During the month of January, I (mostly) followed a whole 30 program. I say mostly because I did allow myself to enjoy half and half in my morning coffee. Priorities. I like my coffee to be the color of coffee ice cream which is difficult to achieve using a non-dairy creamer. Having said that, I have tried lots of non-dairy milks and creamers in my coffee to experiment and in my opinion, nut pods is the best one out there.
But aside from my few tablespoons of half and half, I kept to the Whole 30 regime with no gluten, sugar, legumes, grains or alcohol in my diet. Was it hard? I would say it was challenging to keep meals interesting, but since I really enjoy vegetables and am an omnivore, I didn’t feel deprived. As the days were counting down, however, I was really looking forward to sinking my teeth into a big piece of Iggy’s bread as soon as I hit day 31. It was the texture of food that I missed the most and bread hits so many notes for me.
One of the keys to success of completing a whole 30 is to have a prepared kitchen. If you don’t have the right ingredients, it will be difficult to keep to the program. So I loaded up on as many essentials as possible which included nut butters (not peanut however) that I paired with crispy apples for a filling snack. Now, I don’t eat a ton of nut butter to begin with, but during January I had it almost daily so needed to mix it up. Already a fan of almond butter, I bought a few of the small size Justin brand packs of cashew butter which I grew to really love. Not a real surprise given how much I love the creamy nuts by themselves.
Fast forward and now it’s a few weeks ago and a completely non-Whole 30 craving struck me for chocolate chip cookies. Now, I’ve mentioned countless times that these are a weakness for me and there is never a recipe for them that I am unwilling to try. I came across this recipe online for a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip version that looked just perfect. The recipe made just a dozen, can be made in 1 bowl, and has gluten free options to boot.
But here’s the thing, I am not a huge fan of peanut butter in my cookies. So I swapped it out with my new love, cashew butter. And because I can never leave well enough alone, I added some unsweetened flaked coconut because for me, coconut is always a good idea.
I baked them off and brought them to my book group and served them to my bridge partners and everyone wanted the recipe! I figured you would want it too so I am sharing it here today.
The best part is that you probably have everything you need in your kitchen and can make them before you need to leave the house this morning!
First note – the nut butter you choose to use should just have nuts and maybe a little salt in it. If it has sugar, your cookies are going to be too sweet. And if your nut butter only has nuts like mine, you will need to add just a little more salt to the dough. Don’t worry, I wrote it all down for you in the recipe. It needs to be creamy as it’s providing most of the fat content of the cookie.
I would also suggest you use the dark chocolate called for in the recipe for the same reason that using semi or milk chocolate will result in a sweeter cookie. And I highly recommend sticking with the flaked sea salt if you have it as it creates just the right balance with the other ingredients without making the cookie salty.
Lastly, the dough may be a little sticky. The first time I made them I didn’t add more almond flour to firm it up, but this last time I did and I actually liked the texture a little better. You be the judge depending on how your dough turn out. And I have shared this before, but if you don’t have this scoop among your gadgets, I insist you add it! It is 3/4 ounce or 1 1/2 Tablespoons which is what I use for most cookies and often for meatballs. It is indispensible in my kitchen.
I hope you give these delightful cookies a try this weekend. With everything going on in the world, I think chocolate chip cookies are a very good idea.
Until next time…
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I love this recipe. Twelve glorious cookies made in one bowl, easy and just enough when you need a chocolate chip cookie fix! I use a Ghiradelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate bar for the "chips" which complements the sweetened dough. These cookies can be gluten free if you use GF rolled oats. I use almond flour that is made from whole (rather than blanched) almonds so they have little flecks of the skin but any almond flour or gluten free flour should do. Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker. Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup creamy cashew butter (almond or peanut can be substituted)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
- 1/4 cup almond flour (you may need 1 additional Tablespoon)
- 1 heaping Tablespoon unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), chopped
- Sea salt flakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To a large mixing bowl, add nut butter, brown sugar, vanilla and egg. Whisk until smooth.
- Sprinkle oats, almond flour, coconut, salt and baking powder evenly over the wet ingredients. Mix until completely combined. If your dough is very sticky, you may want to add the additional Tablespoon of almond flour.
- Stir in 3 Tablespoons of the chopped chocolate.
- Scoop 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced. Roll using hands into a ball. Top each ball with a couple pieces of the remaining chocolate and press down to flatten slightly. Sprinkle with a little flaked sea salt.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (mine took 12) until the edges appear slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 10 minutes.
- Cookies will keep sealed at room temperature for several days, longer in the fridge. Best right out of the oven while the chocolate is warm and gooey.
Tips from The Kitchen Scout
For the salt, I use Maldon flaked sea salt. If your nut butter contains salt, use 1/4 teaspoon of the flaked salt in your dough. If your nut butter is salt free, use 1/2 teaspoon of the flaked salt in your dough.