I love rituals and rhythms, particularly around food. I think they help ground me but they also give my family an anchor, like a ship being gently moored in a bay. It says be present, stay a while and smell the roses. It means we can drop our fight and flight and settle into a quality of being where we can expand a little.
So one of my rituals on a saturday morning is to make these cookies, or a variation of some sorts. Since they contain chocolate they are a huge hit with everyone. They happen to be gluten-free, but you could substitute the rice flour for normal or spelt flour if you like. I have my opinions about gluten-free, but will reserve them for another post. In short no one in our family is a celiac but we try to eat most of our grains fermented, if I’m using a recipe where that’s not convenient I will use gluten-free flours instead.
I do however stay away from refined sugars, in fact at the moment I’m staying away from all sugar for a while. Sugar really affects my body so after years of fine tuning I know which kind of sweet treats I can tolerate without going into a sugar coma. In this recipe I’m using Rapadura sugar, which is the commercial name for dehydrated cane sugar juice. It has a wonderful rich, caramel like flavour and closely mimics sugar in its chemical properties, without upsetting the body. Do be careful though, in large quantities this may just have the same effect as regular white sugar.
Im not going to tell you that these are guilt free, what does that even mean? Eat as many or a little as you feel is right for you and experiment with the amount of sugar in the recipe. I find that if I eat something sweet, a healthy dose of fat (butter in this case) and protein (almonds and hazelnuts) helps my body chemistry to stay stable. I also tend to eat sweets after a meal so that there is something else already in my stomach to absorb the sugar.
Last but not least I do realise that the ingredients in this recipe are fairly pricey and that eating these on a daily basis is not really realistic. Which is why I make them on a Saturday to last the weekend and once they are gone, they are gone. After all that is why they are called treats, right?
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup whole hazelnuts
- 1 cup almond meal/flour
- 1 cup rice flour
- 2/3 cup rapadura sugar (Coconut sugar works as well)
- 1/2 cup soft butter or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate chunks ( I use Lindt cooking chocolate) plus some pieces to decorate the cookies or you can use any other cookie decoration
- Put hazelnuts into the food processor and grind to a coarse meal
- Add almond and rice flour, sugar, butter, salt and cinnamon and process until well mixed
- Add water to bring it all together, it should be moist like wet sand but still firm
- Put chocolate in for a final quick pulse
- Form into walnut sized balls and put on a tray prepared with baking paper
- Add the chocolate decoration to each cookie
- Bake at 150 degrees celsius for 20 minutes
When you take the cookies out of the oven they will still be a little bit soft, don’t move them at this point. Once they’ve cooled they will have hardened and you can move them. I store mine in a glass Kilner jar, but they never last long anyway. This recipe makes about 20-24 cookies, depending on how much dough gets eaten by little hands as they are making them!!
With Love x