D’vine Cookies & Dough founder Rebecca Abel shares her secrets to creating a gluten-free, vegan cookie any cookie lover would crave
What makes D’vine’s gluten-free, vegan cookies so popular?
The reason has more to do with what they’ve got, than what they don’t.
Unbelievable flavor? Yep.
Rich cookie texture? Check.
Mouth-watering appearance? You bet.
Sound too good to be true? It shouldn’t, says Rebecca Abel, founder of Ferndale-based D’vine Cookies & Dough.
“It has everything to do with the type and quality of ingredients we use,” she says. “People who follow special diets face a lot of limits, especially when it comes to baked desserts: limited choices with limited flavor.
“Our gluten-free, vegan cookies don’t taste like ‘limiting’ cookies.”
Before Abel launched D’vine last fall, she was determined to include a gluten-free, vegan cookie in her initial product lineup because the demand was so high.
“I have a lot of friends who are gluten-free,” she says. “They were very excited to learn I was working on a cookie they could enjoy, too, because there aren’t a lot of truly tasty options out there.”
D’vine Cookies & Dough debuted with its popular gluten-free, vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookie and has since expanded its flavor offerings to include oatmeal chocolate chip, oatmeal cranberry pecan and the top-selling double chocolate.
“Double chocolate remains one of my all-time favorites,” Abel says. “It’s got a delicious fudgy flavor and a rich, almost brownie-like texture.”
D’vine takes great care to ensure the integrity of the allergen-safe cookies it sells.
“We make them at separate times and with sterilized equipment allocated specifically for the special-diet recipes we use,” Abel says. “Doing both avoids any cross-contamination that can be dangerous for people with food allergies. Our customers trust us and we take that trust very seriously.”
Achieving the heavenly trio of taste, texture and aesthetic appeal wasn’t easy. Abel spent countless hours in the kitchen experimenting with a ton of different ingredients to develop gluten-free, vegan cookies that compromise nothing.
Here are some tips and techniques she learned along the way:
Mix things up: When it comes to which gluten-free flour makes the best-tasting cookie, Abel finds a blend works best. Many bakers use just one, such as white rice flour, tapioca starch, or sorghum flour. But Abel believes a blend yields a much better flavor. And finding the right mix is a process of trial and error, she says: “I tried six different flour blends before I found the right one.”
Coconut products are key: Vegan foods contain no animal products, including dairy. Instead of relying on butter to make her cookies rich and moist, Abel uses coconut milk and coconut oil in its place. The milk lends a rich and creamy flavor while the oil results in a clean, natural taste, she says.
“They are a much better alternative than the butter substitutes I’ve found,” she says. And if you don’t want your peanut butter cookies to have a tropical taste, be sure to use refined coconut products. The refining process removes the coconut flavor but leaves the product’s goodness intact. “
Keep it chill: A lot of gluten-free, vegan cookies look as flat as they taste. If cookie height is what you seek, Abel advises chilling the dough before baking. Once it’s ready, Abel rolls the dough into balls on a cookie sheet and puts them in the refrigerator for an hour or so.
“Doing this helps the cookies keep their shape during baking,” she says. “In the end, you’ve got a cookie that looks as fabulous as it tastes.”
To order a box of gluten-free, vegan cookies that are simply D’vine, visit: https://dvinecookies.com/. Your taste buds will thank you!