Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

I’ve got a confession to make.

I’ve been holding out on you…

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These are literally the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever make.

Would I ever lie you to?  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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Not to, uh, toot my own horn or anything but this recipe took home Best in Show in the Baked Goods competition at the Siskiyou County Fair.  This annual fair was just about the most exciting thing that happened to the little town I lived in nestled in the mountains of Northern California.  I uh, ruthlessly beat out 25 other sweet old grannies who probably brought cookie recipes that were handed down from generation to generation with my own snarky secretly healthier vegan chocolate chip cookies.  Alright, fine, not my shining moment, but I was pretty happy with that pretty big pink ribbon.

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All the butter that normally saturates a chocolate chip cookie is replaced with yummy antioxidant rich coconut oil.  The flour is a mix of 100% whole wheat and oats to create a nice dense and chewy texture. Toasted almonds are thrown in for added protein, fiber, and of course, flavor. These can absolutely be made gluten free by using all purpose gluten free flour and certified gluten free oatmeal.  I have made them this way, and they are still really good, but let’s get real….not AS good 🙂

HOWEVER, unless you want your cookie to taste like a gritty hockey puck of mule turd and chocolatey sand, make sure the oatmeal is instant and you’re not just throwing in old fashioned rolled oats. I have made this mistake a couple of times….no bueno, and although they do not actually take on the flavor of mule turd, the consistency is thrown way off.  I buy the little packets of regular unflavored instant oatmeal.  

Also, the brand of chocolate chips you buy will probably make or break the cookie.  I have used Nestle with sub par results….Ghirardelli is the best!

The egg that would normally bind these babies is actually replaced with chia seeds.  Have you ever used chia seeds in baking?  You mix chia seeds and water and they coagulate into a texture that’s almost identical to gooey eggs.  Ground flax seed/golden flax meal can also accomplish this.  This means you can eat as much raw cookie dough without any risk of getting ill!  Win for the cookie dough enthusiast! Big time fail for those skinny jeans hiding in the back of your closet.

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Mmmm chia.  You magical little seeds, you.  So crunchy.   So slimy.  So…versatile.  Full of omega 3’s, fiber, manganese, and phosphorus…can you say, “Cha-cha-cha-chia!!?”

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This cookie is just screaming, “eat meeeee.”

And who am I to argue?

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups instant oatmeal
  • 1 T soymilk or other non-dairy milk
  • 2 T vanilla extract
  • 2 chia or flax “eggs” —> (2 T chia seeds/ground flax seeds mixed with 6 T water)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Toast the almonds.  This amps up the flavor profile by a million!  Simply place in the oven on a baking sheet for 6-9 minutes or put almonds in a regular toaster oven until the nuts begin to turn a light brown color and release a toasted aroma.  Stir frequently and watch them like a hawk, they will burn within a matter of seconds.  Put down the chocolate chips and pay attention!  When sufficiently toasted, set aside.
  3. Create the “egg” by mixing together the 2 T of chia seeds or flax along with 6 T of water in a little bowl.  Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and brown sugar.  If the coconut oil is too hard, pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds until it is softened into the creamy consistency of butter.
  5. Add in the vanilla and non-dairy milk.  Beat in the “egg”
  6. Stir in the 3 cups of instant oats
  7. In a different bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  8. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and oats and mix well until a dough forms
  9. Add in the toasted almonds and chocolate chips
  10. Form dough into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.  I greased mine with coconut oil because I’m efficient like that.
  11. Bake cookies for a mere 9-10 minutes.  The trick with these cookies is to take them out of the oven just before they have fully cooked.  Something about the coconut oil will harden them if you bake them too long.  This preserves the softness we all love in a classic chocolate chip cookie.

 

I definitely went on a music downloading binge this past week, and congratulations, you have been selected to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  It was nearly impossible to pick the song to post up, but here it is!  As I was photographing the cookies outside in my beautiful garden, I felt so lucky to have the sun shining and the sky blue and the flowers around me in full bloom.  Having lived in other places, I truly do love California.  While some people on Facebook are whining about shoveling snow off their driveways, I was snapping pictures outside in the 80 degree weather.  On that note, I am quite the sucker for cover songs.  This is a fresh and extremely different take on 2Pac’s classic California Love by a band from Cleveland by the name of Somekindawonderful. Leave your window open while you bake and turn this up.

Sweet Potato Fudge Brownies

Someone brought it up to me the other day that my blog, The Savvy Sweet Potato, is thus far lacking any recipes containing sweet potato.  Uhh…what? Really? Completely shocked and utterly embarrassed, I figured I should remedy this situation with a recipe for brownies. Redemption at its sweetest:

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High in iron, B vitamins, magnesium, and carotenoids (cancer fighters/immune boosters), sweet potatoes, if you couldn’t already guess, are my absolute favorite vegetable.  This proclamation is huge, because I happen to love all vegetables on planet earth. Sweet potatoes take the cake though (or…brownie….see what I did there?) because they are just so versatile.  For instance, you can turn them into delicious fudgey brownies! I am not pullin your leg here. Read on.

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I have made this recipe several times with pretty good reviews from friends.  But, this time, I tweaked the recipe a bit and these brownies jumped from good to out of this world amazing.  They are made with such a simple list of delicious, nutritious ingredients that when I went to eat one (or three….) for dessert, I actually felt really energized and awake. This led me to the justification that I could eat one for breakfast…but moving on…

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The real game changer was toasting the almonds before I ground them and adding in cacao nibs.  What in the hell are cacao nibs, you ask?  Good question. They’re like the OG chocolate…basically they are just whole natural cocoa beans that have been mechanically split.  They are quite bitter on their own, but impart a rich chocolatey crunch when paired with something a little sweeter. They are packed full of anti oxidants, which is the reason any fashion magazine you read will tell you to eat a little chocolate now and again, it’s healthy for you. However, these little guys are only found in health food stores and can get pricey, so if you would like to make a switch-a-roo, I suggest adding in dark chocolate chips (preferably mini) and taking out the maple syrup. Toasting the almonds adds a layer of rich nutty smokey flavor and is a necessary step, in my humble opinion.

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Completely dairy, sugar, and gluten free, creamy sweet potatoes and caramel-like dates form the bulk of these delicious fudgey brownies.

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Adapted from Deliciously Ella

Sweet Potato Fudge Brownies

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat or brown rice flour
  • 14 medjool dates
  • 4 T cocoa powder or raw cacao
  • 3 T pure maple syrup (omit if using chocolate chips instead of cacao nibs)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs (or dark chocolate chips…nibs highly recommended)
  1. Start by toasting up them almonds.  Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees or put in toaster oven until browned and begin to omit a toasted aroma.  Stir frequently…careful not to burn!
  2. Once toasted up, put almonds food processor and grind until they become almost powdered. Set aside.
  3. Peel and dice the 2 sweet potatoes, then steam for about 20 minutes (they are done when you can poke them with a fork and they’re mushy) then add to food processor
  4. While the taters are steaming, the dates need to be softened.  Place the dates in a bowl of hot water (so water covers all dates) to soak for about 15 minutes, or if lazy like myself, place in bowl of water and microwave for 2-3 minutes.  Take out the pits and add to food processor.  Process dates/sweet potato mixture until crrrrreamy as possible
  5. Mix in bowl with ground almonds and remaining ingredients
  6. Grease a square baking dish with olive or coconut oil (or simply line with parchment paper) and spread batter into pan
  7. Sprinkle brownies with a little cocoa powder and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Brownies are done when pierced with a fork and the fork comes out dry.
  8. Let brownies cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.  I know this is complete torture, but I promise its a necessity so they have a chance to set. Do as I say and not what I do- be patient.
  9. Pair brownies with a big glass of milk (or soymilk….or almond milk….) and eat yo little sweet potato loving heart out.

Today’s song of choice is an oldie, but of course, a goody.  I have been listening to a lot of old music recently…lots of groovy rock n roll jams from the 60’s and 70’s as well as jazz and blues from the 40’s and 50’s.  Django Reinhardt was a French guitarist who helped develop a new style of jazz guitar due to the fact that two of his fingers were paralyzed and he could only play with his index and middle finger.  “Georgia on my mind” is a sweet little song that I have fallen in love with the last couple weeks.  Play this as you dip your brownie in that milk. Bon appetit!

Cacao Date Shake

Okay, so I solemnly swore not to make any dumb date puns on this post but the temptation is all too great.  And I just. can’t. resist.

…I’ve got a hot date tonight.

With my boyfriend  blender. And trust me, it’s going to be really, really good.  No awkward moments where you both pretend to reach for the bill.  You don’t have to laugh at his corny jokes. You don’t have to make out after you’ve scarfed down a salad filled to the brim with red onions.  Just sit…and sip.

Have you ever craved a chocolate milkshake? Umm…yeah, me too. Far too often than I care to admit.  As in liiiiiike…every day.  And this delicious shake satisfies that sweet tooth. I wouldn’t be posting it if it didn’t.  You think I’d be all up on here posting a weenie little vegan shake that tastes like chalk and rabbit pellet?  Absolutely not.

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This shake is made with bananas, almond milk, cacao/cocoa, and WOAH you guessed it, sweetened with dates.  I started experimenting with dates when I began cutting back on refined sugars in my baking.  Along with honey, maple syrup, and agave, it turns out making a paste from thick and chewy dates is a wonderful way to add a little natural sweetness. Dates, despite their off-putting wrinkly exterior (see off-putting photo above), are loaded with fiber, iron, potassium, and vitamins A and K.  Mix them up with the rest of the ingredients like potassium-loaded banana and fibrous chia seeds, and you’ve got pure unadulterated creamy dreamy chocolatey goodness that’s healthy, too.

Ladies can I get an amen.

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Aaaaaand it’s amazing topped with granola for a nice pre-sweat-inducing bicycle ride.

Cacao Date Shake

  • 3 Medjool dates (these are the stickier, sweeter type but really any type will do)
  • 2.5 T cacao (unsweetened cocoa powder will work beautifully too!)
  • 1 banana, frozen if possible
  • 1 cup almond milk, or other non dairy beverage like soymilk
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 4 or 5 ice cubes

The directions are about as simple as it gets:

  1. Add ingredients to blender….
  2. Blend.
  3. Are we following? Groovy.  But wait!  There is ONE exception: the dates!  You can either let them soak for 10 minutes in warm water or (if lazy like myself, read on) throw them in a bowl, cover with water, and microwave for about a minute or a minute and a half. Then take out the pits and add them in with everything else and blend, blend, blend away!
  4. If you have time to plan ahead, it is best to add the chia seeds to the nut milk and let them soak for a good 10 minutes.  Chia seeds are super absorbent little guys and they will thicken up the milk.  This shake is great plain, or you can put on your fancy pants and top it with almond butter, granola, or fresh fruit.
  5. Getcho’ sip on.

 

This sun is out, the birds are chirping…spring is definitely in the air….and all this talk of dates. And hot dates for that matter, or in my case, complete lack thereof.   Regardless, here’s a sweet little lovey dovey ditty by The Donkeys to soothe you while you stab the Blend button repeatedly. Happy Friday kids.