Sunday, 22 July 2012

Oh So Good - Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Holy moly stop this train I want to get off! Between school, work, and family, I haven't had much time to keep up with the blog, and I haven't made a post for some time. I have still had time for baking and cooking, though! Honestly, it's one of the only things that helps me relieve some stress, and I love sharing what I make with my family. I love posting about it, too, but I think I get a little carried away with the length of the posts.

So, let's keep it short and sweet!

In this case, very sweet!

The recipe today, again, comes from Elana Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. These cookies are chewy, moist, and soft, but solid enough that they won't crumple in your hand. They're great for the classic 'Milk and cookies" without all the added sugar. Oh, and did I mention these are low-carb, gluten free, and vegan too!? I have some friends and relatives who are vegan/vegetarian, and I wanted to see how well a cookie would hold up without the egg or butter. Trust me, these passed the test and are delicious. But, if you'd like to go for the real deal, check out Elana's Pantry with butter, dairy free, and with grapeseed flour!

This recipe makes 30 cookies, so you'll have plenty left over (especially if there's only 2 of you, like us!) and a quick 5 second zap in the microwave will melt the chocolate and warm the cookies like the just came out of the oven. The key here is to use nice, high quality dark chocolate for the chips -- you can just chop up squares of your favourite brand of chocolate bar -- I use Lindt 90%! Makes me feel all grown up =)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, page 98 & Elana's Pantry
Makes 30

Oh so good... look at that chocolate!!
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour/ground almonds
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup sucralose (or granulated sweetener of choice)
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
2 tbsp to 1/4 cup water
2 oz chopped Lindt 90% chocolate (or any dark chocolate of your choice)

Place parchment paper on two large baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Chop your chocolate so it almost looks like mini chocolate chips. Your cookies will be thin so if you're unsure, it is better to have more finely chopped chocolate than larger chunks.

Combine the dry ingredients (Almond meal, salt, baking soda, & sweetener) in a bowl. Slowly add the oil while stirring to incorporate. Your batter will be very thick at this point so slowly add water, 1 tbsp at a time to loosen-up the batter. You want it to be wet enough to form into balls but not a droopy, watery mess.

Once you've achieved a good consistency, fold in the chocolate. I only needed to do it about 2 or 3 times to get a good distribution of chocolate through the batter. Put the dough in the fridge and leave it there for 20 minutes. Don't skip letting the dough sit in the fridge -- it will be easier to handle and measure out if you give it the time!

The original recipe suggests using a heaping tablespoon to portion out the dough,  but I had more luck in making cookies with a heaping half tablespoon measuring spoon.If you find dough is sticking to your hands when you're measuring the cookies out or trying to flatten them, wet your hands liberally with water every 7 - 8 cookies or so. These cookies will not spread so this step is important to ensure that all the cookies bake at an equal rate.

Bake for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes of baking is done, leave your cookies on your baking sheet and turn the oven off. Leave them there for about 30 minutes. This will stop the cookies from being so "wet" and the edges will get a nice cookie crisp to them. I cannot stress how important this is, especially when you don't have egg or anything else to otherwise bind the cookies!

If you can resist them, these cookies will keep in the fridge for about 1 week. These were approved by J and both of my sisters, one of whom was practically born with a chocolate chip cookie in her mouth. My two sisters alone devoured 5 cookies each in one sitting. Yes, they're that good. Oh, and all three of my taste testers said they were just as good as traditional cookies, and actually couldn't tell they were vegan!

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