Fans of Aran Goyoaga mouthwatering pastries on Instagram and in her James Beard Award-nominated cookbook, Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple, are familiar with her unfussy approach to gluten-free delicacies. For cozy baking days at home in Seattle over the holidays, she takes a similarly minimal-yet-striking approach to her beauty routine.
To combat dryness, Goyoaga skips washing her face in the morning, then applies a SkinCeuticals Vitamin C serum, followed by the company’s Triple Lipid moisturizer, and either Vintner’s Daughter’s cultish oil blend or pure rose hip oil on top. When it comes to makeup, she dabs Westman Atelier Vital Skin foundation stick under her eyes and around her nose. “Then I’ll curl my lashes and add mascara, because that makes a huge difference for me,” she says. She finishes with a touch of Bonne Brow pencil in Bark, Baby Cheeks blush in Chouchette, and the dusty rose lip color in the Lip Suedes Les Rouges compact. “I like that everything is so creamy and I don’t need brushes,” she says. “I’m not a makeup artist, and I enjoy the tactile aspect of using my fingers. It’s the same with food.”
That’s not to say that Goyoaga, who grew up in the Basque country, across the street from her grandparents’ pastry shop, wouldn’t like to be a makeup artist, though. Perhaps because her dad is a painter, she’s always been drawn to the medium, with its colors and textures, and she often watches makeup tutorials on Youtube. “It’s such a connecting, soothing thing,” she says of the ritual.
For now, though, she’ll stick to food, and has lately been testing all manner of gluten-free breads for her next cookbook, as well as putting together her favorite dishes and treats for the holidays. Goyoaga’s recipe hit list includes everything from handmade pasta with ragù or roast chicken with vegetables to a chocolate yule log and her famous spiced mocha molasses cookies, the recipe for which is below. “They’re coated with sugar, so they’re crispy on the outside and, thanks to the almond flour, chewy on the inside,” she says. “And spicy, of course! I love a spicy cookie.”
Spiced Mocha Molasses Cookies:
These cookies are spiced with coffee, cacao, cinnamon, ginger, and clove, which make them a perfect addition to any holiday repertoire. A few notes about the recipe:
I highly recommend you weigh your ingredients, especially the flours. Too much flour, and the cookies won’t spread and crack the same way. Too little flour, and your cookies will be super thin.
If you have stone-ground brown rice flour and not the superfine kind that this recipe calls for, add about 10 grams more of stone-ground flour. I know from experience that stone-ground flour in cookies doesn’t hydrate the same way as superfine so a touch more will help.
Instant espresso powder is not the same as ground espresso. Instant espresso powder is espresso that has been brewed, then dried. You can use instant coffee, but the taste will be more bitter and the texture is usually coarser. You can typically find instant espresso powder in small jars at the supermarket.
You can easily mix this recipe by hand using a wooden spoon since you really don’t need to aerate the ingredients— just mix to combine.
This recipe can be made vegan by replacing the egg with 50g of applesauce and adding 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to the dry ingredients. You can also use a flax egg instead of the regular egg (10g finely ground flaxseed and 35g warm water whisked together). The spread will be slightly different and a touch crumblier.
The cookies spread quite a bit so leave 3-4 inches between them. I bake 6 at a time and one baking sheet at a time.
Makes 18 to 20 cookies
- 3/4 cup (170g) vegan butter (sticks) or unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 cup (110g) tightly-packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (80g) unsulfured molasses
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (140g) superfine brown rice flour
- 1 cup (100g) almond flour
- 1/4 cup (30g) tapioca starch
- 2 tbsp. (8g) instant espresso powder
- 1 tbsp. (7g) cacao powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 8 oz (225g) 70% chocolate bar, coarsely chopped
Extra rolling ingredients on hand: 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar & 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-low speed using a paddle attachment until you have a creamy mixture, about one minute. Do not beat until it is pale as you will introduce too much air. Add the egg and mix to combine.
In a medium bowl, stir together the brown rice flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, espresso powder, cacao powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Add the dry ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter. Add the chopped chocolate and mix to combine.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your oven rack in the middle of the oven.
In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and ginger. Scoop 1 1/2 ounces (about 50g) of dough (I like to use an ice cream scoop for this) and roll in the sugar twice. Place dough on the prepared baking sheet leaving 3 inches in between cookies. Bake one baking sheet at a time for best results.
Bake cookies for 9 to 11 minutes until the edges are crispy and the center still feels slightly under baked. The cookies will harden as they cool so don’t overbake them. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes. They are soft and gooey, so they can fall apart if you try to lift them too soon. Bake the remaining cookie dough.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days and enjoy!