Tenille Evans is the Owner and incredibly talented Head Chef behind Vegan Weddings and Events, where she delivers a palette of beautifully inspired and colourful offsite vegan catering for events and weddings throughout NSW and beyond. We first connected with Tenille at her cosy restaurant Secret Creek, tucked away in a secluded gully in Lithgow where she held our very first Vegan Market.
Since then we have been drooling over her culinary talents and have enjoyed watching Tenille grow from quaint vegan café to busy Vegan Restaurant and Catering business, sharing her talents near and far.
We are thrilled that Tenille has shared one of her recipes with us, which is perfect to make with your little ones during the Easter break!
I love making cookies. If you go to my mums house and take out her copy of the iconic Women’s Weekly Beautiful Biscuits book, then turn to the page with Choc Chip cookies, you’ll find 30 year old cookie dough stains left by me. It’s probably the first thing I ever baked.
Cookies are the perfect cooking project to involve the kids in because they can roll them and press them with relatively little mess and the process is so simple. It’s a homeschooling maths lesson opportunity with a sweet reward! My kids all love these cookies, and they don’t even realise they are eating a vegetable.
This is a twist on my old fave, using pumpkin and white chocolate chunks along with some delicious warm chai spices that are perfect for autumn baking. We all know how hard it is to get regular wheat flour at the shops at the moment, but the gluten free specialty flours that I’ve used here seem to always be in good supply! I used pumpkin that I had leftover from another meal, so I had roasted it in advance.
These cookies are vegan, gluten free, nut free, wheat free and soy free – IF you use a soy free white chocolate. If you can’t find soy free vegan white chocolate then you can replace the white chocolate with chopped pecans or other nut to make them soy free.
Chai Spiced Pumpkin and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 16-18 cookies
1 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
big pinch of salt
1 teaspoon each of; turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg (you can adjust these to taste and leave anything out that you don’t like)
1 1/2 cups of cooked pumpkin, roasted is best
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup melted refined coconut oil
1 cup of roughly chopped vegan white chocolate.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C
Put the pumpkin, both sugars and the melted coconut oil into a food processor and process until smooth.
Put all other ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine well with a wooden spoon or clean hands.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and pour in the pumpkin puree mix. Combine with a wooden spoon and then mix with clean hands to form a dough. Throw in your chocolate chunks, you might like to save some bits to press into the top of the cookies.
Form cookies with your hands and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Chill on the baking trays in the fridge for 10 minutes to prevent the cookies from spreading. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until slightly golden. The cookies should be a bit soft when they come out and will firm up and become chewier as they cool. If you like a chewier cookie, you might like to make the cookies a little flatter. If you shape them on the chunky side, they will be firm, chewy and slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and crumbly in the middle.