Let’s be honest, vegan foods are not always good emulators of non-vegan counterparts. Sometimes it’s a texture thing, sometimes it’s a taste thing in general, and sometimes the whole thing is ‘off’. That can be a problem with mock-foods. To me, that’s okay. It just means I’ll eat more plant-foods because I know what I’m getting myself into. Plant foods usually trump plant-food-based products nutritionally and usually, they taste better, too. But, every now and again you have something that fits a certain flavor expectation and you really appreciate it. Enter, Phoney Baloney’s coconut bacon.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not much into faux-bacon things, but it seems like there are 9 or 10 good, established ways to achieve the flavor profile and crunch of the traditional kind without using any pig flesh. I got these on a whim once after hearing really great things about them, and surprise! They are just as good as little bits of tempeh bacon I eat, and they kind of taste like smoky barbecue chips. They’re smoky, slightly sweet, fatty, salty and crunchy just like the actual thing. Plus, they’re gluten-free, so they are great for many people with many eating habits.
Here’s my take on a classic, mentioned in a previous post, but made gluten-free.
Let me start by saying that it only looks like a long list of ingredients, but any gluten-free kitchen probably has at least ¾ of the ingredients, so never fret! If you don’t have some of the flours, they are an investment to make initially but luckily most of them are comparatively moderate in price (for gluten-free flours). You can, in a pinch, get away with using more sorghum and vice versa if you’re short, and the same goes for the starches, but I wouldn’t say more than half can be substituted for the other without some change. I’ve made them many ways and had a few times where off the cuff, I may have run out of this or that and I would substitute, it’s no biggie. I’m always turned away by lots of ingredients but these have become such a staple that we almost always have everything for them lying around. Hurrah! Aaand, these are my dad’s favorite homemade cookies to date. Period. They are actually a separate food group of his now practically, so that’s an achievement knocked off the Bucketlist.
I want to also say that I’ve had success playing around with the liquid sweetener ratios. More molasses gives you a darker cookie with greater depth of flavor (sort of like brown sugar) that only molasses can give. Using more maple syrup would give you a lighter, flatter cookie and more of a sweet flavor (too sweet, in my opinion). Using more agave, in my opinion, yields a better, more traditional looking and tasting cookie, but I wouldn’t say that these cookies on the whole taste traditional, exactly. I would just say they’re phenomenal and call it a day.
Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies + Bacon variation
Makes 12- 16 Cookies
¼ Cup Brown Rice Flour
¼ Cup Sorghum Flour
¼ Cup Potato Starch
¼ Cup Tapioca Starch
¼ TSP Baking Soda
½ TSP Xanthan Gum
¼ TSP + a Pinch Salt
¾ TSP Vanilla Bean Powder OR + ½ TSP extra Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup + 1 TSP Agave Nectar
1 TBSP + 2 TSP (any grade) Maple Syrup
1 TBSP Molasses
¼ Cup Sugar
1 TSP Vanilla Extract
¼ TSP Almond Extract (optional but highly recommended)
¼ Cup Canola Oil
½ Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
½ Cup Crushed Coconut Bacon Pieces
Coconut Bacon to garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Volume isn’t an issue, so it can be a small one.
- One by one, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined, dough becomes slightly caramel in color and may be ‘sticky’ looking.
- Fold the chocolate chips and the coconut bacon in to the dough until evenly distributed. (I usually take some dough aside for anyone who wants just a plain cookie, so the amount of coconut bacon varies based on the amount of dough remaining.)
- Using a cookie scoop, or a Teaspoon/Tablespoon measuring spoon (according to the size you want), take dough and place onto the lined baking sheet at roughly an inch apart. They don’t spread much, but they do spread. Alton Brown says 6 cookies a sheet, and whoops! my oven doesn’t fit a larger baking sheet, so what Brown says goes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool on trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Don’t they just say, ‘Check me out’?