Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

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With a sister who is gluten-intolerant I have tried a decent amount of gluten free cookies.

And let’s face it- they either have weird ingredients or they just don’t taste that great.

Except for peanut butter ones. But what if you want a normal, chewy chocolate chip one?

It’s a sad day for you….until now.

I stumbled upon this recipe while browsing Pinterest. (gotta love the pinterest)

A Thought For Food, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies 

The writing convinced me…I should try this one.

And it was AMAZING.

I served them at a party and no one knew they were make with Chickpea Flour. Except for my sister and her very happy tummy. I literally was blown away. I wish I had of taken a picture of her face when she ate her first real cookie in YEARS.

But then my brain got to going, what if I took the base of the recipe and made it my own.

Genius.

So yesterday my sister and I decided we needed cookies for a trip we are taking this week to Spain.

Traveling without being able to eat gluten is.a.pain. Do you know that a ton of chips have gluten in them?!?! And granola bars, and candy, also most soy sauces….it’s been a rough week in the “this has gluten in it too!” department.

Cookies were needed.

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(It should be noted that my sister got Henna done a week or so ago, and it’s starting to wear off..hence the weird markings on her hands…she’s isn’t diseased…I promise…)

We started with the base recipe from “A Thought for Food” and added coconut, coconut extract and left the chocolate chips.

Chewy, happy, amazing smelling cookies emerged from the oven. It helped us get over the “whyyyy does everythinggggg have gluten in it!” blues.

Cuz you can’t be sad while eating one of these little guys.

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Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from A Thought For Food

makes about 3 dozen medium-large cookies

 

 

If you skip steps in this recipe, the cookies will turn out differently, I learned this the hard way. 

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cup brown sugar (or half white, half brown sugar)

2 eggs, room temp

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tsp coconut flavoring

2 cups chickpea flour, sifted**

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate bar

1 cup coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened

**Don’t skip sifting the chickpea flour. This step makes the difference between cakey, hard cookies to chewy amazing ones.

Directions:

Sift chickpea flour, salt, baking soda, and powder into small bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine softened butter, sugar, vanilla and coconut extract and eggs. Mix until combined, and the butter and sugar have fluffed up a bit.

Stir in the flour mixture and then add in chocolate chips and coconut.

Let the dough rest in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Place by spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. (The original says 12-15 but I found that too long for my oven, see what works for yours.)

Cookies will be dark brown, and need to cook completely or you will be left with the raw chickpea flour taste. You don’t want that.

The way I generally test my cookies is by watching them, when the middle stops bubbling and lays flat, they are done.

Remove from oven and let cool before removing them from baking sheet.

Eat, smile and fall in love with chickpea flour.

Summer Cobbler

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Cobbler.

It’s the thing your Grandma makes from scratch for those lazy sunday afternoons.

And because she’s Grandma she will top it with ice cream.

Or in may case, my aunt. There always seemed to be peach cobbler in her house during the summer. She made it from canned peaches and most likely with cake mix, but I can literally taste it just thinking about it.

I never tasted fresh cobbler until I was an adult. In the south people tend to use what is easy and make it special. And it works. Somehow they take mediocre ingredients and make them sing. They make them into things you miss when you grow up, tastes you crave when you are away from home.

Then as an adult I discovered food blogs and baking without using prepackaged ingredients. I discovered the joy of chopping my own apple for cobbler, and making my own cake mix from scratch.

When I moved to Africa, a whole new world opened up. I now walk up to the man that sells solely fruit and buy cherries and peaches from him. Personally. He picks out the best for me. I don’t just grab them from a nameless faceless bin at the supermarket.

I’m not sure I will ever lose the thrill of buying produce at the Souk, from real people who remember me and know that I really do just want 4 peaches, and not a whole kilo.

It’s the thrill of only being able to cook with what is in season.

And learning that you really do want to eat peaches every other day in the summer because you will sorely miss them come December.

This summer my goal is to eat a ridiculous amount of peaches and cherries. Fresh, in cobblers, in muffins and any other way I can think of serving them. I intend to revel in the glory of summer fruit until they are no longer to be found at the market. Then I will slowly remember how much I love tangerines and pomegranates.

But that’s still at least 3 months away, so for now PEACHES and cherries!

Thus we have the Summer Cobbler. Some of the best fruits of the season, combined with a yummy cake topping.

It’s the taste of pure summer. In one bite. Pure happiness and memories of being a little kid running around in the hot sun then being treated to Grandma’s cobbler.

Feel free to switch cherries and peaches out with your favorite summer fruit. Blueberries, blackberries, pears, take your pick.

On a side note, go out and buy yourself a cherry pitter. Your life will be easier and a lot less cherry juiced stained. Your counter tops, kitchen towel and fingers will thank you. I promise. It’s now on my mental list of things to buy- because pitting cherries by hand just takes a ridiculous amount of time, and you end up with red fingers. It’s a no-win situation.

 

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Summer Cobbler

makes one 8×12 pan

4 medium sized peaches (1.5 lbs)

1 lb fresh cherries, pitted and sliced

1 Tbsp Corn starch

3 Tbsp Heavy Cream

1 cup Milk

1 egg

3 Tbsp Butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup flour (I used Chickpea Flour, but all purpose flour will also work)

2/3 quick cooking oats

2/3 cup sugar (if you peaches are really ripe, as little as 1/3 cup would work)

1 tsp Maple Flavoring (Vanilla also works)

Fill baking dish with sliced peaches and cherries. Sprinkle with corn starch and heavy cream. Mix to combine and roast in the oven at 190 C/ 375 F for approximately 15 mins.

In the meantime, mix milk, egg, butter and maple flavoring  and sugar together until combined. Add in flour and oats. Stir until there are not clumps left and the consistency is a little thicker than cake bater. If the mixture if too think, add a little more milk.

After the fruit has roasted, remove from oven and pour cobbler batter over the top. I chose to only leave a little fruit showing, but you could leave more uncovered. Either way it will taste fantastic.

Bake at 190 C/375 F for 20-25 minutes. Test your cobbler at 20 and see if it’s at the consistence you like. Some people prefer a more gooey cobbler, some more cake like. Take it out closer to the 20 minute mark for gooey, and the 25 for cake like.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream….or both. I won’t judge.

 

Gluten Free Brownies

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Don’t run away at the words “gluten free” being in the title. I assure you that this isn’t a gluten free recipe that requires 3 different health food stores and a dictionary.

That’s not me.

I promise.

As a self-taught cook and baker, when I see the words “gluten free” I scroll immediately to the ingredient list and see what weird things it requires, to see whether it’s worth me continuing reading or not. Weird food names often means I stop reading.

It’s a sad day when you get your hopes up on an amazing recipe only to find out that you have to drive an hour away to find that magical ingredient. It’s a sad sad day. I try to avoid it at all costs.

I stumbled upon this brownie recipe while searching for things to make with Chickpea flour. (Also known as Garbanzo bean flour, Gram flour and besan) My sister is gluten-intolerate and I love being able to make things she can eat that are “normal”. After playing around with a cookie recipe that used Chickpea flour I decided to branch out into brownies. These are just as easy as normal brownies, just swapping out the white flour for chickpea flour. Although every spice shop in my city here in Africa carries chickpea flour, it may be a little harder to find in the States. Check out the health food section of your local grocer, with the rise of Gluten Free diets, it’s sure to be there.

The tiny grocery store in the town I grew up in now carries it, so I’m sure most major chains do now as well.

These brownies are a perfect example of why I retreat to the kitchen at the end of the day. Brownies, with the taste of the ones we grew up with, that gluten-intolerate friends can eat. And that those of us that love gluten still enjoy. Being able to sit food down in front of someone that brings joy to their tastebuds and heart- its more of a gift to me than to them. I love seeing the smile on their face. My sisters especially.

Make these brownies, bring a smile to someones face that hasn’t had real brownies in ages. Make their week 1,000 times happier. You won’t regret it.

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Gluten Free Brownies

Adapted from Lucillian Delights

3 eggs

200/ 1 cup grams Sugar

150 grams/ 2/3 cup of Butter

100 grams/ 3.5 Oz Dark Chocolate (either a bar chopped up, or chips)

50 grams Chopped nuts (roughly 1/2 cup, I used hazelnuts, but walnuts or pecans would also work)

4 Tbspns Cocoa Powder

80 grams/ 3/4 cup Chickpea Flour

** It should be noted that raw chickpea flour is not tasty at all. So for all of you batter tasters like myself, do yourself a favor and refrain. Trust me. Once the flour is cooked the raw bean taste goes away completely.

*Pre-heat oven to 175 C/ 350 F

1. Melt butter and chocolate until chocolate is smooth. I used the microwave, but a double boiler works as well.  Let cool.

2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy.

3. If the chocolate mixture is still warm, add a couple of small spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. We don’t want scrambled eggs in our brownies. No bueno. Slowly add the rest of the chocolate/butter mixture until well combined.

4. Sift salt, flour and cocoa  together. I added around 1-2 tbspns of coffee grounds in this step to boost the chocolate flavor. Totally optional though.

5. Stir into chocolate/sugar mixture and stir until combined.

6. Add in nuts and mix to combine. (I added mine to 2/3 of the batter after pouring into a pan, for those non-hazelnut lovers of the bunch)

*I also added about 1/2 cup of chocolate chunks

7. Pour into greased baking dish. A square 9×9 works well. (I choose to go the parchment paper route, because I am lazy and it’s easier to clean up…feel free to follow my example.)

 

Bake at 175 C/350 F for approximately 25 minutes, check with a toothpick to test done-ness. When it comes out mostly clean, they’re done.

 

Enjoy!

 

I won’t say that I didn’t sneak a bite before these were completely cooled, but if I happened to do so, i’d tell you that they are amazing slightly warm. AMAZING.