Maple-Sunbutter Cookies {gluten-free, nut-free, vegan}

Maple-Sunbutter Cookies {gluten-free,vegan}

I had one of those accidental taste-bud epiphanies a while back.

Desperate for a snack, and having already raided my cupboards only to find a measly bag of stale tortilla chip crumbs, I settled instead upon the sad slice of cinnamon-raisin bread languishing away in the back of the freezer.

Of course it became toast.  Because toasting improves everything.  I topped it with a few smears of sunflower seed butter.  Then, because cinnamon-raisin-sunflower-seed-butter-toast wasn’t interesting enough, I added a generous drizzle of maple syrup, too.  And a sprinkle of coarse salt.

Like I said, I was pretty desperate.

Strangely, the combination was good.  The touch of  maple syrup and pinch of salt not only complimented the sunflower seed butter, or sunbutter (as the cool kids say), but helped it push all those savory-salty-sweet buttons like a good peanut butter cookie.

Winter Daybreak

I’ve tried this recipe with all sorts of gluten free flours, oils, and, at times, I have even veered from my original plan by substituting other sweeteners.  However, maple syrup was my muse, and I just kept coming back to her.

I also wholeheartedly preferred sorghum flour over rice flour for both it’s flavor and the attractive way it made the cookie tops crackle.

The choice of oil seemed to make less of a difference.  I give a couple of options below.  If you opt for coconut oil, be sure it is melted.  Like butter, it solidifies at cooler temps and will seize up into little chunks when it meets a cold substance (hello refrigerated maple syrup!).

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used grade A, but I bet grade B would be even better)
3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil (melted), olive oil, or organic canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.  Add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir until evenly moistened.  Allow the dough to rest a minute or two.
  • Using a tablespoon, drop the dough onto the cookie sheet and give each mound a gentle press to barely flatten into disks.
  • Bake 9-11 minutes, depending on your cookie personality: soft vs crumbly.

Yield: About 1 dozen


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6 thoughts on “Maple-Sunbutter Cookies {gluten-free, nut-free, vegan}

  1. Yum! I made a couple of batches, one with vegan chocolate chips too!
    I wanted to make naturally green cookies for my environmental students for fun. I lessened the baking soda for the green to appear. Great recipe!

    1. Juliet, I’m so glad you liked them! I can’t remember if I mentioned in the post or not that sometimes the centers turn green. Do you know why this happens?! If I used more baking soda would it go away? Thanks so much for the comment.

  2. Looks like a delicious recipe, and I have most of the ingredients! I’ve never used sorghum flour or xanthan gum – do those have specific properties you chose them for? Would quinoa flour make a decent substitute? thanks for getting the recipes out there!

    1. Hi Alex, thanks for the comment. I think quinoa flour would probably work fine. The cookies might set up a little differently and they would definitely have that distinctive grassy flavor from the quinoa, which I personally really like. I use sorghum flour interchangeably with brown rice flour. It has a nutty, whole-grain flavor and color that reminds me a lot of whole-wheat, but gluten-free. Xanthan gum adds elasticity to gluten-free baked goods, which tend to be really crumbly because of the missing gluten. Xanthan gum can be a little pricey. However, a small amount lasts a really long time and really makes a huge textural difference. I hope this helps! Please let me know how they turn out!

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