If every food has its own season, then we’re definitely in the midst of cookie season!
For many years, I subscribed to several monthly food magazines. Each December issue was always (ok, almost always) dedicated to cookies - from the decadent recipes of (the late) Gourmet magazine to the more nourishing recipes published in Cooking Light. I remember the December, 2005 issue of Martha Stewart Living quite vividly. That particular issue contained over a dozen unique recipes for cookies, all meant to be made for a holiday cookie swap or a festive holiday party. These were not simple cookie recipes, by any means. As I was in the final trimester of my pregnancy and was flooded with the desire to “nest”, I baked each and every cookie recipe in that magazine! My small Boston kitchen was overwhelmed with flour, butter, sugar and cookie sheets on every imaginable surface. Thankfully, my appetite was strong and my freezer was relatively empty!
Last weekend, as I was searching my paper recipe files for my well-worn latkes recipe, I came across a recipe that I hadn’t thought about in awhile. In the upper right-hand corner, the date was written, “Dec, 2006”. “Melting Lace Cookies” was the name of this recipe, just a few simple ingredients which came together to make a delicious cookie, if I remember correctly. This recipe was shared with me at the first and only cookie swap that I’ve ever hosted, which was a small gathering in my Boston neighborhood, just a few moms & babies on a quiet winter afternoon. I can’t recall which cookies I baked to swap with my friends, perhaps it was a recipe from the prior December’s Martha Stewart Magazine collection of recipes, but probably not. Whatever I made wasn’t memorable, unlike my friend’s Melting Lace Cookies!
I’ve baked a lot of cookies since 2005. Thousands of cookies of all shapes and sizes, ingredients and flavors. I always have a few different kinds of homemade cookies in my freezer, labeled in big ziploc bags with a cryptic name and date scribbled on in sharpie marker. That “just-in-case” stash serves my family well, there’s always a homemade dessert available when the cravings for something sweet are too strong to resist. But these days, the cookies are much simpler than those from 2005, and the ingredient list is (usually) much more wholesome. I’ve developed cookie recipes for several food companies over the past few years, some of the recipes have been more successful than others, making their way into my personal recipe box.
Today, I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes. I consider them to be The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies*, if the category of cookies is for alternative diets. Not only are these cookies plant-based (no dairy, no eggs) and gluten-free, but they are also grain-free and nut-free. The base of the dough is Tigernut flour, which was initially provided to me by Organic Gemini. Tigernuts are not nuts, per se, but are tubers (root vegetables) which have been eaten since prehistoric times. Nutritionally, they are full of prebiotic fiber, the food needed to feed all of the good critters (probiotics) in our gut. So while I love to remind everyone that “food is medicine”, these cookies really are beneficial to our overall health! They’re the perfect cookie to bake for an upcoming cookie swap, since everyone can enjoy them, regardless of dietary preference. There aren’t many cookie recipes that I know of which can be safely enjoyed by everyone…
If you’re wondering where to find Tigernut flour, there are several sources: in stores (Mom’s Organic Markets, Whole Foods Markets) and online. I use Tigernut flour whenever possible in my baking, I like the texture of the flour in cookies, cakes, even in muffins. These links will take you to the recipes that I developed for Organic Gemini, so you can enjoy more than the cookies!
But, as it’s the season for cookies, please bake these Cinnamon-Spiced Chocolate Chip Tigernut Cookies first. The recipe is super easy and comes together in a snap. And since it’s egg-free, you can enjoy the cookie dough before it’s baked (aka raw cookie dough) too! So get some Tigernut flour, put on some cheerful holiday music, and spend some time baking this weekend! As always, please let me know if you try any of my recipes, I love to hear from you.
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
Cinnamon-Spiced Chocolate Chip Tigernut Cookies
Ingredients: (use organic whenever possible)
2 C Tigernut flour
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
1 flax egg (1 T ground flax seed mixed with 3 T water)
1/3 C coconut oil
2/3 C coconut sugar
1/4 C maple syrup
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the Tigernut flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
Make a flax egg. Place ground flax seed in a small bowl with water, stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the flax egg, coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Slowly add the dry mixture and mix until combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Cover bowl and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll cookie dough into 24 balls. Place 12 on lined baking sheet and remainder back in refrigerator until ready to bake.
Bake cookies for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then place on a wire cooling rack to continue to cool to room temperature. Bake remaining cookies.
Recipe yields 24 cookies
Cookie dough can be made in advance, keep chilled until ready to bake.
Store cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Cookies keep very well, frozen, for up to 1 month.