Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gluten-free Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Gluten-Free Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was in a hurry and just wanted to make a small batch of cookies because I was out of cookies and wanted to have some.
So it happened that, just quickly throwing together what came into my mind, I made the best cookies I've ever invented. I still can't believe it myself, but they are fabulous.
DH said "five stars!" after popping one into his mouth, and that means he finds them outstanding. Which does not happen too often with cookies.

They are not your usual chocolate chip cookie, first, because they do not have regular chocolate chips, but cocoa nibs.
Of course you can use regular choc chips, but believe me, it won't be the same. But it's up to you.
Second, I used coconut flour in them.
I am a huge fan of coconut flour because it's low carb, tastes awesome if you like coconut, and has a lot of good protein.
It just is not really great to bake with.
I mean, yeah, there are lots of recipes going bananas over the great taste, texture, consistency of coconut flour cakes and cookies, but honestly - I've never had a coconut flour cookie which wasn't either dry or egg-y, if it was only or mostly coconut flour.
The key to baking with coconut flour is using not too much of it in a recipe. Unless you want egg cookies or cake.

Evidently being in a hurry makes me think more quickly. I had circled around the perfect amount of coconut flour in cookies for several weeks already, and now I just thought: Okay, just don't use too much of it.

This is what happened:



Ingredients for 32 small soft cookies (1/2 tablespoon of dough each):
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut four
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup certified gluten free oat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/8 cup erythritol with stevia (truvia) or xylitol or sugar (feel free to use more sweetener if you want very sweet cookies)
  • 4 teaspoons coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa nibs or chocolate chips
  • 1-4 tablespoons cold water

Preparation:
  • Melt the coconut oil.
  • In a bowl, combine flours, baking powder, erythritol (truvia) or sugar and coconut or raw cane sugar.
  • Stir in cocoa nibs or chocolate chips.
  • Rub in melted oil.
  • Add egg, knead into soft dough, adding tablespoons of water as needed to get a soft, but not sticky dough.
  • Preheat oven to 320°F (160°C) if you have a convection oven or to 350°F (180°C) if it's not a convection oven.
  • Line cookie sheet with non stick paper and use 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon to place 32 half rounds onto the cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes (mine took 12 minutes).
  • Let sit on cookie sheet for 5 more minutes after removing from oven, then let cool completely on a wire rack.


Enjoy!


Have you tried using cocoa nibs before?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gluten-free Candied Ginger Molasses Cookies


Gluten-free Candied Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ginger has many health properties, but in the first place, it tastes good.
Maybe the health properties of candied ginger are not quite as big as those of plain ginger, but there still have to be some.
In this cookie, I combined three things which I love in a cookie and which I never combined before: Ginger, molasses, and oatmeal.
The classic oatmeal raisin cookie turned into something exotic and spicy.

Not being a fan of very sweet things, the amount of molasses and erythritol used in this cookie is not exactly huge, because the ginger already is very sweet.
Feel free to increase the amount of sweetener to your liking.
These are small, soft and chewy cookies, no crunch here. You can of course make them larger if you wish.

Ingredients for 84 half tablespoon cookies:
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (GMO free, of course)
  • 2 cups rolled oats (gluten free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3.5 ounces candied ginger, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup erythritol (or sugar)
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated soft margarine (or butter, if you use it)
  • 2 medium eggs, room temperature

Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cream together margarine or butter, molasses and erythritol or sugar, add eggs one at a time.
  • Combine flours, xanthan, baking powder, salt, spices, oats and ginger.
  • Knead dry ingredients into wet.
  • Drop 1/2 tablespoons of dough onto non-stick paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Let cool on a wire rack and store in a cookie jar for up to 2 weeks if they make it that long.



Have you ever tried Chinese soft ginger bonbons?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Coconut Latte for Mel


Coconut Latte for Mel

After finding out that coconut sugar has no coconut flavour at all, Mel was so disappointed that I decided to make this one for her: The real thing with coconut milk.
(I was a bit disappointed, too, because for all the hype about coconut sugar I don't find it *that* special, and I still don't quite believe in the low glycemic index thing. It's sucrose, after all.)

The weather today is ugly, no sun half an hour after sunrise and barely any light that you could speak of.
Not perfect for a photo shooting, but perfect for having a warm and comfy latte.
This is an ode to friendship which crosses time and space and a big ocean, hold together by the moon and coffee and dark chocolate :) Many other things, too, but coffee and dark chocolate are what is of interest in a coffee shop.

So instead of going for a wet run this morning, I threw coffee, very dark chocolate, coconut sugar and coconut milk into my cauldron and poured the result into the mug from Virginia. Mel and the mug have deserved something better than a coconut latte which doesn't taste of coconut!

Sorry for the poor photo - I didn't have coffee before shooting (it was in the mug, couldn't drink it before shooting) and I wasn't quite ready for fumbling around with the light a lot.

But now that I have tried the latte, I'm happy: It tastes of coconut, and it tastes good!




Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (neither light nor thick; mine has 60% coconut)
  • 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 tiny piece of very dark chocolate (mine had 90% cocoa - see the tiny piece on top of the small piece in the picture? That's the amount I used. Feel free to use more or omit. I just used it as a flavour enhancer)
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut sugar or raw cane sugar (or to taste)

Preparation:
  • Brew coffee and pour into mug with chocolate and sugar, stir well.
  • Add heated coconut milk.

Enjoy!


Have you ever tried coconut milk in your coffee?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dairy-free Coconut Sugar Spice Latte


Dairy-free Coconut-Sugar Spice Latte

This latte was not a planned recipe; I just threw the ingredients together and then realized that the early morning sun was too perfect to be true - and too perfect not to be used for a photo.
So I went out and took a photo of my beautiful mug - a present from my even more beautiful friend Mel from Virginia - without even knowing if the liquid in it would be worth the shot.

It was. I'm not going to say that this is the best latte that ever saw the morning dew, but I definitely liked it and I'm definitely sure that it's worth to share.

Since I ran into a box of coconut sugar about two weeks ago, I have started to experiment with it. Not because I'm totally convinced that it really is better than any other sugar which is 80% sucrose, but because I really like the light caramel flavour of it.
If you want to read my musings about coconut sugar, you can do so on my German blog (I think Google might translate it).

If not, go ahead and try Dairy-free Coconut Sugar Spice Latte:

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup almond or soy milk
  • ¾ cup strong black coffee
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 1 clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace (or nutmeg)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar (or more, to taste) (if you don't have coconut sugar, use dark cane sugar or caramel syrup to taste)
Preparation:
  • Heat milk with cinnamon, clove and mace or nutmeg.
  • Stir coconut sugar into coffee.
  • Remove cinnamon stick and clove from milk and either froth or steam milk, if it's a kind of milk that can be frothed or steamed, or just combine coffee and hot milk.
Enjoy!




Have you tried coconut sugar yet?