Posts Tagged ‘almonds’

This is a recipe describing the way I have been experimentally baking these days.  Recipes are not the boss of us; they are tools and guides, and the more we understand about what makes a good dish, the less we have to follow exact measurements and specific ingredients.  
I just can’t call these cookies.  Because if I call them cookies, people expecting cookies will frown at me, and think I’m a bad baker.  These are healthy(er) things shaped like cookies, with chocolate chips like cookies, but not really cookies.  They are a dessert.  
I told my friend’s kids, who sampled these, that I would send their mom the recipe.  I don’t particularly expect her to make them, and I don’t especially expect any of you to make them either.  As her husband pointed out, they’re pretty expensive cookies.  One advantage of
them, though, is that they are gluten and dairy free, and with growing numbers of people attempting such dietary restrictions, I thought I’d try them out. 
Process in a food processor for
5-10 minutes, scraping sides occasionally, until it makes a
3-5 hands-full of almonds and/or
cashews and/or peanuts (peanuts will have a stronger flavor) (substitute 1/2 cup
total nut butter from a jar if you want… keep extra on hand in case the dough
is too soupy)
1 can drained garbanzo
beans/chickpeas (Watch for good deals on these, places like Big Lots or HMart or
Trader Joes, or get your friends to give you the about-to-expire ones off their
pantry shelves…)
1 egg (or egg yolk, particularly if
you’re short of nut butter, as the whites will make the dough
runnier) (The egg is optional, but I think it greatly improves the texture.)
A sprinkle to 1/2 tsp. of baking
A sprinkle to 1/2 tsp. of baking
A sprinkle to 1/2 tsp. of salt
(on the lesser end if the canned beans were salted, or if you are using a nut butter from a
jar, which happens to have salt as the ingredient, or if your nuts were
1-2 hands-full brown
A quick pour of
A drizzle of maple syrup or honey
(optional) (I want to try molasses.  Molasses is amazing.  But it will also
overtake the other flavors.)
Process these with the nut butter
until smooth.  If dough is so soupy that it won’t stay in a blob on a cookie
sheet, but rather will puddle before it even starts to cook, you need more nut
butter.  Another option is to sprinkle some oats in there.  (Apparently there is
some debate that I don’t understand about oats having gluten or not.  Choose
according to your level of intolerance and hype-acceptance.)
2-4 hands-full chocolate chips
(Guittard Real Semisweet or some other allergy-friendly brand if you care about dairy
free or soy free)
Stir this in by hand.  
dough.  Like, make these before a meal, chill during the meal, and pull it out
after you’ve rinsed the dishes and the table, to bake some up for
Preheat oven to 350.  Drop small
spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.  Cookies will start at about 1.5 to 2 inches and
spread to about 2.5 inches as they bake.  They bake for 15 minutes.  (Other
recipes I read said 20-25, but it doesn’t improve the texture and it does give the bottoms a kind of weird burned bean taste…)  Nut Butter Bites won’t remove from the
pan as easily as cookies, because they don’t have the same kind of greasy fats
as butter or Crisco.  I didn’t have much trouble, just know that there will be a
little bit of cake-like residue on the pan, like the inside of a used muffin cup
I think they’re best warm.  They’re
better if 1) you’re not expecting a cookie, and 2) you don’t think about them
being basically hummus with chocolate chips. 
These nut butter bites are good for
you, though.  There is protein from the beans and nuts.  Nuts and beans have
minerals in them, and vitamins, that we US Americans need and don’t get enough of.
And the nuts (not so much peanuts, keep in mind) have those useful kinds of fats
that we don’t get enough of either. 
Cashews are high in: protein,
fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin E, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, and
zinc.  They have anti-oxidants and monounsaturated-fatty acids (good for your
Almonds boast about the same list
of beneficial nutrients, with less selenium and more calcium. 
Peanuts have a little less health
benefits, but they’re still present, including protein, iron, B vitamins, and
Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) boast
protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium.  They are mild phytoestrogens,
so they serve to naturally balance estrogen levels in our bodies (against
synthetic estrogens from meat and dairy and pharmaceuticals.) 
Maple syrup has zinc.  It’s nothing
compared to molasses, though, which offers calcium, iron, magnesium, and selenium.
A lot of these ingredients are good
for your digestion, liver and hormones, energy and strength, bone health,
skin health, heart health.  But they still have sugar, so don’t go too crazy
with them! 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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