Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Millet Anise Shortbread Cookies Recipe- Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free

"Mommy, why don't you ever make us cookies?" Ike asks me this morning.
"Yea, you never make us yummy food," Lee chimes in.
"No? I never make you yummy food? Not even the chocolate pudding cake that I made for you this morning for breakfast? That wasn't yummy?"
"Oh yea... That was a little yummy, Mommy. But we want something really yummy, like cookies."
So, looking out at the pouring rain, and with a house that desperately needed to be cleaned, instead, I, Mommy Penny, decided to earn some Mommy points and make cookies.
Only I needed to go shopping, and didn't have the standard cookie recipe ingredients.

I was inspired to make these cookies by the fact that I had lots of home ground millet flour in the house. In searching for millet flour cookies, I came across this recipe, which is where I got the idea to do cookies in log form, but I made up the recipe completely on my own.

I also wanted to make a cookie that was slightly less unhealthy than the chocolate pudding cake I made this morning, with so much white sugar that it was so sickeningly sweet that even my kids didn't like it... So the cookies that I was going to make would be completely refined sugar free. But I am out of date syrup, and honey is too expensive for me to justify putting it in cookies... I decided to go with jaggery, but since jaggery is so annoying to use, since you have to grate it up, and even once you grate it, it all sticks together anyhow, I decided to use partially jaggery, and partially my homemade stevia extract.

I haven't done much experimenting with cooking with stevia, because I find that stevia has an anise like taste and a slightly bitter aftertaste, which is strange and not always the most pleasant, in my opinion. I thought to make these anise flavored cookies, with star anise and fennel seeds, so that the stevia flavor would be masked.

I really like how these cookies came out. So did my husband. Star anise and fennel seeds were the perfect flavor combination to use to hide the stevia flavor.

My kids, on the other hand, weren't so thrilled with these. Mostly because Lee was convinced that the ground fennel seeds in his cookies were bugs...

Oh well.

At least the adults liked them. I'll be making these again, that's for sure. For myself. If my kids don't want to have them... well then, more for me.

These cookies are also vegan, another score.
I haven't done it myself, but I'm sure these cookies can be made with wheat flour, either all purpose, or whole wheat, or spelt, or sprouted wheat flour in place of the millet flour. And that brown sugar can be used in place of the jaggery if you don't have that available where you live. Playing around with it, and using honey in place of the jaggery and some of the water would probably also work.

Millet Anise Shortbread Cookies Recipe

4 1/3 cups millet flour
2/3 cup jaggery
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup boiling water
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon stevia
3/4 teaspoon ground star anise
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground flax seed


1. Grate the jaggery. Pour 1/3 cup of boiling water over it, and mix well until it dissolves. If it doesn't dissolve, put in a blender until it does.

2. Add the coconut oil, stevia, and 1 cup of millet flour. Mix well.

3. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix well.

4. Add the boiling water. Mix well.

5. Divide the dough into two. Take a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and lay it flat on your work surface.

6. Make a log of dough along the length of the paper, and roll it up tightly in the paper. Twist the ends to make it even tighter. Do the same with the second half of the dough.

7. Refrigerate for an hour or so, or until hard. 

8. Unwrap.

9. With a knife, carefully cut thin slices from the log, using a sawing motion. Pressing down firmly will just make it shatter.

10. Lay out the circles on a lined cookie tray.

11. If desired, sprinkle some coarse salt on the cookies.

12. Bake at 375 until the bottom is browned; about 30 minutes.

13. Let cool before eating! Bon apetite!

Variation: If you don't have star anise, leave out and double the fennel seeds.

Do your baking experiments usually come out well, or no, or do you not typically experiment with baking? When you experiment, are you often able to tell if it'll be successful before you even finish making the food?
Do you cook with liquid stevia extract? Do you have any tricks to make cooking with stevia more successful?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try, either as is, or with changes? What changes do you think you'd make?

Linking up to Allergy Free Wednesday 

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