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Adventures in Paleo Baking: Cookies

The doughLet's flash back to 2010.  My favorite food was bread - particularly this whole wheat bread that I baked myself with rosemary olive oil and honey that I brought back from Greece.  I'd make these eggplant sandwiches that were to die for.  My favorite day of the week was, naturally, Friday.  And Friday's were even sweeter twice a month when my law firm would serve up fresh baked cookies.  The cart would stop by my office at around 3:30, I'd dive into some gooey goodness and know that the weekend was just around the corner.

And then I went paleo.  Goodbye grains.  Goodbye sugars.  Goodbye legumes.  Goodbye (most) dairy. 

It started as an experiment.  People at CrossFit Metropolis were doing a 60 day challenge.  I went for it thinking I'd crack after 4 or 5 days max.  But I didn't.  And, at the end of the 60 days, I knew I'd never go back to eating how I had before.  I just felt too good.  Foods that had seemed "clean" and "healthy" before suddenly seemed downright toxic. 

A year and half later, I don't focus on what I'm not eating.  I focus on the good protein, the nuts, the avocados, the veggies and the fruit.  I spoil myself with quality foods. 

That said, I'm not 100% strict.  If I'm eating out, I don't ask what's in the sauce.  I don't ask what type of oil they're using in the kitchen.  I'm just not that girl.

And, yes, sometimes I stray.  But while corn or rice based foods tempt me, ice cream tempts me and really good cheese tempts me - I can't bring myself to go for wheat-based baked goods any more.  They kill my stomach.

Every now and then, I try a recipe for a paleo desert.  I've had mixed luck.  Banana "ice cream" is hands down my favorite.  (And it's the easiest.  Cut up and freeze bananas.  Then blend them in a blender.  Ta-da!  Sometimes I add some organic cocoa powder.)  Avocado chocolate mousse - disgusting despite a lot of effort to make it work. 

This morning, I made paleo chocolate chip cookies.  I worked with BakerGal's recipe, which she developed after trying out a bunch of recipes she'd found. 

BakerGal's ingredients are: 5 oz finely ground blanched almond flour (but not Bob's Red Mill), 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 cup raw agave nectar, 1/8 cup macadamia nut oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips.  (I know this isn't perfectly paleo, but for a cookie recipe, it's pretty dang close.)

Testing the resultsI didn't use Bob's Red Mill almond flour, but I don't think Eli's is much more finely ground.  Also, BakerGal suggests weighing out 5 oz of the flour - but I just didn't have the patience, so I used the 1 1/4 cups equivalent.  I used 1/4 cup honey and 2 tsps water in place of the agave - mainly because I have honey and prefer it.  I couldn't find macadamia nut oil, so I went with hazelnut instead.  I used Ghirardelli's 60% dark chocolate chips.

Once I had my ingredients lined up, it was simple.  Preheat to 325.  Mix dry.  Mix wet.  Combine.  Add chips.  Lay the cookies and flatten them on parchment paper.  Bake for 6 minutes.

The batter was delicious and the cookies turned out great.  Yes, they are soft and tear easily - but nowhere near as bad as other almond flour cookies I've tried.  (I think I might take BakerGal's advice and weigh the flour next time to see if that helps.)

The only real issue I'm having is that the cookies and chips - while yummy on their own - don't taste quite right together.  I may skip the chips altogether next time, and make smaller cookies so the tear factor isn't as bad.  I'm getting an idea for mini banana "ice cream" sandwiches...

I'll keep you posted.

-Gym Belle-


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    Great page, Maintain the excellent work. Thank you so much.
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    Adventures in Paleo Baking: Cookies - Blog - Gympressions

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