Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Paleo Num-Nums

Because I had an afternoon off and a half-full bag of dark chocolate chips doin' nothin' in my fridge, I decided I needed to make some Paleo Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies... or, as I refer to them, Paleo Num-Nums. This recipe came to me courtesy of a friend from high school who happens to be a personal trainer and fellow Paleo convert. If she can eat these and still place third in a bikini competition in Vegas, then damn it, I'm having them once in a while, too!

But as she was baking, measuring her ingredients and scrolling through the recipe, she came to a horrible realization. "Oh no," she thought out loud, "I've run out of chocolate chips! I won't have enough, and my cookies won't taste the same! KAAAAAAAAAHN!"

Eh. I'll add some dates.

*stares at cookies, wipes away drool...
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey OR natural sweetener of your choice (turbinado sugar works pretty well)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • cardamom, cinnamon, clove, anise, or other sweet spices to taste (play with these to get different results) 
This will make about 12-16 cookies, depending on how you shape them. As you might notice, there's nothing in the ingredients list that acts as a rising agent, so whatever shape and size you make your cookies is the shape and size they'll stay once they've been baked. *note: high altitudes don't mess up anything about this recipe-- score one for living in the mountains!* If you want to get a lot out of this recipe, I suggest making them fairly compact so it'll feel like you have more cookies to eat, and therefore won't binge and eat the entire tray of 4 giant-ass cookies the moment they come out of the oven.

  1. Get a big bowl for mixing your ingredients together, a large baking sheet, a piece of parchment paper, and an oven. If you don't have an oven, then I can't help you, unless you want to try waiting for a hot day and baking these on the sidewalk. Twigs and discarded gum may compliment the recipe, I don't know...
  2. Mix your dry ingredients together first, including whatever spices you like and your chocolate chips. Since I only had a 1/2 cup of chips, I cut up 4-5 medjool dates into very small pieces and added them in... a good call on my part, I found, once I taste-tested the batch
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, stir together into your big bowl of numminess
  4. Combine your coconut oil and raw honey (if you're using honey as your sweetener) in a separate bowl and lightly heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds before adding into the mix. Let it cool slightly before you stir it in to avoid making the eggs cook and the chocolate melt
  5. A neat trick: cover the palms of your hands with something moist, like Earth Balance Coconut Spread, before you start shaping your cookies. This will keep the mixture from sticking to your hands, and will help get the cookies to brown outside just a lil' bit more
  6. An important note: if your batch isn't melding together quite the way you want, add up to 1/4 cup of coconut milk to get the coconut flour to soften and stick better
  7. Place your cookies on your baking sheet covered with parchment paper-- the paper keeps the cookies from sticking to the pan, and makes cleaning up take about 3 seconds
  8. Garnish with a pinch of spice-- I like to sprinkle crushed sea salt onto/into anything with chocolate
  9. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, or until they're a pretty golden brown
Nothing comforts quite like warm cookies
These are so good, they should be illegal. After today, I'll do everything I can to make sure that I have dates around to add to this mix, and maybe cut back even more on the chocolate. For a self-proclaimed chocolate addict to say that she's interested in cutting back on chocolate, you know she's stumbled onto a winning taste sensation!

Enjoy with a glass of cold coconut milk, curl up on a couch with a good book (I recommend Bruce Campbell's autobiography "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor"), crank up your music (today, it's Peter Gabriel's "Secret World Live", possibly the best live recording of all time), and savor the pleasures of Life. If I could do this every single day, I would!

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