flavor!

What the heck is xanthan gum?!  Good question, my friend.  Since you’ve been diligently scouring your ingredient lists, you’ve probably noticed this ingredient shows up a lot!  Well to state is simply its a polysaccharide (the form that most carbs are in), derived from the bacterial coat of Xanthomona campestris.  Ha ha!  Okay, maybe that wasn’t so simple.  Basically it’s something derived from a bacteria that we use to thicken our food with.  When baking gluten-free, it’s recommended to add a bit to the mix for textural reasons.  Same reason we use eggs.  You could skip it, but not if your trying to impress harsh food critics.  AKA, kids!

Coconut Oat Chewies

1 cup soy margarine (I like the Earth Balance brand)

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup raw sugar

2 tsp vanilla

egg replacer (equal to 2 eggs)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour blend

1 cup gluten-free oats

1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Cream the sugars and margarine together.  Add in the egg replacer and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, xanthan gum, baking powder and baking soda.  Slowly incorporate the flour to the rest of the batter.  You may have to stop and scrape the side of the bowl after about half the mixture is combined, then add the rest.  When combined, stir in the oats and coconut.  Drop by the tablespoon onto a parchment lines baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack, but serve warm with a glass of almond milk.

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