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Archive for January, 2011

Hi, Dear Friends!

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Last year was a busy year getting our daughter off to college. We are now empty-nesters and miss her very much. She was home during the holiday break, and we enjoyed her company immensely. Her friends were over, and it was just like old times. She’s now returned to her college and ready for the start of her second semester.

It’s been snowing here in Pittsburgh, one of those staying in my PJs and lazing around the house days. As I looked out the window I absorbed the silence of the falling snow and the beauty of the snow dusted trees and houses. Suddenly, I had a tremendous yen for a chocolate chip cookie and a cup of hot tea. Since I have a grain problem and was recovering from a bout of too much cheating (on grain) from the holidays, I wasn’t about to bake a cookie with flour made from grain! I looked through my pantry and fridge for some possible ingredients that would make a grain-free chocolate chip cookie.

As I gathered the ingredients, my husband said, “You don’t have the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies.” Oh, he of little faith! While I gathered, I imagined the tastes I wanted in my grain-free chocolate chip cookies. I gathered eggs, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, almonds, dried coconut left over from making coconut milk (thinking that it might be my flour substitute), dried unsweetened coconut flakes, coconut crystals (I was dying to try in a baking recipe), almonds that I had soaked and dried, chocolate chunks left over from our daughter baking chocolate chip cookies with her friends, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and a tub of organic Valencia Peanut Butter.

The first ingredient I eliminated was the dried coconut from making coconut milk as my flour substitute. I thought almonds would make a better flour substitute than coconut, because using coconut flour meant I would need to use extra eggs to bind it together. I didn’t want to use too many eggs. I wanted to keep the cookie dough stiffer than pancake batter. Besides, I wanted to add dry, shredded coconut to the cookie to give the cookie more fiber. I didn’t want my cookie overwhelmed with the taste of coconut. I toyed with the idea of using baking powder instead of baking soda, but I recalled baking soda as the leavening agent in regular chocolate chip cookie recipes. I wondered why not baking powder. Anyone know why? In the end I thought I should stick with a tried and true leavening agent for chocolate chip cookies, baking soda.

grain-free chocolate chunk cookies

Well, surprise, surprise! My grain-free chocolate chip cookies turned out to be little nuggets that were crispy on the outside, and moist on the inside. The extra protein from the almonds, eggs, and peanut butter balanced the sugars in the coconut crystals and the chocolate chunks. The extra fiber from the dried coconut, almond flour, and peanut butter slowed down the sugars  from the coconut crystals, already a low glycemic food, that didn’t give me a sugar high. This cookie turned out to be exactly the right accompaniment for my cup of tea on a snowy afternoon while lazing around in my PJs.

My husband said, “Mmm, these are good. Did you write down the recipe?”

Grain-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen medium size cookies

Preheat oven 375°

Ingredients:

1  3/4 Cup blanched organic almonds (soaked and dried)

1 Cup organic chocolate chunks or chips (organic 65%)

1/4 Cup of unsweetened organic shredded coconut

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 eggs (range-free, organic at room temperature)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

4 Tablespoons of coconut crystals

2 Tablespoons of Organic Valencia Peanut Butter (smooth or chunky)

4 Tablespoons of organic coconut oil or grass-fed butter (1/4 Cup)

1. Grind almonds in the blender. Break up clumps with a fork or sift. Place in a large bowl.

2. Add shredded coconut.

3. Add baking soda.

4. Add chocolate chunks.

5. Melt coconut oil (how to measure a solid fat).

6. In a second bowl, add 2 eggs (whisk).

7. Whisk in vanilla.

8. Whisk in coconut crystals until disolved.

9. Whisk in coconut oil.

10. Add liquid to dry ingredients. Whisk.

10. Whisk in peanut butter.

The dough will be vey sticky. Line your cookie sheet with brown parchment paper. Drop tablespoon size dough pieces onto cookie sheet about an inch between each cookie. Flatten with a spatula or spoon. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes on rack.

Suggestions and Modifications:

1. You’re probably saying to yourself, “She’s not really suggesting I eat cookies for breakfast, is she???!!!!” Well, I did have two cookies (really wanted three) for breakfast with a glass of warm milk. I warmed them up in the toaster oven. They were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Believe it or not, I was satisfied. My energy was up, and I wasn’t hungry  until lunch time. After all, these cookies contain organic ingredients, and they’re full of fiber, protein, carbs, and fats. They’re much healthier than boxed cereals.

2. I think this recipe would make a great basic cookie recipe from which you can create other cookies since the peanut butter and coconut were barely noticeable. Any nut butter can be substituted for the peanut butter. How about almond butter with some natural almond extract for a delicious almond cookie! Replace the chocolate chunks with cranberries. Add some orange zest and walnuts and you’ll have a wonderful cranberry, orange, walnut cookie. How about raisins in place of the chocolate chunks, some cinnamon, and extra shredded coconut for a chewy raisin, cinnamon cookie. I’m very eager to try these variations of this grain-free cookie recipe. Please let me know how you like this recipe, or any of my suggested variations.


Copyright 2009-2011 by Nurturing Wisdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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