Vegan flourless pistachio cookies
Vegan flourless pistachio cookies
I love eating well and feeling healthy, but I do have one weakness, which tends to rear its ugly head now and again. In case my free e-book full of sweet recipes hasn’t conveyed that impression, I have a massive sweet tooth!
It also happens that you guys seem to go crazy for sweet recipes much more than the savoury ones and that’s more than enough encouragement as far as I’m concerned. I do try to keep my sweet cravings in check as I know that excess sugar tends to wreak havoc with your body, but balance is everything and so one small cookie with your afternoon coffee shouldn’t hurt, should it?
These vegan flourless pistachio cookies require only 5 ingredients, are super simple to make and contain no gluten. They are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
They keep well (if you are able to leave them alone, that is) and even if they do go a bit stale after a few days, they are still very nice when dunked in hot tea or coffee.
- 100 g / just under 1 cup almond meal or slivered almonds
- 150 g / 1 cup shelled pistachios*, divided
- 80 g / heaped 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 50 ml / 3½ tbsp aquafaba / chickpea brine**
- zest of 1 small orange (optional)
- If using slivered almonds, grind them into a powder (it doesn’t need to be super fine) in a coffee grinder or a food processor.
- Take 100 g of pistachios and grind them into a coarse powder (doesn’t need to be as fine as almond meal). Leave a few bigger chunks in for extra texture.
- Chop remaining 50 g of pistachios quite coarsely and spread them on a large plate.
- In a big mixing bowl, combine almond meal / ground almonds, ground pistachios, sugar and orange zest (if using). Mix it all well and then add enough aquafaba (I used 50 ml, it may end up being a more or a bit less) to bind all the ingredients together and produce a sticky cookie dough.
- Divide dough into 14 equally sized pieces – I used scales (each cookie weighs 25 g). Roll each portion of dough between the palms of your hands and then lightly press into chopped pistachios to coat on both sides.
- Preheat the oven to 175° C / 350° F. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes, until they are lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool down before transferring to a plate (or else they may fall apart). Store in an airtight container.
**Aquafaba is chickpea brine obtained from a tin of chickpeas or you can make your own. When making your own, soak chickpeas in lots of water overnight, rinse and put in a large pot with lots of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour (until beans are soft). Remove cooked chickpeas with a slotted spoon and what’s left in your pot is aquafaba. If it is too runny (ideally it should resemble egg whites), you can concentrate it a bit by simmering it on a low heat (without a lid) until it reaches the desired consistency. Cool it down before using in these cookies.
My recipe is adapted loosely from this recipe.
Would xanthan gum work?
Yes, you can use ground flaxseeds - please look at this recipe for ratios. As for using xanthan gum, you would need to use a lot to get the same effect and I am not sure a) if it would work quite the same b) if it's good for you in large doses. Hope this helps! Ania
I haven't tested it in this context, but my experience in vegan baking tells me that a flax or chia egg (explained properly here) will work also. Not sure what country you are in but in the UK there is a brand of already ground up flax called Linwood that I found to be much less effective than whole flax seeds ground up at home (I use a coffee grinder and store them in a glass jar in a dark cupboard - they keep for ages). Hope this helps! Ania
Just wondering, can you replace sugar with a healthier alternative ?
I have not tried using a flax egg in this recipe and as it has slightly different properties to AF, I am not 100% it will have the same effect, I'm afraid. Ania
The issue I can see with that substitution is that you may find it difficult to form the cookies as the dough will end up too runny. You could try baking them as a large sheet and then break them into smaller pieces, it MAY work, but you'll need to experiment, I'm afraid.
Hope that helps a little,