Crispy Flax Cookies

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15 Apr Crispy Flax Cookies

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Have I ever mentioned that I’m impatient? Well I am. These cookies prove it.

I was to bring a snack to last night’s meeting and I’d been wanting an excuse to try another recipe from Linda Braun’s Everything Flax. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a range of opinions without having to call in family members. So, a mere two hours before the meeting, I began to whip up a batch, using the ultra thick coconut chips reserved for my granola.

The recipe said to “shape the dough into balls using a rounded teaspoon” but being impatient and in a hurry, I used my itty-bitty ice cream scoop. Small as my scoop might be, it was just slightly bigger than the recipe calls for, so I got 45 cookies, not 60.

These balls were then flattened with the bottom of glass dusted in flour. Sounds easy?

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It should be if you take your time. The first pan went fine. The second pan? Not so much.

The problem? Me. I was in too big a rush to let my lone silicon mat* cool between loads. The warmth made the dough too soft and stick to the bottom of the glass. I ended up repairing several of them with my fingers. (Note to self: Buy second silicon mat!)

Fortunately, the baking process hid my sins. The cookies came out of the oven just fine.

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Relieved, I sampled them as soon as they were cool enough to handle, which for me is pretty hot. But despite their acceptable looks, I didn’t like them.

I rushed a cookie to Andrew who was working in the next room. Steam wafted from it as he broke it open. He took bite, shrugged and mumbled something non-committal.

My usual solution for a disappointing desserts is to drowse it in booze or slather it in icing. Booze being too messy for cookies, I opted for icing. Tangy lemon icing, which I drizzled over a cookie or two to sample.

While they looked pretty I didn’t like the fix any better than what it was masking.

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Out of time and options, I put the plain cookies into a plastic container and took them to the meeting. On the drive over, I imagined people taking one bite and spending the rest of the evening with a partially eaten cookie hidden under their napkin.

To my surprise, people had seconds. And thirds. “Buttery”, “butterscotchy”, “delicious” were just some of the words used to describe them. Had we eaten the same cookies? I tried one and it tasted completely different. Unlike fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip or chewy ginger cookies, these puppies aren’t good warm. But once they cool? It’s another story. And I’d have known that if I’d only been patient. Just how good were they? The host kept the leftovers for today’s lunch.

So, here’s the recipe and my advice. Dip the glass bottom in flour each time you flatten a cookie. And let the bloody things cool before passing judgement. You can add icing if you like, but honestly, they’re fine as is. Now I’ve got to find a use for all that icing.

Crispy Flax Cookies
Printable Recipe
Excerpt published with permission. From Everything Flax by Linda Braun, published by Whitecap Books, 2009.

Makes 5 dozen cookies (if you follow the instructions)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 mL) unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) butter or margarine (I used butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whole flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flaxseed and coconut.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the mix.
  6. Shape the dough into balls and using a rounded teaspoon (approximately 5 mL) of dough for each.
  7. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 2 inches (5 cm) between cookies. Flatten to 1/8 inch (3mm) thickness with the bottom of a floured glass.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet. Remove from the sheet and allow to cool completely on a rack.

These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

* My cookie sheet is uninsulated and tends to burn cookies. A silicon mat has solved this issue and cookies never stick.

No Comments
  • Babette
    Posted at 08:33h, 15 April Reply

    Ha. So many of my own baking experiences end up like this. I am the Impatient Baker. I’m learning.

  • Babette
    Posted at 08:33h, 15 April Reply

    Ha. So many of my own baking experiences end up like this. I am the Impatient Baker. I’m learning.

  • cheryl
    Posted at 11:08h, 15 April Reply

    So glad your story has a happy ending. There’s nothing more depressing than scooping out 45 tiny cookies (that takes time, I know) and having them disappoint.

    You’re an official flax superstar!

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 14:01h, 15 April Reply

    Charmian, I share your impatience. I don’t know how many cooking woes I’ve caused myself because of it. Countless, probably.

    I’m delighted that the cookies surprised you in the end – and really intrigued by this recipe. I made some rather disappointing flax crackers last summer and have been afraid of it ever since. Will have to give these a try!

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 14:01h, 15 April Reply

    Charmian, I share your impatience. I don’t know how many cooking woes I’ve caused myself because of it. Countless, probably.

    I’m delighted that the cookies surprised you in the end – and really intrigued by this recipe. I made some rather disappointing flax crackers last summer and have been afraid of it ever since. Will have to give these a try!

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 20:56h, 15 April Reply

    Good lesson learned – you’ve discovered that you can in fact be too involved with a poject to be objective. Either that, or your friends have no taste – what kind of group meeting did you say it was?

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 22:55h, 15 April Reply

    Babette and Diva, I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes to rush the process. Perhaps Impatient Baker would be a better blog name for me :-) But I think Babette had dibs on that term.

    Cheryl, yes, cookie disappointment can be the worst since they’re fiddly. Happy ending indeed, but I won’t call myself a flax superstar — YET.

    Dana, interesting perspective. I never thought of myself as too involved, but that’s definitely part of the issue. And the group meeting was with professional writers. Yeah, I know. Starving artists will eat anything :-)

  • squirrelbread
    Posted at 09:04h, 16 April Reply

    these look really interesting and delicious! i’ll have to give it a whirl.

    cheers,

    *heather*

  • Elyse
    Posted at 17:19h, 18 April Reply

    This post should totally teach me to have more patience. Hahaha, I usually love a warm-from-the-oven cookie, but I guess these cookies really do require patience to get the rewarding taste. I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them–and that they turned out fabulously!!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 22:26h, 19 April Reply

    Heather, I’d love to know how your cookies turn out!

    Elyse, I’m surprised how many impatient bakers there are. I thought I was the only one. Glad you could learn at my expense.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 20:21h, 20 April Reply

    I am working my way through this cookbook as well and having lots of success.For my daughter in laws Easter celebration this weekend I made I made the tutti frutti cookies with a few changes..I used dried cranberries instead of raisins , added grated orange peel .I did not add nuts or the candied fruit. They were very moist and tasty!Tomorow’s dinner is chicken with crunchy flax coating! yum!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 20:41h, 20 April Reply

    Anonymous, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book. I love how you added orange zest to compliment the dried cranberries.

    Let me know how the chicken turns out. I’ve been meaning to try that one myself.

  • whole flaxseed
    Posted at 10:20h, 21 April Reply

    Looks delicious !!!

    Whole flaxseed is a very good product. Controls cholesterol and makes you healthy ! I recommend it a lot personally.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 20:11h, 21 April Reply

    Thanks whole flaxseed. I am thrilled that flax is a healthy choice. I like it a lot and am adding it to more items. My cholesterol is healthy, but I’ll take all the help I can get.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 20:11h, 21 April Reply

    Thanks whole flaxseed. I am thrilled that flax is a healthy choice. I like it a lot and am adding it to more items. My cholesterol is healthy, but I’ll take all the help I can get.

  • Katherine
    Posted at 22:10h, 04 April Reply

    For theses cookies can you replace the butter with apple sauce?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:09h, 05 April Reply

      Apple sauce can replace some of the fat in moist desserts like carrot cake, but won’t work in crispy sweets. These cookies are meant to be crunchy. The fat and sugar work together in this recipe to get that result. I’m afraid using apple sauce here wouldn’t work.

      If you are looking for a lower-fat, apple sauce treat, here is a link to a carrot cake where the apple sauce cuts fat and works really well to produce a moist result. It includes an explanation of the substitution process. I apologize in advance for the horrid photos.
      http://christiescorner.com/2008/05/07/lowering-the-fat-on-honey-carrot-cake/

  • Katherine
    Posted at 22:10h, 04 April Reply

    For theses cookies can you replace the butter with apple sauce?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:09h, 05 April Reply

      Apple sauce can replace some of the fat in moist desserts like carrot cake, but won’t work in crispy sweets. These cookies are meant to be crunchy. The fat and sugar work together in this recipe to get that result. I’m afraid using apple sauce here wouldn’t work.

      If you are looking for a lower-fat, apple sauce treat, here is a link to a carrot cake where the apple sauce cuts fat and works really well to produce a moist result. It includes an explanation of the substitution process. I apologize in advance for the horrid photos.
      http://christiescorner.com/2008/05/07/lowering-the-fat-on-honey-carrot-cake/

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