I have been (mostly) vegan for about a year, and though in general I am VERY happy with this lifestyle choice, there are a few things that I miss.
Berger cookies are one of them.
Right now, I'm also trying to keep my blood sugar from spiking too much, so I'm minimizing sugar and wheat flour. I concocted these cookies, cobbled together from a couple of recipes and with a number of vegan and/or gluten-free and/or sugar-free substitutions. These cookies are not Berger cookies. The chocolate icing is a slightly different consistency. And the cookies themselves are not quite a ringer. But they sure do scratch the itch!
If you're looking to recreate them, here's how I did it:
Yield: 18 cookies
Prep time: 5 min
Total time: ~90 min
Ingredients For the cookies
5 1/3 TBSP plant based butter softened
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar (I substituted allulose, so I used 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or one egg if not vegan)
1 1/2 cup flour (I used King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Gluten Free)
1/3 cup oat milk
For the icing
10 - 12 oz avocado flesh (~2 avocados) discard any black spots
1 1/2 TBSP Dutch process cocoa (I subbed Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder)
8-10 oz vegan chocolate chips or chocolate bar(s)
1/4 tsp salt
2 - 3 tbsp sweetener of choice (I used 4 tbsp of allulose)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Make the cookies (modified from King Arthur Floor Baltimore Berger Cookie recipe)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper) two baking sheets.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, salt, vanilla, and baking powder.
Beat in the sugar, then the applesauce
Add the flour to the wet ingredients alternately with the oat milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do this gently; there's no need to beat the batter.
With wet hands roll the dough into balls and drop onto the prepared cookie sheet. The balls of dough should be about 1 1/4" in diameter. Flatten each mound of dough to a circle about 1 1/2" across; wet your fingers or a knife, or grease the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to do this. Leave 2"; to 2 1/2" between each cookie, for expansion. I used a kitchen scale and made each cookie 36 g of dough. It made 18 total.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until they're a mottled brown on the bottom (carefully tilt one up to look), but not colored on top. You may see the barest hint of browning around the edges, but these cookies are supposed to be soft and cake-like, so don't over-bake them. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool right on the pan as you make the frosting.
While the cookies are baking and cooling, make the frosting (modified slightly from Chocolate Covered Katie Chocolate Avocado Pie).
Melt the chocolate chips or bar either using a double boiler or carefully in a microwave-safe container, heating for 30 seconds at a time and stirring in between until it is fully melted.
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. It will be thick, like pudding.
If using a piping bag, fill the bag with the icing and pipe directly onto your cookies. If you're looking for a more authentic Berger cookie look, use a spoon and/or a rubber spatula to goop the icing onto the cookies.*
Put the cookie tray into the fridge to allow the chocolate to set--at least 60 to 90 minutes. Once fully set, transfer them to an air-tight container and store in the fridge for 3 - 4 days (not that they'll last that long!)
*Note, when I piped the icing, I found that the mixture separated a bit. It might be more effective to use the messy (and authentic!) goop method.