Last week I continued to cook my way through Isa Does It, and one of the dinners I made was a Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Seared Brussels Sprouts and Tarragon Cream Sauce. This probably goes without saying based on that title and the fact that it’s from Isa Chandra Moscowitz, who is a genius in the kitchen, but damn, it was amazing. A little ambitious for a weeknight, but totally worth eating dinner an hour later than usual. And ooooh, the leftovers!
Something strange also happened while I was chopping the tarragon for the cashew cream: I could not stop thinking about combining that slightly licorice-y, minty herb with chocolate. That’s weird, right? I decided it would either be brilliant or disgusting, and then I came across a recipe for Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies, also in Isa Does It, and I took it as a sign that I had to find out.
I’ve been working on a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie for a few months now, playing around with the flours, deciding whether to use a chia egg or flax egg, or coconut oil or a more reliable vegan buttery spread. And just because that wasn’t challenging enough, I started adding tarragon to the dough this weekend. But again, brilliant or disgusting. I felt confident it would go either way.
For this last cookie trial, I referenced my previous notes (chia egg = too fluffy, chickpea flour tastes like dirt, etc) and meticulously measured my ingredients. I’ve had a lot of trouble using coconut oil alone for cookies in the past because it’s formed an oily mess as soon as I put the dough in the oven, but this time I froze the batter for about ten minutes immediately prior to transferring the cookies to the oven. I held my breath, turned on the oven light, and…success! No liquified cookie dough!
You know what else also works? Tarragon + chocolate. Maybe not so much if you don’t like an anise sort of flavor, but if you do, it’s a really interesting combination.
Similar to most things, these cookies are even better with a light sprinkling of sea salt. Also, you must use dark chocolate. I went with 72% in mine, though I am already planning to try 85% next time. I love the juxtaposition of the sweet cookie with the bitter chocolate.
These are decadent and crisp and dare I say it – fancy.
So now we know what to do with those leftover bits of herbs in our fridges…
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon freshly ground flaxseed, 3 tablespoons warmed non-dairy milk)
- ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature but solid
- 2 tablespoons loosely packed chopped fresh tarragon
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon light agave nectar
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup millet flour
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon xanthan gum (see note)
- ½ cup chopped extra dark chocolate
- flake sea salt for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Prepare the flax egg by mixing the flaxseed and non-dairy milk. Allow it to thicken for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil and tarragon on low speed for 30 seconds.
- Add in the coconut sugar, agave, and vanilla extract and mix together on medium-high speed for 1 minute or until mostly smooth.
- Mix in the flax egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Sift in the flours, starch, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and xanthan gum. Mix until just combined.
- Fold in the chopped chocolate.
- Use a cookie dough scoop to portion out the dough (about 1½ - 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie), leaving a couple of inches between each.
- Slightly flatten the dough with your hands for a thinner cookie, or leave as-is for a thicker cookie (I made mine thin and crispy).
- Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt and place the cookie sheets in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until the dough is very cold. You may need to do this one sheet at a time depending on the size of your freezer.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. The bottoms should be golden.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Enjoy with a big glass of non-dairy milk!
I've made these cookies with and without the xanthan gum, and the xanthan gum makes for a much less crumbly cookie (these cookies are not any more crumbly than regular gluten-filled cookies, which is quite the feat!). However, the flax egg alone will hold them together fairly well. If you want to leave out the xanthan gum, I recommend replacing it with an equal amount of freshly ground flax seeds, in addition to the flax egg, to reduce crumbling. I specify freshly ground because I find they bind much better than the pre-ground flax meal.
Photography by Aaron Scott.
P.S. I just realized these have some green in them, so St. Patrick’s Day cookies? Let’s go with that.