I recently had a conversation with my make up artist on a shoot about how good crunchy food is. Sometimes, we agreed, we don’t even crave sugar or food at all, we just want something to munch on. Biscuits are the devils. Made predominantly from butter, sugar and flour they are so simple yet somehow so incredible. The perfect snack and the perfect accompaniment for a hot drink. I was recently back and forth in emails giving health advice to a full time teacher who complained that it’s all well and good eating healthily and taking leftovers for packed lunch, but there is no escaping the staff room and the morning break-time snacks. I came up with this recipe as a simple and portable snack to make at home and take to work if office snacks are hard to turn down. I also think it is a great idea to have these in a jar or to make fresh for guests, so that you have something to offer them that you can enjoy with them. The look on my grandmothers face when i turn down the offer of a biscuit with my tea is so painful, I needed to come up with something.
I made these for a group of guests over the weekend whilst I was moving house and they are completely gluten, wheat, dairy, grain and refined sugar free. I made mine similar to chocolate digestive biscuits, but you could easily make the biscuit and leave it plain as there is plenty of flavour from the vanilla, salt and coconut palm sugar. You could also add ground ginger for a healthy gingersnap variation, or a mixture of spices to make chai biscuits - amazing with hot drinking cacao. If you want more of a proper cookie, add chopped chunks of raw chocolate to the mixture and leave them about 1cm in depth instead of flattening them down. You can top yours with cashew cream instead of icing, or stick two biscuits together with a spoonful of cashew cream in the middle to make a delicious cookie sandwich.
½ Cup Coconut Oil, room temperature
¼ Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
1 1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Water
+ (Can add 2 tablespoons unrefined syrup of choice (date, coconut blossom, agave, honey, yacon) to add a wonderful caramel flavour to the biscuit)
FOR THE CHOCOLATE:
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
3-4 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Agave
Pinch of Salt
Preheat the oven to 175c.
Use an electric whisk to beat the coconut oil until it softens and becomes slightly fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure the coconut oil becomes a good soft consistency before continuing. Next add the sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and beat again for 1-2 minutes. Add the almond butter and whisk again until everything becomes completely combined and the mixture becomes light and fluffy. It will look darker in colour than usual biscuit or cake batter but this is just the caramel colour of the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is combined and gradually add the water, before whisking one last time. Now, taking a wooden spoon, add the flour bit-by-bit and mix gently but thoroughly. When all of the flour has been added, give the mixture a final vigorous beat with the spoon before taking a tablespoon of the mixture at a time to flatten in your palms. If the dough is too wet and sticks to your hands, add a little more flour. You can also use a rolling pin and a circle cutter (or any shape for that matter) to separate into biscuits, but i always get frustrated when the dough sticks to the surface. I made the tablespoon of dough into a ball and then used the heel of my hands to gently flatten it into a circle. Grease a baking tray with a little coconut oil before arranging the uncooked biscuits.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown slightly.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. They must be completely cool before you add the chocolate or things will become extremely messy. If you are leaving them plain however, eat the straight away whilst they are still hot with a glass of almond milk or a cup of herbal tea.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE:
In a small bowl, melt the coconut oil in a microwave, or melt it in a small saucepan on the hob. Remove from the heat and whisk in the raw cacao powder until it is fully dissolved. Add the agave and salt and stir to combine. Leave aside for 5-10 minutes to let it thicken slightly. Now, take a pastry brush or something similar and brush the melted chocolate onto the cooled cookies. If you do not have a pastry brush you could try using a spatula or just dunking one side (or both - it’s entirely up to you) into the bowl of chocolate. Place them onto a plate and put them in the freezer for 2-3 minutes to set. Repeat this 3 or 4 times depending on how thick you want the chocolate layer to be. You could even sandwich two biscuits together, painting both flat sides with chocolate 2 or 3 times before finally pressing them together. Then leave them in the freezer to stick.