Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Surprise Cookies

I really like cookies. They are easy to grab, less crumby than muffins and have a certain appeal as their namesake is often synonymous with a 'treat' of sorts. 

But I have a real issue making or eating a cookie that contains unnecessary vegan margarine and loads of sugar. Yeah, I get that it's supposed to be a treat and all, but if the last two years dealing with my son's food allergies have taught me anything, it's to make the most nutritionally sound choices for anything that goes into our mouths. So what that a cookie is vegan because it contains Earth Balance and organic sugar - you're no further ahead!

Well, these cookies stick to my principles, but you would never know it. As a result, I had to call these Surprise Cookies. If you've read any of my blog posts over the past year, although sparse, any recipe seems to involve hemp. So I'm being sarcastic alluding to the 'secret' surprise ingredient. But what's more surprising is what else is in them, and even more so, what's not!

Those avoiding wheat could enjoy these since they use oat flour and rolled oats (Only Oats brand could be used). Sweetness comes from puréed raisins and a few chocolate chunks (dark chocolate would also be a great sub), while body comes from puréed hemp hearts and shredded coconut. Iron-rich cocoa powder, hemp milk, vanilla, a touch of coconut oil and baking soda round out the rest of the ingredients. Take that, recipes that call for mounds of butter, sugar and wheat flour.

The key to making these look like regular cookies is to purée the crap out of the hemp seeds and raisins. I used to do this in my Vitamix, but its hard to scrape everything out away from the blade. Since getting my Breville Sous-Chef food processor, I've had a much easier time scraping out the mix while getting everything just as blended as I would have in the Vitamix. I can't vouch for regular blenders or food processors as to whether or not they have the power to pulverize the ingredients.

Surprise Cookies
(Wheat-free, nut-free, soy-free)
Makes about 3 dozen

2 cups hemp seeds (I use Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts)
1 1/2 cups raisins
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup hemp milk
2 1/2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups chocolate chunks or chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place the hemp seeds, raisins, coconut oil, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup hemp milk in a high-powered blender or food processor. Purée until a smooth brown blob forms, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl or to the bowl of a stand mixer (preferred! It's tough to mix this stuff by hand!). 

Add oat flour, cocoa powder, coconut and baking soda and mix. Add a little hemp milk if the mixture is dry. Carefully add the oats and chocolate chunks and mix until well-incorporated.

Drop by medium-sized scoops (heaping tablespoon) onto parchment, leaving 2 inches between blobs. Flatten with the palm of your hand, then bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely on pans.

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