Sunday, July 15, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookie photo from Hemsley & Hemsley
For real! My friend Susan just turned me on to Hemsley & Hemsley, a U.K. Tumblr about "the art of eating well." So much to love—they are two lovely sisters whose Tumblr is full of amazing recipes "free of grain, gluten, high starch and sugar." Now I consider myself a heathly cook and eater, but one thing I can't turn my back on is baked goods. I love making and eating fresh-from-the-oven carbs too much. (Some things just aren't the same gluten-free, you know?) But I was intrigued by their almond meal/date/butter/chocolate cookie recipe. I love that there are only four ingredients—a cinch to make in a food processor. And I'll admit, the cookies are fabulous. They are not the same as old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies, but in this case, I actually don't miss the gluten so much.

Click here for their full recipe in British Vogue. I'm re-posting it below but with the measurements converted to U.S. as best I could.

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Hemsley & Hemsley
Ingredients (use organic ingredients where possible)
Makes 20-24 cookies

 —1/2 pound ground almonds (aka almond meal/almond flour)
—A pinch of sea salt
—½ teaspoon of baking soda
—6 tablespoons of room temperature butter (or coconut oil)
—100g of Medjool dates - about 11 of them
—**3.5 oz. (100 g.) bar of dark chocolate - Try Ombar or find the highest percentage of organic dark chocolate you can
(I used 3/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips instead—all I had on hand—and I recommend it. Add them to the food processor last and pulse them just a little so some get slightly broken up for extra melty chocolate flavor.)

Cooking Instructions

The food processor way
  • Put your bar of dark chocolate into the food processor and pulse with the "S" blade until the chocolate is roughly chopped into nuggets. Take out and tip into a bowl. (Skip this step if you're using chocolate chips like I did)
  • Add your ground almonds, baking soda and dates into the processor and pulse until the dates are broken down (add your extract/other flavourings now if using).
  • Put your butter in and pulse until a dough forms.
  • Tip your chocolate nuggets back into the processor and pulse a few times until distributed - you don't want your chocolate blended right in - although they would still look and taste lovely!
  • Scoop out 1 inch balls of the mixture, roll and flatten slighty into cookie shapes.

    By hand
  • Stir the butter on a low heat until just melted. Don't let it get too hot it will be hard to shape your cookies and melt your chocolate chunks. If in doubt, let it cool a little first.
  • Chop your dates (you could try raisins or date syrup instead) and place into a mixing bowl.
  • Add your ground almonds and baking soda and stir to combine.
  • Pour in your melted butter and mix well.
  • Chop your chocolate into small chunks and stir into the mixture.
  • Scoop out 1 inch balls of the mixture and form into cookie shapes as best you can. If it's too sloppy, chill the mixture for 10 minutes or so until it is more of a dough.

    Into the oven
  • Pop the cookies onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, leaving half an inch between each cookie.
  • Bake at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes depending on size - they should be crisp and golden on the edges
  • Remove from the oven and allow the tray to cool  - as tempting as they are (and the smell will drive you insane) they will be too soft to handle, and the molten chocolate will burn.  Allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes, during which time they'll crisp up, before moving them onto a plate/into your mouth!
  • If the cookies last more than a few days you might find they soften up somewhat - just pop them back into the oven to crisp up again. 

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