Category

Desserts

Buckwheat Hazelnut Shortbread

Other than being gluten and dairy free, this is the kind of shortbread that your mom used to make, the kind that melts in your mouth and leaves the kitchen covered in a dusting of powdered sugar! I am making these cookies as part of a Christmas cookie exchange and just have to share the recipe! I made my own buckwheat flour, grinding raw buckwheat groats to a powder in my vita mix, however you can purchase it already ground. I powdered organic white sugar as well in my vita mix but you can also use icing sugar or powdered coconut sugar. I chose the white sugar to keep them lighter in colour. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that if you freeze them you won’t eat them! They freeze beautifully and taste just as delicious frozen!

 

Ingredients:

makes 20 cookies

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (room temperature at 21 degrees C.)
  • 1/3 cup of powdered organic cane sugar or powdered coconut sugar (ground to a powder in a high speed blender)
  • pinch of pink himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of ground hazelnuts
  • 1-2 tbsp. almond milk
  • good quality dark chocolate for dipping
  • toasted hazelnuts to sprinkle on the chocolate

In a medium sized bowl cream the coconut oil and powdered sugar with a hand mixer. Add the vanilla and salt and beat to combine.

 

 

Beat in the ground hazelnuts.

 

 

Add the baking powder and the buckwheat flour, just beating to combine. The mixture should still appear crumbly.

 

 

Add a tbsp. or two of almond milk and beat briefly. The mixture will still appear crumbly but you should be able to form it into a ball.

 

 

Roll into 1 in balls and then press gently with a fork to flatten slightly.

 

 

Bake for 20 min. at 325 degrees F.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before dipping.

To dip:

In a double boiler melt your chocolate.

 

Dip 1/3 of each of the cookies into the melted chocolate and then sprinkle with toasted, chopped hazelnuts.

 

Raw Panforte with Marzipan

 

Panforte is a traditional chewy Italian Tuscan dessert loaded with dried fruit and nuts that dates back to 13th century Sienna. I brought back a few wedges from a recent trip to Italy and reproduced a sugar and gluten-free version that makes a lovely Christmas gift wrapped in parchment and twine.  A slice with a cup of tea or coffee makes for a nice dessert or a  nutrient dense snack out on the trail! I used a mixture of cranberries, raisins, dried pineapple and candied ginger but feel free to come up with your own variations of dried fruit. (2 cups in total)  Just make sure you are buying organic and un-sulphured!

 

Equipment needed: Food Processor, two 8 in. spring form pans

Ingredients: The Base

  • 2 cups of soft pitted dates (medjool)
  • 2 cups of ground almonds ( you can either process raw or sprouted and dehydrated almonds to a flour or purchase ground almonds)
  • 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp. himalayan pink salt
  • 3/4 tsp. of nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. of freshly ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp. true cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup of lightly toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup of candied orange peel or 1 tsp. of organic orange zest

In a food processor combine the pitted dates with the ground almonds, coconut oil, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup. Process until a thick but soft batter forms.

 

 

Spoon the batter into a mixing bowl and with your hands mix in the coconut flour. The flour will absorb moisture from the batter allowing you to knead it into a smooth ball.

 

 

 

 

Add the dried fruit and hazelnuts to the batter and work in thoroughly with your hands. Divide it in two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Line your spring form pans with plastic wrap. Press the dough evenly into the plastic lined pans pressing down with a spoon to smooth it out evenly.

 

 

Set aside while you prepare the marzipan.

Marzipan:

  • 4 cups of ground blanched almonds (you can either buy blanched almonds and grind your own or purchase almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup of agave or raw honey (just make sure you use a liquid sweetener without colour)
  • 2 tsp. of pure almond extract

In a food processor combine the ground almonds with agave or honey and almond extract to form a play dough like consistency. If it isn’t coming together add a bit more liquid sweetener.

 

 

Divide it in two and smooth onto your prepared bases.

 

 

Set in the fridge to firm up nicely. Top with freshly grated nutmeg and a sprinkling of coconut flour to resemble powdered sugar. To give as gifts, cut the Panforte into quarters or eighths, wrap in saran wrap and then in unbleached parchment paper and hemp twine.

 

Cheesecake is Golden

Fresh turmeric gives this cheesecake a gorgeous golden hue. Ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and a pinch of black pepper give it the flavour of a delicious “Golden Milk”. Keep in mind that you will want to begin the fermentation process 3 days prior to slivering away at this delicious dessert!

 

 

The filling:

Step 1:

  • 13/4 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 tsp. probiotic powder  (3 or 4 capsules emptied)
  • just enough water to blend, about 1/4 cup

Soak the cashews in water at room temperature overnight. In a high speed blender, puree the cashews with just enough water to create a silky smooth paste. Add the probiotics and blend again briefly to combine. Spoon the mixture into a medium sized bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 24 hours. As it ferments, it will develop a slightly sour odour and a fluffier consistency.

 

 

The Crust:

  • 11/2 cups of sprouted and dehydrated almonds (or raw almonds) *
  • 3 tbsp. of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. of softened coconut oil
  • pinch of pink himalayan salt

Grind the almonds and the coconut sugar in a food processor as finely as you can without making almond butter! With the motor running, add the vanilla, salt, and softened coconut oil. Pulse until well combined.

*to sprout the almonds, soak them overnight at room temperature in water. Strain and rinse the almonds before dehydrating them at 117 degrees F. for 24 hours.

 

 

Prepare a 6 inch springform pan by lining it with plastic wrap.

 

Press the crust into the plastic lined pan with the back of a spoon.

 

 

Set in the freezer to allow the crust to set while you prepare the filling.

 

The Filling:

Step 2:

  • One recipe of fermented cashew cheese.
  • 2 tsp. of freshly juiced turmeric. If you don’t have a juicer, you can simply grate the turmeric finely over a small bowl and then squeeze the juice out of the pulp by hand. This will require a couple of finger sized knobs of turmeric! If you can’t find fresh turmeric, you can use a tsp. of powdered however the colour and flavour will not be as pronounced.

 

 

  • 2 tsp. of fresh ginger juice. If you don’t have a juicer, finely grate the ginger and squeeze the juice out by hand as you did the turmeric. A piece a couple of inches long will suffice.
  • 1 tsp. of true cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

 

 

 

  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom (crush the pods in a pestle and mortar, remove the seeds and crush to a fine powder)

 

 

 

  • 1/2 cup of powdered zylitol (A sweetener made from Birch trees that is non-caloric. To powder, blend on high until it resembles icing sugar! Zylitol is poisonous to dogs so make sure you keep it out of paws reach!) Powdered sugar can be used in place of zylitol if desired. Taste to adjust sweetness if necessary.
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup of coconut oil, warmed to a liquid
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a food processor combine the cashew cheese, turmeric juice, ginger juice, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, zylitol, lemon juice and vanilla. Process until smooth and well combined. With the motor running stream in the warmed coconut oil.  Taste and adjust spiciness if desired!

 

 

 

Pour the filling into the prepared chilled crust. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Place in the fridge to set. Decorate with sliced candied ginger before serving. This cheesecake will last refrigerated for several weeks and also freezes well if properly wrapped.

 

 

 

Half Moon Maple Almond, Buckwheat and Oat Biscuits

Reminiscent of shortbread, these cookies make a nice Christmas Gift. They are gluten free and loaded with healthy ingredients! A smear of melted good dark chocolate creates the half moon effect. Ground hazelnuts can easily be substituted for almond flour if desired.

 

 

Makes 36 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of almond or hazelnut flour (either purchased or ground fine in a food processor or blender)
  • 1 cup of oat flour (11/2 cup of gluten free oats ground fine in a blender)
  • 1 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of true cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup of avocado oil
  • 3/4 cup of organic dark chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sized bowl combine the almond flour, oat flour, buckwheat flour, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.

 

 

Mix the maple syrup and avocado oil together by hand in a measuring cup. Add to the dry ingredients stirring with a spoon and then with your hands to mix thoroughly.

 

 

 

 

The mixture will be moist but shouldn’t be sticky. Feel free to add an additional tbsp. or two of buckwheat flour to the batter if it is sticky. Lightly dust your work surface with oat flour. Divide the batter in half. Working with half of the batter to begin with, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll  your ball of cookie dough into a 1/4 inch round. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter cut into rounds. Gather up the scraps and roll out again until all of the dough has been used.

 

 

 

Arrange cookies on the parchment lined cookie sheet.

 

 

Bake for 12 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack.

 

To coat with chocolate:

Set up a double boiler on your stove with a medium sized pot filled with a few inches of water, topped with a stainless steel bowl. Bring the water to a boil and then add your chocolate chips or chunks to the stainless steel bowl. Stir with a spatula until melted. With a spoon smear half of the cookie with melted chocolate and set aside to set. Cookies can be stored in the fridge for several weeks or you can make the cookies and freeze them before topping with chocolate just before serving!

 

 

 

Slim Bits with Salted Caramel Coconut Butter Icing

I have teased you enough with photos of these raw “donut holes” over the last few months, here is the recipe! The base of the icing is coconut butter which is essentially raw dried coconut ground into a butter. I make my own in my stone grinder but I will give instructions to either make it in a high speed blender or a food processor. You will need either a Vitamix, a Blend Tech Blender, or a food processor to make the coconut butter from scratch. You can also purchase coconut butter in your local health food store. The caramel flavour comes from Medicine Flower Extracts. They have a line of all natural extracts that can be purchased either on line or at specialty stores in the city. I know that Bite Market in Calgary carries them. If you can’t find the extract you can simply use vanilla extract. The coconut sugar gives the icing a caramel- like flavour and colour on its own.

 

 

The Donut Holes:

makes 12

  • 2/3 cup of gluten free rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup of raw cashews soaked in water for at least 2 hours and then drained
  • 2/3 cup of soft medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/8 tsp. of pink himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds

In a food processor, grind the oats to a coarse flour.

 

 

Add the soaked and drained cashews to the oat flour along with the dates, chia seeds, salt and vanilla.

 

Process until the mixture comes together as a fairly stiff dough.

 

 

By hand, form into 1 inch balls and then set in the freezer while you prepare the icing. The donut holes are best dipped in the icing frozen. The icing will go on much thicker if the holes are frozen.

 

 

Salted Caramel Coconut Icing:

  • 4  heaping cups of raw dried unsweetened coconut ribbons ( or 11/3 cups of purchased coconut butter warmed to a liquid)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (powdered)
  • 8-10 drops of Medicine Flower Caramel Extract or 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. pink himalayan salt

To powder the coconut sugar, blend a few cups in a high speed blender until powdered. You will need to powder more than the 1/2 cup that you need in order to get it moving in the blender. Remove it from the blender and set it aside.

If you are making your own coconut butter, place the 4 heaping cups of raw dried coconut ribbons into your blender. Blend on high for a few minutes using the tamper to push it into the blade to ensure that all of it is incorporated into the mix. The coconut will quickly liquify. Be careful here not to let the coconut over-heat. Once it is blended into a smooth paste stop the blending process to add the rest of the ingredients. You should end up with about 11/3 cups of coconut butter.

If using a food processor, let the processor run until the coconut is smooth and liquified.

If using purchased coconut butter, warm it over low heat until liquified and proceed with the next step in a blender or food processor.

Add the powdered coconut sugar, caramel or vanilla extract and salt. Blend or process again until the coconut butter is warmed and well combined. As the mixture warms in the blender or food processor the coconut sugar will blend into the icing.

 

 

 

 

 

The Salted Caramel Icing can be poured into a container with a lid to use later or can be used right away in its liquid form to coat the Slim Bits. If left at room temperature it will solidify and will need to be warmed to use.

 

 

To Ice the Slim Bits:

Pour or spoon the Salted Caramel Icing into a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Stir well. Turn off the heat.

Remove the frozen Tim Bits from the freezer and one at a time, dip the donut holes into the icing. Using a spoon roll the donut around to make sure it is well coated.

 

 

 

 

 

Place the iced donut hole onto a parchment lined cookie sheet to set. I like to drizzle a little more of the icing over top once they are on the parchment. Sprinkle with true cinnamon and either allow the icing to set at room temperature or in the fridge. As you remove them from the parchment you can clean up the edges by breaking off the overflowing coconut butter. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 10 days. I guarantee they won’t last that long!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Mousse with Candied Ginger and Maple Almonds

When my family requested a curry for Thanksgiving I wanted to come up with a festive but lighter dessert that would sit well on top of a heavy curry! This fluffy mousse was perfect topped with a small scoop of cashew ice cream (I love the So Delicious brand), a few slivers of candied ginger, and a smattering of toasted maple almonds.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw cashews soaked in water for 2 hours
  • 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 large can (796ml) of organic pumpkin puree or the equivalent amount of pureed roasted fresh sugar pumpkin.
  • 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. of cardamom powder (ground fresh from the whole pods is always best) *
  • 1 tsp. of true cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. of maple syrup
  • several chunks of crystallized ginger to garnish
  • one recipe of maple almonds (recipe follows)

 

*  If using whole cardamom pods, gently crush the pods with a pestle to expose the seeds.

 

 

Remove the husks and then crush the seeds with your pestle into a fine powder.

 

 

 

Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.

 

 

 

In a high speed blender combine the cashews with the melted coconut oil until smooth and creamy.

 

 

 

 

Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup to the cashew cream and blend until smooth and well combined.

 

 

Spoon the mixture evenly into 6 1/2 cup mason jars or 12 1/4 cup mason jars.

 

 

Place the filled jars in the refrigerator to set while you prepare the almonds.

To make almonds:

You can either dehydrate these for 12 hours prior to preparing the mousse or just toast them on a parchment lined baking sheet in a 350 degree oven.

  • 1 cup of raw almonds (soaked overnight and first dehydrated if you are going for the dehydrator option, otherwise just raw almonds is fine.)
  • a few tablespoons of maple syrup
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. true cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl combine the almonds with maple syrup, sea salt and cinnamon. Mix well to coat. Spread the maple coated almonds onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until the almonds are toasted and the maple syrup has mostly evaporated. (about 25 min.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, chop into smaller pieces. If using the dehydrator, spread the mixture onto a teflex sheet and dehydrate at 117 degrees F. for 12 hours.

 

 

To serve, add a scoop of ice cream of your choice, a sprinkling of maple almonds and a tsp. or so of chopped crystallized ginger!

 

 

Raw Strawberry Chipotle Brownies

These no-bake raw brownies dusted with powdered dried strawberries and a hint of chipotle pepper are so easy to prepare! I may have included a few obscure ingredients like dried strawberries and strawberry medicine flower extract but you can easily replace these items with easier to find ingredients. Dried mango, cranberries, cherries, and freeze dried raspberries are equally delicious and pair well with the chipotle in the icing! ( freeze dried raspberries are available at The Banff Tea Company) I buy my dried strawberries at The Light Cellar in Calgary and sometimes dehydrate fresh berries to use in this recipe.

 

Ingredients:

The Brownie

  • 11/2 cups of raw pecans or walnuts
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup of soft pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of dried strawberries, chopped into smaller pieces or dried fruit of your choice

Line an 8 X 8 inch brownie pan with parchment paper leaving enough around the edges so that you can lift the brownie with the paper out of the pan once set.

Chop 1/4 cup of the pecans or walnuts roughly by hand or in a food processor. Set aside to mix into the batter later.

 

 

Chop the remaining pecans or walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Add the vanilla, cacao powder, and dates.

 

 

Process until the mixture comes together. It should stay together when you pinch it into a ball. If it is too dry and crumbly add a small amount of water and process again until it comes together.

 

 

Transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl. Add the reserved roughly chopped nuts along with the dried fruit. Mix well with your hands to combine. Press the mixture into your prepared baking pan using the back of a spoon to ensure that it is pressed in firmly and evenly.

 

 

Set aside while you prepare the icing.

The Icing:

  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • a dropper full of Strawberry Medicine Flower Extract (available on line or from Bite Market in Inglewood in Calgary) If you can’t find this extract, substitute 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract or a few drops of essential oil of orange.

 

 

 

 

 

To prepare the icing set up a double boiler over medium heat on your stove. (place a stainless steel bowl over a small saucepan filled with a few inches of water)  Add the coconut oil first, allowing it to melt. Whisk in the brown rice syrup,  and then finally the cacao power. Continue to whisk until the mixture comes together and thickens.

 

 

 

 

With a spatula scoop the icing out of the bowl  onto the prepared brownies. Using an offset spatula smooth the icing over the prepared brownie. Set aside while you prepare the strawberry chipotle dust.

Strawberry Chipotle Dust:

  • 1/2 cup dried strawberries (for the dust the berries need to be fully dehydrated and not pliable. If you don’t have any really dried out berries use freeze dried as an alternative)
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle pepper powder
  • 1/4 cup xylitol powdered in your blender (a sweetener made from birch trees that is non-caloric and also toxic to dogs!)

In a blender powder the dried strawberries until finely ground. In a small bowl combine powdered berries with chipotle and powered xylitol. Place a tbsp. or so of the powder into a small sieve tapping gently with your hand over the iced brownies to distribute evenly.

 

At this point I set the brownies into the freezer for about 1/2 hr. before removing them from the pan to slice. You can slice them right away but they are easier to handle frozen and will keep their shape once cut and thawed.

Cut into 2 in. squares. Place a little piece of whatever dried fruit that you used in the brownie on top of each square! Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Raw Salted Turtles

Just in time for Valentines Day! Who wouldn’t love dark chocolate with gooey salted caramel, lightly toasted pecans, and a sprinkle of Icelandic Sea Salt!

 

Ingredients:

  • 60 grams of prepared raw chocolate (see Raw Chocolate post), chopped and melted over a double boiler
  • 1/2 cup of raw pecans, lightly toasted
  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup raw almond butter
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 16 drops of Caramel Medicine Flower Extract (Available at specialty markets. Not really necessary but bumps up the caramel flavour)
  • finishing sea salt

 

 

 

 

Either prepare chocolate from scratch, keeping melted over a double boiler, or melt one batch  of raw chocolate in a double boiler. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate. Keep the water hot beneath but not boiling while you prepare the caramel.

 

 

 

 

The Caramel:

Remove pits from the dates. Process in a food processor until they form a large sticky ball.

 

Add the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and caramel extract if using to the processed dates. Continue to process until it forms a large smooth ball. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.

 

 

Roll the caramel into 1 cm. balls and set aside. There should be enough chocolate to make 48 turtles and more than enough caramel so feel free to pop a few caramel balls in your mouth!

 

 

With a 1/2 tsp. measuring spoon, spoon 1/2 tsp. of melted chocolate into 48 little foil cups.(1 inch in diameter) Place on a cookie sheet and set in the fridge or freezer to set.

 

 

Remove from the freezer. Gently press a ball of the prepared caramel on top of each chocolate disc and then press a toasted pecan into the caramel. If you are using big pecans you might want to break them in half.

 

 

Drizzle 1/2 tsp. of the remaining melted chocolate over the caramel and pecans. Sprinkle with a few grains of coarse sea salt and then return to the fridge or freezer to set. Store in the fridge until you are ready to eat or give as gifts!

 

 

 

 

Raw Chocolate

Once you have mastered this basic raw chocolate recipe, you can make “Raw Turtles” which will be my next blog post!

The beans used to make the cacao butter and powder for raw chocolate have not been roasted. The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals have not been destroyed by the roasting process, therefore it is much more nutritious. The beans are however, fermented and may exceed the temperatures dictated to classify it as “raw” but it is a natural process that still renders the beans far superior nutritionally than chocolate made from roasted beans.

This is the first “raw chocolate” recipe that I ever made. It is as simple as combining melted cacao butter and cacao powder with a little bit of added liquid sweetener before pouring it into molds to set. I now make my chocolate from Cacao nibs that are ground with a little sweetener to a liquid in a stone grinder for 36 hours! Because this basic recipe is not tempered, it is best refrigerated once made but is stable at room temperatures up to 23 or so degrees C.

For our purposes, I am not adding any flavours or textures to this chocolate, however; you can add a few drops of food grade essential oils to the mix if desired. My favourites are peppermint, orange, and cardamom. Ground spices are also a great addition along with dried fruit and nuts for texture.

You can buy plastic molds from a company in Vancouver called Charlies Chocolate Factory.  (charlieschocolatefactory.com) They have hundreds of different molds to choose from. Just make sure that you are buying the cheaper plastic molds vs. the hard polycarbonate molds. The plastic molds are better suited for making un-tempered chocolate. If you don’t want to order molds, you can pour the chocolate onto a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet to set and make a bark instead.

 

 

Ingredients:

makes 3 bars

  • 1/2 cup of melted raw cacao butter (With a knife, shave about 3/4 of a cup of the butter. It will melt down into 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/8 cup of liquid sweetener (maple syrup, honey, or agave)
  • pinch of vanilla powder

Chop the cacao butter with a knife, filling a measuring cup to the 3/4 cup line.

 

 

Set up a double boiler on the stove using a small pot with 4 in. of water in it and a larger stainless steel bowl to sit on top. Bring the water to a boil, remove from the heat. Place the stainless steel bowl on top of the pot with hot water. Add the shaved cacao butter to the bowl and whisk until completely melted. (Alternatively you can fill a larger bowl with boiled water and set a smaller bowl on top)

Be really careful not to allow water to splash into the mixture as the chocolate will seize and congeal up into a sticky mess!

 

 

 

 

Once the cacao butter has melted, whisk in the cacao powder until very smooth. Ensure that all of the powder is incorporated into the cacao butter. Add the sweetener and continue to whisk until well combined. Make sure that there is no sticky sweetener resting at the bottom as it will not set properly. Whisk in the vanilla if using. If the mixture is beginning to thicken too quickly, you might need to heat up the water beneath to liquify it.

 

Before pouring  the melted chocolate into molds or onto a parchment lined baking sheet, wipe the outside of the bowl with a tea towel to prevent water from dripping into the mix.

 

 

Place in the refrigerator to set. This will take up to 1/2 hour. You can place it in the freezer to speed up the process. Remove the chocolate from the fridge and pop out of the molds.

 

Store in the refrigerator to either enjoy as it is or to make “Raw Turtles”! Stay tuned for the recipe!

If you want to keep them as bars you can order coloured foils to wrap them in from Charlies Chocolate Factory as well. Visit your local paper store to creative with pretty wrapping materials if you are giving them as gifts.

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies

 

Chewy, chocolatey, gingery and gluten free! I think I have perfected this gluten-free version of my favourite Christmas cookie! Ground oats and almonds replace the flour and chia gel replaces the eggs and gives these cookies just the right amount of chewiness! You can grind your own almonds to make almond flour, however; it is sometimes difficult to get a consistent grind in a food processor so I often purchase almond flour by Bobs Arrowhead Mills.

 

 

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of almond flour (finely ground almonds)
  • 21/2 cups of gluten free rolled oats ground to a fine flour in a blender
  • 11/4 sp. ground dried ginger
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. of cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. of ground chia or flax seeds mixed into 3 Tbsp. of water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil at room temperature (otherwise it will not mix)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp. baking soda mixed into 1 Tbsp. boiled water
  • 11/2 cups of dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/4 cup organic granulated sugar to coat

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. No need to pre-heat the oven at this point as the cookie dough needs to cool in the refrigerator for an hour prior to baking. Sift the almond flour, oat flour, dried ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cacao together into a medium sized bowl.set aside.

In a separate bowl beat coconut oil together with 1 Tbsp. of fresh ginger and the chia gel with a hand mixer.

 

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Add the coconut sugar and molasses. Blend well.

 

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Add 1/2 of the dry spice and flour mix along with the baking soda mixed in hot water to the wet ingredients.  Mix until well combined and then add the remaining dry mix. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips or chunks until well combined.

 

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Place the bowl in the refrigerator for an hour to set up a little bit. Roll into 11/2 inch. balls and coat with the organic granulated sugar. Place on the cookie sheet leaving space for them to expand as they bake.

 

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Bake at 325 F. for 12-14 min. Cool on a wire baking rack before removing from the cookie sheet.

 

 

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