This week I had a reason to bake. At the hobby farm I buy from, the chickens haven’t been laying well thanks to the shorter days of fall. But the ducks have, and the farmer told me that duck eggs are especially good for baking. So this week I had a dozen duck eggs, and bake I did. After six batches of cookies, three made with duck eggs and three with chicken eggs, I can confirm that duck eggs really are superior for baking. The cookies made with duck eggs had improved texture and rose higher. The amount of loft really was impressive considering their mostly whole-grain, gluten-free nature.
Jamie Oliver has written about using duck eggs for baking, noting that they add back into gluten-free baked goods some of the structure that is lost in the absence of gluten and that “duck eggs make baked items so much fluffier than chicken eggs, you will be amazed.” Yup. I am. Apparently the secret is the extra protein in the egg white of duck eggs.
Duck eggs can be much larger than chicken eggs but from what I’ve read they substitute one for one for chicken eggs in recipes. The ones I bought were no larger than chicken eggs so I can’t confirm the substitution. Duck eggs make for a richer dish: the yolks are proportionately larger than chicken egg yolks and have more fat. Asian groceries are a good place to find them.
If you don’t have the esoteric ingredient of duck eggs, don’t worry, the batches I made with chicken eggs were good. I’m always one for adding healthy nuts and fruits to cookies, and the walnuts, pecans, and raisins in these keep them interesting. They have a little fall/winter spiciness with cinnamon and allspice, too.
I fine-tuned my homemade gluten-free flour mix on these cookies. I like Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix, and it’s convenient, but it does contain buttermilk powder which makes it unsuitable for non-dairy diets. I’m pleased to say that I now prefer my homemade GF flour mix to even Pamela’s. I’ll write it up separately at some point– after perhaps, more tests to see what happens when I simplify it a bit more– but for now it’s in parentheses in the recipe.
Enjoy! And let me know how you liked the cookies in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers.
- Ingredients that go in blender/food processor:
- 1 cup oat flour (can make in your blender from rolled oats)
- 1 cup Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix or homemade GF flour mix: ⅓ cup white rice flour, ⅓ cup brown rice flour, 2.5 Tbsp. almond meal, 1 Tbsp. tapioca starch, 1 Tbsp. sweet white rice flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, pinch xanthan gum
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. allspice
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup pecans
- To cream together in a large bowl:
- 4 Tbsp solid coconut oil. (If your room temperature is hot enough for the coconut oil to be liquid, cool the oil in a refrigerator.)
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- Wet ingredients:
- 2 duck eggs
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- A final addition:
- ¼ cup raisins
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
- Line two 9 x 12 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease them.
- Put oats in blender or food processor.
- Run until oats are ground into a flour, this won’t take long.
- Add gluten-free baking mix, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, and salt to the blender, blend until well-combined.
- Add walnuts and pecans, pulse briefly until the nuts are somewhere between finely chopped and a coarse flour (either works)
- In a large bowl, cream (beat together) the coconut oil and sugar. By hand works best for me, but use whatever method you prefer (beater, stand mixer).
- Add eggs and beat together until smooth.
- Stir in lemon juice and vanilla.
- Mix with dry ingredients from blender until uniform (I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment for this step and the next one.)
- Add raisins and mix in.
- Drop batter onto baking sheets by rounded tablespoonfuls.
- Bake 14-15 minutes, until cookies are set and edges are barely beginning to brown.