“Mom, you have to bake something for school. And, it has to be safe for FiFi.”
That’s what my son told me when we talked about what he wanted for his birthday. I couldn’t be more proud of him for caring so much about his friend, and wanting her to feel included. Pretty cool for an almost 9-year old.
See, the kiddo isn’t the only kid in his class with special food needs. His classroom is gluten-free, nut-free, legume-free, corn-free, shellfish-free, soy-free and dairy-free. Whew.
Generally speaking, no home-baked goods are allowed in the classroom.
But, after a few playground chats and back and forth emails with FiFi’s mom, we settled on a list of ingredients that were safe for both FiFi and the kiddo.
The primary “flour” in this recipe is pumpkin seed flour. I’d already done some baking with sunflower seed flour. And, I’d been mulling over the idea of pumpkin seed flour when Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake posted some delicious-looking pumpkin seed flour cookies. That was just the push I needed to get out the grinder and make a trip to Trader Joe’s for some raw pepitas.
We’re on our third batch of these cookies in a week.
I think they’re keepers.
Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Flour Cookies
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 t. psyllium powder (available at most pharmacies or on Amazon)
6 T. (72 g) organic palm shortening
1 t. vanilla
1.5 cups (180 g) pumpkin seeds, ground in a coffee grinder until floury
6 T. (30 g) cocoa
1/4 cup (28 g) arrowroot starch
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (for soy-free, use Enjoy Life)
Preheat oven to 350°. In a measuring cup, mix the maple syrup and psyllium powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the palm shortening until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add everything but the chocolate chips and mix until dough comes together. (This will take a minute or two. Be patient.) Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake 12 minutes, until firm, but not crispy.
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OOh these look fantastic!
I just had to Google psyllium powder, because I’ve never heard of it (of course, I am new to gluten-free, allergy-friendly baking just within the last six months). Do you think the recipe would work without it? Could I substitute something I have on hand, like ground flaxseeds or even brown rice protein powder? This recipe looks awesome!!
You could most likely sub a tablespoon of ground flax or chia seed. Psyllium yields a more chewy texture that I really like, and really binds the cookie together well. I need to do a post just on psyllium powder. I’m sort of in love with it these days.
These look great! I have to admit I’m in love with psyllium these days, too. I can’t believe all those years I thought it was only for raw foodists!
I didn’t associate it with raw foodists. I just didn’t know anything about it! But, I’m so glad I was introduced to it. I have to thank Iris ( http://www.dailydietribe.com) for that. Thanks, Iris!
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Love your version Deanna. I’ve been dreaming of chocolate cookies lately! Thanks for sharing mine too 🙂
These are AWESOME! My kids and I just made them – I’ve been trying to decrease the amount of wheat/gluten they consume and they have nut allergies so almond flour is out. And they love to bake so I’ve been searching for nut-free, gluten-free recipes. So glad I found your site and this recipe. We all love these cookies! Thank you for posting this!
Yay! I’m so happy you liked them! I need to do more with pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I really do like they way they bake up!
These turned out great! I increased the cocoa powder to 8T (choco-holic!) and used tapioca starch and reduced that to 1/4 cup. 12 minutes was perfect! I would increase the salt next time to balance the increased cocoa but I will definitely be making these again. Thanks!
Excellent! I’m so glad you liked them! Yep, there can never be too much chocolate, can there. 🙂
I just made these and they are AWESOME!!! The perfect way to increase pumpkin seed intake… Not a big fan of trail mix. I subbed carob for cocoa powder and it was deeeelicious! My 3 yr old son couldn’t even wait til they were baked so he ate them raw. Tasted like fudge! Thank you so much for recipe. Definitely a keeper!
So glad you liked them! That’s the best, isn’t it? Eating the dough straight up? My most recent post is also a pumpkin seed + carob concoction, and it’s supposed to be eaten raw. So, be sure to check that one out, too. 🙂 Coconut Carob Truffles
I just bought a case of Trader Joes’s raw pepitas for my peanut/ tree nut allergic child. I called TJ’s corporate office when I discovered that although the individual bags are free of an allegen warning the box the bags came in had a label that stated: packed in a facility with tree nuts. WHen I called they told me that they are packed on equipment with nuts and that according to their records the label on the bags should say so…….GO FIGURE!!!! Interresting that they should act clueless b/c according to this blog post: http://yellowtailhousewife.blogspot.com/2012/05/trader-joes-another-reason-not-to-trust.html
Someone else has already informed them of the label problem!!!! WHat’s even worse is that the staff at our TJs insisted that the product was absolutely safe!!!! I was leary of purchasing them but that insisted that TJs maintains the strictest alleger labeling out there…hmmmmmm
Gerbs pumpkin seeds are allergen free.
Interesting. I’m not nut-allergic. And, the girl I was making these for did not react. Whew! So, hopefully the chance of cross-contamination is low. Her mom approved all the brands I used, even! Live and learn, though, eh? That is certainly frustrating.
Thanks for this post & recipe. I just made them today and my kids are going bezerk for them. I can’t use cane sugar, for the kids, so I used cocoa nibs instead of choc. chips. They came out with a nice texture/cruch to them. Can’t wait to see what they taste like cold, they are SO good warm. I’m thinking ice cream sandwiches, with homemade coconut ice cream.
*Helpful hint is to flatten cookie dough prior to placing in oven.*
*crunch* not cruch. Sorry!
I’m so glad you liked them! It’s always fun to hear when someone tries a recipe and what changes/subs they make. Yep, cacao nibs would be super tasty in these. And, yes, they don’t spread a ton, so flattening first helps. I do that with almost all my vegan cookies.
Thanks for this great recipe! I just tried them and they turned out awesome!! My son will multiple food allergies loved to eat them like an ice cream sandwich(with coconut milk vanilla ice cream). His first ice cream sandwich ever.
I subbed the palm shortening with Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks and flattened the dough a bit so the tops were flat so they would make a good looking ice cream sandwich.
I’m so thankful for bakers like you who have made my life so much easier especially considering what a challenge it has been to cater to my son’s umpteen food allergies!
Thanks a ton,
I’m so happy this one worked for you! It’s definitely been a favorite “safe for everyone” cookie in our house. The originally recipient couldn’t do Earth Balance, which is why I went with palm shortening, but I’m sure the Earth Balance adds extra flavor. And, ice cream sandwich? Yum!
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