Finally a new blog post! I’m so sorry I haven’t been posting more often lately but life kind of got in a way, you know, that other part of life that doesn’t involve beautiful food and photos. Sometimes when we follow someone online, whether is through blog or social media, we forget that even if that person is daily posting beautifully styled cakes, pretty flowers, lovely moments and scenes from travels or their home town, that doesn’t mean that in his/her life it’s all rainbows and unicorns, you know what I mean…
That is specially important to keep in mind when scrolling through our instagram feeds because often it feels like everybody’s life is better and prettier and more exciting than ours and in most of the cases that is just not true. We all do this work because we love it and because we have a need to share something beautiful and inspirational with our followers but it’s also important to keep real and to show our personalities and yes, occasionally even our struggles. I admit that I also sometimes need to be reminded of that so here it is, our reminder for a day!
I don’t have other word to describe these cookies better but AMAZING! They are made with chestnut flour and this is actually the first time I baked with that naturally gluten-free flour and it’s definitely not the last. Chestnut flour gives beautiful slightly nutty taste that goes so well with sweetness of cherries (or cranberries) and chocolate, so delicious you just have to try it out yourself! The recipe for these crispy from the outside-chewy from the inside cookies that literally melt in your mouth comes from Alanna’s brand new cookbook ‘Alternative Baker’ that is honestly one of the best and most beautiful cookbooks I’ve ever had in my hands. Alanna is a sweet and talented lady behind The Bojon Gourmet blog and I’ve been following her work for the last 2 years since I started my journey into this beautiful world of food photography. She is such an amazing photographer and when you get the book you can’t stop looking at those gorgeous photos! All the recipes in the book are gluten-free and Alanna bakes with some very interesting flours like millet, buckwheat, corn, sweet rice, chestnut, teff etc. I’m so looking forward to try baking with those flours too!
Alanna in her recipe uses cherries and pecans and I replaced those with dried cranberries and walnuts and that’s the only change I made. I hope you’ll give these a try, I made them few times already and everybody loved them. Only one last note, since I eat less sweet desserts and cookies, when I make these for myself and other people who prefer less sweet, I use coconut sugar instead of light brown and dark chocolate instead milk chocolate. But my family including my little niece and nephew liked them just like this, with milk chocolate that is of course sweeter than dark one.
- ½ cup (55 g) raw pecan halves (or walnuts)
- 8 tbsp (113 g) unsalted butter
- ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
- ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) raw cane sugar
- ¾ cup (80 g) chestnut flour (you can find in healthy food stores)
- ¼ cup (30 g) tapioca flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1¼ cup (170 g) milk chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup (55 g) dried cherries (or cranberries)
- Preheat oven to 190 C / 375 F. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
- Spread the pecans (or walnuts) on the tray and toast until slightly darkened, about 8 minutes.
- Remove and let them cool completely before breaking into smaller pieces.
- Melt the butter and vanilla bean scrapings in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally for about 3-5 min, until butter gets golden.
- Mix the sugars in a large mixing bowl and add browned butter. Stir and let the mixture cool for about 10 min.
- In another mixing bowl combine chestnut and tapioca flour, baking soda and salt.
- When the sugar butter mixture is cooled down, beat in egg until well combined.
- Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, stir until well combined, than add pecans (or walnuts), dried cherries (or cranberries) and chopped chocolate.
- Using a spoon scoop the dough into 4 cm (1½ inch) balls and place them on prepared baking trays. Leave enough space between as they will spread when baking.
- Bake the cookies for about 10-14 min until the edges are golden and they still seem under-baked.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool for a minute before transferring to cooling racks. They will be soft but will harden as they cool down.
- Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!