March 21, 2010
During a recent chocolate chip cookie attack, I found a forgotten chunk of rapadura my brother had brought from Brazil lurking in the back of my sweetener cupboard. Rapadura is the Brazilian name for blocks of dried sugar cane juice usually produced on site at sugar cane plantations. In its liquid state, it is poured into a form and dries in the shape of a brick. It is not highly processed and still contains many vitamins and mineral from the sugar cane. To be used in cooking, the brick must be shaved with a knife or grated. The same product has many different names in different parts of Central and South America. In Mexico it is called piloncillo (little pillars), and it is poured into cone shaped molds to dry, and has become relatively easy to find in the North.
The name “rapadura” most likely came from “raspadura” meaning to shave or grate something hard, but lost the “s” somewhere along the line. I tried both shaving with a knife and grating in the food processor. Both worked; the processor was less labor intensive but more noisy and made a finer, fluffier grate.
I’ve noticed that this form of sugar does not give me the intense sugar buzz and sugar drop I normally associate with refined sugar. It has the pleasing, molasses flavor of brown sugar. This makes it a good candidate for chocolate chip cookies that requires a moist brown sugar.
Using the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe I replaced the eggs with a mixture of soymilk and ground flax seed. To replace the butter, I used coconut oil with a little soymilk, melted together until the soymilk solids turned golden. I replaced the sugars with grated rapadura and melted it into the coconut oil/soymilk mixture.
This made a nicely “short” cookie, although not as chewy as I would have liked, but still very good. They didn’t last long…
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with Rapadura
Yield: 40-one tablespoon cookies
1 cup soymilk
¼ cup ground flax seed
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup soymilk
2 cups shaved or grated rapadura, packed (about 10 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup chopped walnuts
Stir the ground flax seed into the soymilk and let it stand to thicken. Melt the coconut oil over low heat, stir in the soymilk and simmer until the solids start to turn golden. Turn off the heat, add two more tablespoons coconut oil and stir in the shaved or grated rapadura, letting it melt in the warm oil. When it has come to room temperature, transfer the mixture to a mixer, add the flax, soymilk mixture and beat until blended. Mix the flour, soda, and salt together, then beat into the wet ingredients. Beat in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Place by heaping tablespoonful on a baking sheet, press to about ¼ -inch thick, and bake in a preheated 375ºF oven for about 9 minutes or until golden.
Filed under: Cookies