The story so far: Mike is keeping a running diary of his holiday cookie efforts. Right now, he’s on a mission to create a vegan, gluten-free holiday cookie receipt that emulates his traditional receipt. Today in the cookie diaries: Vegan Batch #02.

You may recall that Batch #01 tasted good, but had a dry and grainy texture. Kathy suggested using unsweetened applesauce to add moisture and more salt to improve the flavor. So Batch #02 was made with those ingredients, plus the proportions and procedure of Mike’s original holiday sugar cookie recipe.

Lemon extract was added to this batch. And this time we’re using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour with xanthan gun already added.

This was The Batch of False Starts. It stared when I laid everything out and realized I didn’t have enough flour. So to the store I went. When I got back, I thought I had run out of baking powder. (Apparently I used baking soda instead of baking powder in the last batch.) So back to the store I went. When I got back this time, I inadvertently found baking powder hiding behind something else in the cupboard. The dough is finally resting, however…

Got 12 cookies (barely) from this batch.

WOW! They are FLAT. And VERY moist—almost too moist.

As for texture and taste: they are very chewy. The salt and the lemon extract really bring out the best of the sugar. Next batch: same as Batch #01, but with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the Bob’s Red Mill flour.

Kathy REALLY likes them. She compared them to breakfast biscuits—very dippable. (So they passed the “milk dunk” test.) This receipt isn’t the one I’m looking for, but this batch may yield another receipt—for breakfast biscuits. Tomorrow: Vegan Batch #03.

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