Gorgeous Chestnut, Chocolate & Pecan Cookies (V, GF)
Ladies and gentlemen, please put your seatbelts on because I have a feeling you will need them. These cookies are more than just cookies, they are nutty and chocolatey and crunchy and soft, they melt on your tongue and the best thing is yet to come: they are GOOD for you! But before I tell you what exactly makes these little fellas healthy, here’s a little story behind how they came to be: I visited my sister in Dublin and sadly she came down with the flu. Because I know that she appreciates a good batch of freshly baked cookies, absolutely loves dark chocolate and that we share the same nostalgic childhood memory of mom’s kitchen that carries the smell of baked goodies. I used chestnut flour in these little gorgeous chunks of love to make the flavour naturally sweet and even nuttier. Guess what? It worked!
chestnut flour – Tuscany’s secret ingredient
Once chestnuts are milled into flour, they can be used for various dishes: porridge, polenta, bread, cookies, cakes, pasta or pancakes? Anything is possible. In autumn, chestnuts are collected to then be dried for a month and be ground by millstones. For a long time, chestnut flour has been known as farina dolce – sweet flour. If you taste a pinch of it, you’ll quickly understand why – it’s nutty and sweet and simply delicious! Chestnuts are very common in Asia but have been associated with Italian cuisine for a long time. Compared to other nuts, they contain less fat but still offer a wide range of health benefits for your digestion, your brain function as well as your energy levels. Chestnuts are known to be rich in fiber as well as minerals such as phosphorus and potassium. They also contain vitamin B2 (necessary for healthy metabolism), E and copper that contribute to the immune system’s function. Chestnuts are naturally gluten-free and therefore offer a great flower alternative to those who are sensitive or even intolerant. Isn’t that great news?
For this recipe you will need:
¾ cup chestnut flour
2 tbsp flax meal
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp peanut butter
pinch of cinnamon
¼ tsp vanilla extract
50g 85% dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a tray with baking paper.
- In a bowl, whisk the maple syrup, flax meal, coconut oil, peanut butter and vanilla extract until all ingredients are well combined.
- Add the chestnut flour and cinnamon and mix in until you have a smooth and firm batter.
- With your hands form balls that just fit into one palm and gently press into a flat cookie shape. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes.
- In the meantime, roast the pecans in the oven for 5 minutes. Roughly chop them and put aside.
- Once the cookies are done baking, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a metal bowl over steaming water and dip the cookies half-way. Sprinkle with roasted pecan chunks and cool to allow the chocolate to set (this won’t take very long so your cookie monster heart doesn’t have to wait for too long).
- Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy some more just as my sneezing sister and I did! ♥