Sunday, February 6, 2011
The Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge
Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies? And since I eat dark chocolate every day for-uh- health reasons, yeah, that's right, health reasons, I wondered if I could make that daily treat extra special occasionally with a healthy chocolate chip cookie.
My first discovery came to me when I was searching for a healthy dessert to make for my friend Stacey's birthday. I found a recipe for an almond cake covered with dark chocolate (delicious as it turned out the for the trial run, but a disaster for the actual day, which is another story...)and there on the site was a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is made with almond flour! I have been a fan of almonds and the flavor of almonds my entire life, so this definitely sounded intriguing. These cookies have no flour, no eggs, no butter, and are sweetened with agave.
Elana's chocolate chip cookies. These are a bit of a pain to work with. The batter is thin and if you're not careful, they will fall apart as you are transfering them from the pan, even after cooling. They come out very flat but tender and very tasty! Everyone in my family loved them so unfortunately they were gone way too quickly. The recipe can be found on the Madhava Agave Nectar website, but I've seen it elsewhere on the Internet, so I don't think it originated there. Here is the link: http://www.madhavasagave.com/RecipeDetail.aspx?RecipeID=56
The second attempt was my own invention. Inspired by the almond flour in Elana's recipe, I took a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe I've had for years and made some substitutions. The white flour became half whole wheat pastry flour, half almond flour and I used agave in place of the sugar. This cookie, in contrast to Elana's has the butter and eggs that you would typically find in a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but are made healthier with no processed sugars or flours. I added some toasted almonds and a little almond extract and had my new invention- a healthy almond dark chocolate chip cookie!
I'm finding that I am enjoying making healthy versions of desserts. Next up- honey roasted peanut cookies. Recipe coming soon!
Maria's Almond Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
(may be doubled)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1/2 tsp. hot water
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond flour (or very finely ground blanched almonds)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup 60% cacao chocolate chips
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Beat butter and agave until smooth. Beat in egg, vanilla, and almond extract, then dissolved baking soda. On a piece of parchment or wax paper, whisk together dry ingredients. Mix into wet ingredients in thirds. Stir in dark chocolate chips and toasted almonds. Refrigerate if necessary. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 325 until golden. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.