Erin McKenna's BabyCakes bakery in New York's Lower East Side is a much beloved destination among the vegan foodie community - so much so that after much demand, she opened yet another similar and completely successful sister bakeries, simply named Erin McKenna's, is both Los Angeles and Orlando. What makes these baked goods so popular? Well, first off, everything in the bakery is vegan - and that's not all! From cupcakes to waffles to even freshly baked doughnuts, Erin makes sure there's something available for every diet or possible allergy, never using refined sugars, gluten/wheat, soy, dairy, or egg. Somehow, magically, they're amazing! Don't believe me? Her cookbook, BabyCakes Covers The Classics, is a continuous bestseller! When I went to BabyCakes NYC for the first time in 2009, I went for the cupcakes, but ended up falling completely in love with their chocolate chip sandwich cookies. They were two large chocolate chip cookies sandwiching candy-colored frosting in a way that was equally light and indulgent. What I love is that, in this aforementioned cookbook, Erin gave fans the recipe for making this at home. She even stopped off on Martha Stewart's television show to demonstrate! Try this out at home, as this is a terrific recipe on its own or used as a base to freestyle with your own different flavors. The frosting for this one will be vanilla, but in the past, BabyCakes has offered ones with mint flavor or peanut butter inside. This recipe makes 36 cookie sandwiches, so even if you steal a bunch for yourself (which you'll want to), there's still plenty to share! ------------------------------------------------------------------------ BabyCakes NYC's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies For the Cookies: 1 cup coconut oil 6 Tablespoons homemade applesauce or store-bought unsweetened applesauce 1 teaspoon salt 2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract 1 and 1/4 cups evaporated cane juice 2 cups Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour 1/4 cup flax meal 1 teaspoon baking sode 1 and 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum 1 cup vegan chocolate chips For the Frosting: 3/4 cup rice milk or unsweetened soy milk 3/4 cup dry rice milk powder or dry soy milk powder 1 tablespoon coconut flour 1/4 cup agave nectar 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups coconut oil, melted and cooled 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, applesauce, salt, vanilla and cane juice. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax meal, baking soda and xanthan gum. Using a rubber spatula, carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until a grainy dough is formed. Gently fold in the chocolate chips just until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. 3. Using a melon baller, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the portions 1 inch apart. Gently press each with the heel of your hand to help them spread. Bake the cookies on the center rack for 15 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees after 9 minutes. The finished cookies will be crisp on the edges and soft in the center. 4. Let the cookies stand on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting. 5. In the jar of a blender or bowl of a food processor, combine soy milk, soy powder, coconut flour, agave nectar, and vanilla. Blend ingredients for 2 minutes. With machine running, slowly add oil and lemon juice, alternating between the two until both are fully incorporated. 6. Frost the underside of a cookie and sandwich it with the other. Optionally, roll these cookies in sprinkles or miniature chocolate chips!