Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies - alternative floursI’ve wanted to try baking cookies using alternative flours for a while now. My body seems to tolerate wheat less and less well as the years go by. I was hoping that coconut flour and almond flour would be friendlier choices for me.

Lately I’ve been inspired by the dinner recipes of Danielle Walker. I’m sure her recipes work perfectly without any tinkering – she seems to test them thoroughly. But somehow I have not yet managed to follow any of them exactly. My inner cook comes out, and I make a few changes. 😉

I decided to see what Danielle had to offer for cookies. You can find her recipe here. I stuck pretty closely to it, but not exactly. However, I was delighted by my results. These cookies are super delicious – delicate and yet slightly chewy, and they don’t upset my tummy!

Ingredients

Cookies - ingredients1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon cane sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/2 chocolate chips

Directions

In a food processor, cream together the butter, coconut sugar, cane sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla until well mixed, about 15 seconds.

(Creaming the butter and sugar the old-fashioned way – with a fork – would likely work equally well. I used the food processor for my first attempt. I may not bother rousting it out on my second.)

Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt to the processor and process again until well mixed, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the processor, if needed, to get all the dry ingredients mixed in.

(I tasted my batch at this point and decided that it was not quite sweet enough. That’s where the “extra” teaspoon of cane sugar – listed above in the ingredients – came from. I also assessed the dough and felt that it was a little too liquid. So I added the “extra” teaspoon of coconut flour – also listed above in ingredients.)

Cookies - the doughTurn the dough out into a mixing bowl, add the chocolate chips, and stir by hand until they are well mixed in.

(My batch in the photos likely looks a little strange to you. That’s because we had no chocolate chips in the house, and my husband and my daughter were out with car, shopping. So I improvised. I dug through the Halloween candy in the freezer and pulled out a mini chocolate bar, two kitkat bars, and a bar of white chocolate. I chopped them up and used them in place of the chocolate chips.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Cookies - on baking sheet

Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls on the baking sheets. Flatten the cookies, because they will not change shape much while baking.

Bake 9 minutes and then cool on a rack. Makes 29 cookies.

More recipes:
Arugula Beef
Butternut Soup
Baked Apples
Coconut Chocolates

Cookies - baked

 

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Pie Crust Cookies

plate of pie crust cookiesThe first pie crust cookies were frugality run amok.

I was baking an apple pie with my son and enjoying it. We tried a new recipe for the crust, based on pecans. The recipe was intended for a custard pie that didn’t require a top crust. But apple pies need them, and ours was mounded super high with apples. We made more than a double recipe to be sure to have enough dough. Which yielded too much, of course.

Not wanting to waste it, we made the extra into cookies. And they were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Yum!

The next time we baked together, we made pie crust cookies on purpose!

Here’s how we did it.

A Note on Ingredients

This recipe will work with ordinary whole wheat flour, instead of sprouted whole wheat flour. You may also use raw pecans, rather than crisp pecans. But I urge you to use the sprouted flour and the crisp nuts.

Grains, nuts, and seeds contain phytic acid. Phytic acid prevents the seed or nut from sprouting until it is in contact with the moist earth that will permit the plant to flourish. Which means it prevents enzymes from working. But you want the enzymes in your body to work! You’ll digest your food more completely and receive more of its nourishment. Plus phytic acid is an irritant. Properly preparing seeds, nuts, and grains neutralizes phytic acid. You can read more about this important principle of nutrition here.

Many health food stores carry sprouted whole wheat flour. I buy mine at Whole Foods. Some health food stores carry sprouted nuts. Sprouted nuts can safely be used instead of crisp nuts. The recipe for crisp pecans follows the one for the cookies below.

baking pie crust cookiesIngredients

2 cups crisp pecans
1-1/2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
3/8 cup butter
3/8 cup unrefined coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Directions

Put pecans, flour, sugar, and salt in food processor and process until nuts are ground and all ingredients well mixed.

 

Add butter, coconut oil, and vanilla.

 

Process until the mixture forms a ball.

 

Place half of the dough on a sheet of wax paper.

 

Use a rolling pin to roll out dough between 2 sheets of wax paper. Be careful when you pull the top sheet up, since the dough is both delicate and sticky.

 

Use a cookie cutter or a small glass to make small round cookies. You may form the leftover dough into small cookies. The dough is delicate, but will not suffer from this extra handling.

 

Place cookie rounds on cookie sheets covered with baking parchment.

 

Bake in pre-heated 375º F oven for 10 minutes. Cool cookies on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes.

 

Remove cookies to cooling racks and cool completely. The cookies are fragile, but they truly do melt in your mouth.

 
 

Crisp Pecans

Use these as a topping on oatmeal, in the cookie recipe above, or as a snack.

 

Ingredients

4 cups raw pecans
2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
filtered water to cover nuts

 

Directions

Mix the salt with the filtered water and soak the nuts in it overnight (at least 7 hours).

Next day, drain the nuts in a colander.

Put baking parchment on a baking sheet. Spread the nuts evenly on it. Place in oven, turn on to 150ºF and “bake” for 12-24 hours, until completely dry and crisp. Stir the nuts with a spoon and re-spread them occasionally. (If you have a food dehydrator, use that!)

Store the nuts in an air-tight container.

This crisp nut recipe may be used for walnuts, almonds, or macadamias. Do not use it for cashews. Cashews are not raw when they come to us. They contain a toxic oil that must be released and removed by two separate heatings before humans can eat them safely. This means that they’ll get slimy and nasty if soaked too long or dried too slowly. Soak them at most 6 hours. Dry them in a 200ºF oven.

Note: Walnuts, alone of all the nuts, must be stored in the refrigerator. Their unique composition of oils will go rancid at room temperature. The other nuts may be safely stored at room temperature.

For another dessert recipe, see:
Coconut Chocolates

For more on nutrition, see:
Butter and Cream and Coconut, Oh My!
Test first, then conclude

 

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Coconut Chocolates

chocolates on a bule willow plateWith a little more foresight, I might have posted this before Valentine’s Day instead of after! Alas! But these are candies worth having in your fridge all year, because . . . they’re actually good for you. In moderation, of course! Don’t eat them every day. Gotta watch those carbs. (Grin!)

“How can candy be good for you?” you ask.

Well, the dehydrated cane juice and the honey aren’t, but everything else is just fine and some, downright essential. The coconut oil is especially beneficial.

Here’s three quick reasons why it’s so good:

• The fats in coconut oil are not stored in the body as fat.
They are quickly converted to energy

• People living in countries where coconut is an important part of their diet
have lower rates of heart disease and cancer

• The fats in coconut oil kill viruses and pathogenic bacteria
by stripping their protective outer layer

So how do you make coconut chocolates? It’s really easy, no real cooking involved. The only disadvantage? Washing the food processor afterward!

photos of making coconut chocolates

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup sprouted almonds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1-1/2 cups coconut oil (unrefined)
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup dried, shredded coconut
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tablespoon dehydrated cane juice

One thought on ingredients: get sprouted almonds, if you can! All nuts have phytic acid in them, and phytic acid sweeps necessary minerals like calcium out of the body. Sprouting the nuts gets rid of the phytic acid and makes other nutrients more bio-available.

 

Directions

Grind the almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor. I try to grind them down to a nut butter. My family prefers “smooth” to “crunchy,” but keep your own preferences in mind when deciding how much to process the nuts.

 

Add the butter and coconut oil and process again. You can probably skip this step – just dump the rest of the ingredients in – but I like to get the “batter” silky smooth!

 

Now add the honey, evaporated cane juice, cocoa powder, and shredded coconut. Process until blended and smooth.

 

Next pour the “batter” into ice cube trays. If the weather is really cool, you might need to spoon it in. Coconut oil is liquid in Virginia’s summer, but solid in winter. The other thing you can do is warm the coconut oil before you add it to the processor. That keeps the “batter” pourable.

 

The other thing to consider is acquiring some trays designed for bottle-sized ice cubes. Helps to keep the chocolates bite sized.

 

Next the filled trays go into the freezer. If you have room, you can spread them out and avoid covering them with plastic wrap. (I prefer to avoid the stuff.)

 

Unfortunately, my freezer doesn’t truly have room. (Cheating a little on that photo!) I have to stack the trays, and I don’t want chocolate smeared all over their bottoms. So I wrap. You’ll see it in the photo where the chocolates come out of the freezer.

 

Once the chocolates are firm (several hours), take them out of the freezer and remove them from the trays. Cut them into bite-sized chunks. Store them in glass jars in the fridge. (You don’t want them melting, the way they might in a room-temp cupboard.)

 

Enjoy!

 

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of coconut oil – there’s way more than the three points I listed above – I have a post!

 

But you knew I did, didn’t you?

 

:: smiling ::

 

A few more recipes:
Coconut Salmon
The Carrot Un-recipe
Sauerkraut
Eggplant Merveilleux

 

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