If the majority of the treats in BabyCakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles by Erin McKenna (Clarkson Potter, Aprl) turn out as well as these cookies did, I’ll be duly impressed. Being neither vegan nor gluten-intolerant, I’m not overly familiar with a lot of the ingredients McKenna uses in her recipes. But, being an avid and curious baker myself, I wanted to give one a try. I admit that I lowered my expectations a little for these snickerdoodles, thinking they might be good for gluten-free vegan cookies, but that they wouldn’t compare to “regular” cookies. I was surprised by how wrong I was. These cookies are incredible: a little crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, intensely cinnamon-sugary, and rich and buttery tasting even though there’s no butter in them, of course (must be the coconut oil). There’s nothing weird or off-putting about their texture or taste, which I confess I expected. Honestly, you would never guess these were gluten-free and vegan. They’ve kept perfectly well for a few days at room temperature, but it doesn’t look like they’ll last much longer; we keep popping them into our mouths like candy. There was only one “problem” with this recipe: baking the batter by teaspoonfuls gave me close to 60 cookies rather than the 36 McKenna claims, but there are things much worse than having too many of these snickerdoodles!

Snickerdoodles from Babycakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles by Erin McKenna

1 1/3 cups plus ½ cup vegan sugar

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 cups rice flour

¼ cup ground flax meal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon xantham gum

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons melted refined coconut oil or canola oil

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the ½ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon until evenly incorporated. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 1/3 cups sugar, the flour, flax meal, baking soda, xantham gum, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Add the coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix with a rubber spatula until a thick dough that resembles wet sand forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Working in batches, drop the dough by the teaspoonful into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and roll around to coat the dough all over. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Gently press each cookie with a fork to help them spread. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the baking sheets, and continue baking for 7 minutes more, or until the cookies are crispy around the edges. Let stand on the baking sheets for 15 minutes before serving.

McKenna says this recipe makes 36 cookies, but I found it be closer to 60.