My husband Matthew hates candy corn. This time of year, when candy corn is everywhere, he's not having any of it. I've seen candy corn-shaped cookies before, but it seemed like it would be a fun challenge to come up with a completely natural candy corn cookie that is also pretty much allergy-free.
Yes, I'm not kidding. These cookies are gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and dye-free — and pretty low in sugar, too. Seriously. For this slice-and-bake cookie, I've got a layer flavored with sweet corn purée (they are candy CORN cookies, after all) combined with a sweet potato layer and a lime layer. The combination of flavors is distinctly Latin American, but you can also use other kinds of fruit as the base in any layer — we also tried banana, apple and pumpkin, which taste delicious but just are slightly less vibrant in color.
1 cup solid coconut oil (or other shortening)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups gluten-free flour blend
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sweet corn kernels, puréed and strained
1/4 cup cooked sweet potato, mashed
1 fresh lime
1 tablespoon finely ground cornmeal
Put the coconut oil and sugar in a stand mixer and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy. Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt and add to the coconut oil mixture, beating together until combined. The mixture will be similar to a biscuit dough. Divide the dough into thirds.
Mix one-third of the dough with the corn purée and the cornmeal, and another third with the mashed sweet potato. The remaining third should be mixed with the juice and zest of the lime.
Line a loaf pan with parchment or waxed paper. Pat the sweet corn dough evenly into the bottom of the pan, then top with an even layer of the sweet potato dough, and, finally, the lime dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 375°.
Remove the chilled dough from the loaf pan and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch slices so that you can see all the layers. Trim the edges of each slice, then cut into candy corn-shaped wedges about two inches long.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are lightly golden. Remove to a rack to cool, then brush the tops of the cookies with simple syrup and sprinkle a little sugar over the top. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
Did you know? Coconut is actually a fruit, not a nut, so coconut oil can be a great alternative to butter when baking, adding a delicious flavor that is slightly "nutty".
Acorn Treats: You may have noticed the little acorns in the photo with the cookies — I made these fun treats on The Chew, check it out here.
Don't want to have edible treats for Halloween? Try my Crayon Pumpkin!