For decades it was my tradition to make cookies for Christmas – starting the day after Thanksgiving and freezing them until Christmas at which time I would serve them for “company” (which is the term we used to describe when we had guests at the house!) What began as making a few dozen cookies the day after Thanksgiving, grew over the years to include almost every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My last year of doing this tradition resulted in me making 25 different kinds of cookies (not 25 dozen, 25 types!). With each cookie type yielding 2 – 5 dozen, I had made over 1000 cookies! I would put about 3 dozen in individual tins or other kind of cool containers and give them as Christmas gifts. While I enjoyed doing the baking, this tradition took so much time and people came to expect these treats at Christmas.
Fast forward to my lifestyle change…in 2014 after my diagnosis of cancer, I vowed to become vegan AND eliminate all refined sugars from my diet. Gone were my days of baking…or so I thought! While I did go for a couple of years without any refined sugar at all, I did start to incorporate some organic sugars and other sweeteners such as Maple Syrup into my diet. Although never deviating from my vegan lifestyle, I did start to do some vegan/gluten free baking! I don’t completely avoid sugar, but I do try to keep my intake to a minimum. But I still have an occasional sweet tooth, for chocolate in particular, and I am doing more baking again! Except of course without the eggs, butter and gluten! I’m trying to also keep my sweet treats as healthy as possible.
This blog will share one of my favorite cookie recipes that is packed with nutritious ingredients and is addictively delicious.
As you probably already know, chocolate can be very comforting and mood enhancing when it is the real thing and not full of sugar and dairy additives. I’m going to show you how to use raw cacao powder – the purest form of chocolate – to create delicious chocolate cookies. We will also use Teff flour, an ancient grain full of protein.
These cookies are fast and easy to whip up and don’t require any special equipment. You can mix them by hand with a mixing spoon in a large bowl. You can bake them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, but the dough can be eaten without baking since nothing in these egg-free cookies needs to be baked. That’s a bonus if you’re in a hurry!
If you are going to bake these cookies, preheat your oven to 350 deg. Farenheit.
In a large bowl, whisk together ¾ cup of the teff flour, ¾ cup of the almond flour, 1/3 cup of raw cacao nibs, ¼ cup of raw cacao powder, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt.
Mix these dry ingredients together until they are fully combined. This won’t take long!
Next, add about ¼ cup pure maple syrup (you can do less if you wish!), about 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, and 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract to the dry mixture. I use applesauce instead of oil or vegan butter. Also, I find that the applesauce is pretty sweet naturally so you may need to use only half of the maple syrup. That is another one of the awesome things about vegan baking – you can taste as you go (no risk of salmonella with raw egg consumption!) and adjust accordingly.
Mix everything until a thick batter is formed.
Roll about 1 tablespoon of batter into balls and place on your prepared baking sheet. These are really sticky, so I usually wear a pair of disposable gloves because that makes it easier to roll when the dough isn’t sticking to your hands! Depending on how much you eat while you are rolling out the dough, you should get about 18, tablespoon size dough balls. Admittedly, I’m lucky to get 12 on the pan! Gently flatten the tops of the cookies. Or, if you want to just eat the cookie dough, that’s cool too! Just put the cookie dough in an airtight container and keep in the fridge!
Place the trays in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes.
When the cookies are done, the bottoms will get slightly brown. Let the cookies cool on the pans for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
Once completely cooled, put the cookies in an airtight container. They don’t need to be refrigerated unless you are not going to eat them in the next few days. Otherwise, put them in the fridge or the freezer.
Enjoy these tasty morsels! Oh, and try to share them – that’s the nice thing to do! 😊
Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients (use organic if possible!):
- ¾ cup teff flour
- ¾ cup almond flour or almond meal
- 1/3 cup raw cacao nibs
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 – ¼ cup pure maple syrup (adjust to your taste)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat over 350 deg. F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the teff flour, almond flour, cacao nibs, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla and stir just until combined (don’t over mix!).
- Drop the batter by tablespoons 1” apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake about 12 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned.
- Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.