After I came up with a recipe for healthy sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free cookies, I thought about the need for chocolate. Ones who are on a restricted diet may still long for chocolate. So I set about coming up with a healthy chocolate cookie. I thought about what may make it turn out well and came up with some ideas. When I started to experiment I was completely prepared for failure. I figured it would take some time and experimenting to get it right. What a wonderful surprise to have it turn out fabulous right from the start! I was so excited I had to call my mom right away even though it was ten o’clock at night!
I wanted to pack in as much chocolate as possible without making it too difficult to sweeten naturally. Coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate. Cocoa nibs also are to give more chocolate flavor. Dutch processed cocoa powder is more chocolatey in my opinion. But Hershey’s natural cocoa works well too. If using Dutch cocoa, use baking powder rather than baking soda. I buy cocoa nibs and wide grate coconut at Sprout’s Market.
HEALTHY CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO COOKIES
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons flax seed
- 1 cup (4 ounces) almond meal or flour
- 1 cup (2.8 ounces) shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (or baking soda if not using Dutch cocoa)
- 2 cups pitted dates, Medjool is best but Deglet is fine
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 egg
- cocoa nibs, 2 to 4 tablespoons
- coconut, wide flakes, approximately 1/4 cup
Briefly process coconut flour, flax seed, almond meal, shredded coconut, cocoa, salt, and baking powder together in a food processor. Add dates and process until finely chopped. Separately combine extracts, espresso powder, coconut oil, and egg. Add to food processor while machine is running. Mix thoroughly. Put dough in a mixing bowl and stir in cocoa nibs and coconut flakes.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. These do not spread, so an inch apart is fine. Flatten slightly. Bake at 325° F. for about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Store airtight. Makes about 3 dozen small cookies.