Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

Over the last couple of months, I have become obsessed with this DIY paleo flour blend. Not only is it way cheaper to make your own blend, but it also took all of the guesswork out for me because when it comes to using coconut flour, I literally fail every. single. time. But with this blend I have created a birthday cake/cupcakes as well as some cookie recipes. They may, or may not, all make it on the blog! This recipe is a huge hit with my entire family (parents included). I was inspired to create these cookies after trying Simple Mills Double Chocolate Cookies – if you read my March Favorites blog post, you already know my love for this company. They use minimal ingredients…and ingredients I feel good about letting Willow eat – no gums, additives, “natural” flavors, or refined sugar.

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

Now, the texture isn’t as crispy as Simple Mills (I didn’t use or have konjac root) and they aren’t flat, but I’m really excited about how well they turned out! A slightly crispy exterior, soft center (I very much dislike the word moist, but I’ll say it), and they melt in your mouth. They’re like little buttery orbs of deliciousness! I made these with my little chocoholic in mind and she loves them so much…in fact, she’d be content with eating the dough! I plan to make them using carob instead of cacao and when i do, I’ll update this post with the outcome.

*UPDATE – the carob trial was fantastic! Instead of the two tablespoons of cacao powder, I used one tablespoon of carob. And I paired it with 2 TBSP tahini + 1 TBSP coconut oil. I gotta say, I think this is my new favorite way to make them!*

I have made these countless times and with different variations: using almond butter instead of coconut oil, leaving out the chocolate chips, adding flax egg, flattening them before baking, and a few other ways. The recipe, as it’s written below, is my family’s favorite version.

The trials I ran using a flax egg required an additional 2 tablespoons of paleo flour blend and the outcome was more of a brownie-like cookie and not at all crispy. I’ll have instructions below for this variation.

Here’s a photo of a batch using flax egg:

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE COOKIES: {soy-free, gluten-free dairy-free, vegan, paleo, oil-free option}

Makes 8-10 small cookies

Brownie-like variation will make 12-14 small cookies

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP paleo flour blend*
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons tigernut flour
  • 2 Tablespoons organic cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch Himalayan salt
  • 3 Tablespoons softened (not melted) coconut oil or creamy almond butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons organic, fair trade chocolate chips (optional)

* I know Bob’s Red Mill has a paleo flour blend, but I have not tried it – so cannot verify the outcome. Before measuring your flour, please shake it really well to mix up the flours and DO NOT scoop it out with a measuring cup, but rather spoon the flour into a measuring cup so that the flour doesn’t get overly packed in.

*Please DO NOT use melted coconut oil! Keep it in a softened, solid state. Use coconut oil for a crispier cookie and almond butter for a softer cookie. Both are equally delicious! I’ve even used a combo of both in a few batches…including the batch in these photos.

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350Β°F and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. Then, stir in the coconut oil (or almond butter), and vanilla (if using). Mix until creamed together and the dough sticks together. I use my hands to really incorporate the ingredients. You’ll be tempted to add in extra oil or butter – trust me, don’t do it πŸ™‚ Next, stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls, leave about one inch of space between the cookies, do not overcrowd them and bake for 12-18 minutes. My oven requires longer baking times, which is why there is a wide baking time frame. Once they start cracking on the top, it is time to remove them. If you are looking for a crispier cookie, increase the baking time by 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack. I recommend letting them cool completely before eating. If you try to eat them right as they’re done, you’ll have a crumbly mess!
  5. Enjoy with a glass of nut milk, coffee, or tea.
  6. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

**VARIATION: for a brownie-like cookie add 2 extra tablespoons of the paleo flour blend (making a total of 1/4 cup + 4 TBSP) and when incorporating the wet ingredients, add in one flax egg (1 TBSP ground flax + 3 TBSP water…allow the flax egg to set for at least five minutes before adding the dough). These will spread out a bit while baking, unlike the original recipe – so spacing is important.

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

If you make these, please come back and let me know how they turned out! I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by!

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RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

If you open our refrigerator, you’re bound to find jars filled with just about every variety of nut (and seed). Not only are they packed with protein, but they also make excellent milks, cheeses, desserts and much more. I was experimenting with a new cookie recipe and was feeling a bit lazy…rather than taking the time to roll them into individual balls, I chose to just spread the dough into a baking dish and call it a day. Simple, buttery and another way to get a chocolate fix.

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

 

I had the best little helper assisting me through each trial of these…I think she enjoyed sneaking the chocolate chips the best.

DSCN2128

NUTTY COOKIE BARS: {gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, vegan}

Yields 8 large bars or 16 smaller bars

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour*
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut flour**
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt (omit if your nut/seed butter contains salt)
  • One flax egg (1 Tablespoon ground flax + 3 Tablespoons warm water)
  • 1 cup nut/seed butter (I did half peanut butter, half raw tahini)
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (or more) Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used raw pecans and walnuts)

*We buy a 3-pound bag from Costco for an awesome deal.

**I used left over pulp from making hazelnut milk and dried it in my dehydrator, then ground it in a nut grinder.

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

All spread out and ready to bake!

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ΒΊF
  2. Prepare your flax egg in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips and nuts). Use the whisk or spatula to break up any clumps from the almond flour.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the nut/seed butter, maple syrup, vanilla and flax egg until smooth.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir until well combined (no visible flour). Then fold in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
  6. Spread the mixture out into a lightly greased (or can use parchment paper) 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are golden. Remember, my oven requires extra baking, so times will vary depending on your oven.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking dish. If you can be patient enough, I recommend allowing them to cool completely to make for easier cutting. Cut into bars and enjoy!
  8. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

 

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

 

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

Did I mention that they’re toddler approved?

Thanks for stopping by!

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RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the season of all things PUMPKIN!!! My absolute favorite time of year. Crisp air, leaves changing, apples galore and cozy sweaters. And BAKING! After a few months of very limited oven use, we make the switch to roasted veggies, potatoes and LOTS of baked goods…such as cookies. I had this vision in my head of a pumpkin molasses cookie and as soon as the weather cooled down, I started running trials. I cooked up some dried garbanzo beans and saved some brine for an “egg” – used applesauce, did an oil-free batch, played with flours and sweeteners. The first batch turned out way too cake-y for my liking, but got the thumbs up from our toughest critic…Willow. Second batch was still too cake-y and a bit too much molasses – yes, I said too much molasses. Third and fourth trials got closer, but just didn’t grab me. Let me share that through all of the mess up trials, Willow gave each one a thumbs up…clearly in it for the chocolate chips. Fifth batch was a giant win. A slightly crisp initial bite with a soft, chewy center. Exactly what I was looking for! I knew it was the best batch yet when Willow’s eyes lit up with the first bite and asked for a second one when the first cookie wasn’t even half eaten.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Before I dive into the recipe, I have to share one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. A couple of years ago, my parents bought us this amazing little Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder. Since this came into our lives, we buy whole spices and grind the seeds ourselves, along with making a lot of our own flours. Literally within seconds you can turn rolled oats into oat flour. Yes, a Vitamix can do the same thing, but this is easier clean up and faster.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade oat flour

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES:Β {gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan}

Yields 16 cookies (more or less depending on how big you make them)

What you need:

DRY:

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground raw pecans (flour-like; be careful not to grind too long, it will turn into a butter)
  • 4 TBSP raw coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

WET:

  • 3 TBSP pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil (or coconut oil, melted)
  • 1/2 TBSP molasses (1 TBSP for molasses lovers)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips). Whisk until incorporated and if you need to, use your fingers or the back of a spatula to break up the pecan clumps.
  3. In a small-med bowl, combine the wet ingredients until smooth.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl. Stir until evenly incorporated, no signs of dry “flour.” Then fold in the chocolate chips. The dough will be slightly sticky
  5. Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, form small balls. My cookie scoop was a bit smaller than a tablespoon measure. Place them on the baking sheet and flatten with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. You can press in extra chocolate chips to each cookie at this time, if you’d like.
  6. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until the cookies no longer look sticky/wet and can easily be removed from the baking sheet without sticking.They’ll be slightly golden brown. If you’re looking for a super crispy cookie, bake them for a few minutes longer, but keep a close eye on them so as not to burn them. Our oven is awful and we have to always cook/bake things far longer than called for. I baked a trial for 22 minutes and they turned out crispy inside and out. For a softer/chewier center, stick to the initial baking time.
  7. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and ENJOY!

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had to distract Willow with some bad dancing and singing to allow the cookies to cool a bit. This kid is a chocoholic, so patience doesn’t come easy. Be glad that there weren’t any photos to document that portion of our baking session.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are best eaten the first day or two, which is pretty easy to do! If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container (preferably a cookie tin).

While we were waiting for the cookies to bake, Willow asked to play around with the camera…here’s a small collage – I picked my favorites from the 50 that she took! I’m rather impressed that she managed to get some selfies in there.

willow pics

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?!

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RECIPE: Toffee Granola

I know. Another toffee themed recipe. BUT before you say anything, I had no plans to post another recipe using the toffee sauce, that was until the lovely @bondsbeach used it to make granola! As soon as I saw that, I had to hop into the kitchen and experiment for myself. It took a few trials to get the flavor and consistency down, but the end result is buttery, crunchy and surprisingly, not overly sweet! So, thank you @bondsbeach for the creative inspiration!!

TOFFEE GRANOLA: {gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free}

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TBSP raw tahini
  • 1 TBSP raw coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil or grapeseed oil*
  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini chips)
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan halves & pieces**
  • 2 TBSP raw hemp seeds (optional)

*In my first trial I used all water, but found that it worked best with 1 TBSP of avocado oil. We’ve also been incorporating more avocado and/or coconut oil into Willow’s diet at the recommendation of our naturopath…so I’m learning to add a little more fats/oils into our meals. For those looking for a completely oil-free recipe, you can add an extra tablespoon of water or add a tablespoon of maple syrup, but know that the oil works really well in this case.

**For a nut-free version, you can replace the pecan pieces for sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. I personally preferred the buttery flavor that the pecans brought and found that the sunflower seeds brought a little bitterness to the granola. You can also omit the nuts/seeds all together.

toffee granola

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the toffee sauce ingredients > coconut sugar, tahini, coconut nectar, vanilla, salt, water and oil. Mix until smooth – should take 2-3 minutes to get it all incorporated. You can also blend the ingredients until smooth.
  3. Next add in the oats, chocolate chips, pecan pieces and hemp seeds. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir until well combined and evenly coated.
  4. Spread the mixture onto your baking sheet into an even layer. If you don’t have a large baking sheet, you can divide this into two sheets.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes, flipping/stirring halfway through. You’re looking for a “dry” golden color.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet.
  7. Allow the granola to cool completely before storing in airtight containers. I store mine in glass Mason jars.

You can enjoy this with milk, sprinkle it on yogurt or smoothie bowls and use it as a topping for ice cream.

toffee granola2

toffee granola3

This concludes the toffee sauce recipes…I promise!

Thanks for stopping by!

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