WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

cookies

Ginger Biscuits with Raw Chocolate and Clementine Pieces

Anytime, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Winterdanielle copperman1 Comment

I improvised with this recipe in desperation the day before an event I hosted last weekend, and thank god they turned out to be a huge win. I always loved gingernut biscuits as a child, and so it is with great pleasure that I present to you this healthier and all-natural variation, which, IMO, is better than the shop-bought ones I used to crave.

These biscuits are so crunchy and bake to perfection, and unlike most processed biscuits are a) only gently sweet (and only sweetened with natural and nutrient-rich sweeteners) and b) gluten-free and c) made with only 5 main ingredients, and absolutely no additives / flavourings / preservatives or anything else funky you wouldn’t recognise.

I personally love the ginger, but you could also leave the ginger out and / or swap for other spices (such as cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom).

Components

For the biscuit

200g gluten free oat flour (gluten-free oats ground in a food processor until they resemble a fine flour consistency)
50g coconut sugar
60g coconut oil
50ml natural syrup (like date syrup, coconut blossom nectar, maple syrup or organic / raw honey)
Pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons ground ginger (to taste)

For the chocolate layer

100g cacao butter (a combination of part cacao butter, part coconut oil will also work)
Pinch of sea salt
40g cacao powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or natural syrup (see above for options)

To top (optional)
Crushed hazelnuts or other nuts
Halved or full clementine segments (or other fresh or dried fruits)

Method

Preheat the oven to 160c.

Start by making the biscuit. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until they form a crumbly dough. The mixture should stick together compactly when pressed with the back of a spoon or spatula, or when squeezed between your fingers.

Tip the mixture out onto a flat baking tray. You can grease the tray with a little coconut oil, but I didn’t feel the need to, and the biscuits didn’t stick. Spread the mixture out evenly across the baking tray and then press down with the palm of your hands, your fingers and fists - whatever works for you. The aim is to make the mixture completely compact, pressing it together and spreading it evenly to about 0.5mm in thickness. Pat the mixture and bring the sides in as much as possible, then when the mixture is as flat, even and compact as you can get it, use a sharp knife to gently slice off the edges (which will look slightly uneven and loose) to make them clean-cut and straight.

Next, use the same knife to gently score the mixture into biscuit shapes. I use the knife to make small rectangle shapes, but you could make squares or other shapes, or use a cookie cutter if you’d prefer. Ensure the knife cuts through to meet the baking tray rather than just lightly scoring the mixture, as this will make it much easier to break the cookies apart when they have baked.

Place inside the pre-heated oven and bake for 12-20 minutes. The baking time will depend on the thickness of your biscuits. Just keep an eye on them after 10-12 minutes, and if they still feel a little soft, leave them baking for a little longer. The edges should begin to brown slightly. If you aren’t sure if the biscuits are done, try to break an edge piece off and leave it to cool for a few minutes before testing. It should be crisp and crunchy, and ideally not chewy - unless you prefer them a little chewy in which case, remove from the oven slightly earlier.

When you are happy with the baked texture, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully breaking the biscuits apart along the lines / cutter shapes you made before baking.

Set aside on a cooling rack to cool whilst you prepare the chocolate.

To make the chocolate, fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the pan (creating a double boiler), then add the cacao butter and salt.

Once the cacao butter has melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder. Add your natural sweetener and whisk again, until combined.

Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes ideally, and then, one by one, dip the biscuits into the chocolate, on one of the flat sides only. Place immediately in the freezer on a tray or plate, and repeat until each biscuit as been dipped. After about 5-10 minutes in the freezer, double dip, to get a thicker layer of chocolate. This time, before placing in the freezer to set, sprinkle with your crushed nuts and fruit - if using. Then, this time, place in the fridge in an airtight container to set and store them hear until ready to eat (you can also store at room temperature but the chocolate may soften a little, depending on the temperature of the surrounding area).

Finally ~ The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip (Vegan!) Cookies

Gluten free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman5 Comments
DSCF4464.JPG

I’m not even joking, I went as far as testing 4 different cookie recipes in 1 day a few weeks ago, and none of them came out how I wanted them to.

I revisited the challenge again this week though, and this story has a different ending. The best vegan cookies that have ever been.

To me, a cookie should be tough, crisp and gently crunchy on the outside, and soft, moist and chewy on the inside. It should definitely not be too crispy or biscuity, and at all crumbly. That’s the worst. What’s the point in a cookie if it isn’t chewy? I tried several different options that Sunday afternoon; some with egg, some without; some with coconut sugar, some with syrups; some with flour, some with ground nuts; some with coconut oil, some with olive oil. I even tried some chickpeas (the dough was insane, the baked version, not so much). All of them came out completely different and left me baffled by the science of cookies. Some were super light and fluffy and almost a dusty / sandy texture (inedible). Others were super oily and dense, but didn’t set properly or remained oily and moist like the dough it had been, rather than an actual cookie.

These, though, are the ones. They are the perfect texture - light and chewy, but not too dense or tough. In my opinion, they are more flavoursome than shop-bought cookies (which, since I’m now used to lower sugar foods, always taste too sweet and artificial, and somehow quite plain - maybe from the flour and the fact that the ingredients they contain are rarely fresh and hardly real food at all). Another couple of pros: these are make with completely natural ingredients (that’s where the flavour comes from) and are gluten free, paleo, and vegan. Uhhhhh. Who knew a cookie could hit so many spots?

They literally take about 5 minutes to make and 10-12 to bake. So you don’t have an excuse not to make these, really. Sorry.

DSCF4445.JPG

Components

Makes 6 large cookies

200g ground almonds
5 tablespoons natural syrup (about 100g) (I used dark agave but any natural syrup, like honey, maple or coconut nectar would also work)
3-4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspon bicarbonate soda
4 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (around 50-60g), melted
Generous pinch of salt for the dough and extra for topping
4 tablespoons gluten free flour - I use either buckwheat, rice, chickpea or chestnut
50-100g raw or dark chocolate - I use Ombar or 85-99% dark chocolate depending on what I can find locally

Optional

1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground ginger or grated or sliced fresh ginger
Chopped nuts (like hazelnut, pecans, pine nuts or walnuts)

Method

Preheat the oven to 175c.

Simply measure all of the ingredients - except for the chocolate - into a food process and pulse until they form a smooth dough. Ideally, it should begin to form a sticky, doughy ball, and the mixture should be smooth. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. On a chopping board, roughly chop or crush the chocolate, if it is in a bar or buttons, to create small chocolate chunks. Stir the chocolate chunks into the dough mixture and use your hands to combine and distribute evenly throughout the dough.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Take a small handful of mixture and roll into a compact ball, then place in the palm of one hand and flatten with the other hand. Aim to make each cookie about the size of the palm of your hand, and about 1cm thick. Place on the baking tray and continue to flatten gently with your figures, if necessary. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, if desired.

Place in the oven and bake for 10 - 12 mins, until the edges begin to brown and the surface is tough and dry to touch. I remove mine around 10 minutes as they continue to cook a little as they cool, and they set as they cool, so don’t worry if they feel too soft when you remove them from the oven.

Enjoy warm or cooled, with a glass of hot or cold plant-based milk, adaptogen-spiked milk (I like cacao) or other hot drink of choice.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1-2 weeks.