I had an intense chocolate craving. With the fall season quickly approaching here in Korea, all I’ve been wanting to do is bake!!! The cold weather gets me down, and I am missing home this autumn season. This is my fourth fall in South Korea. Suddenly, the thought of another holiday season here, the lack of Halloween candy in the stores, the absence of the excitement at the beginning of the holiday season…it’s all just kind of gotten to me more this year. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older?! Maybe it’s part of the post-competition blues (still)?! Whatever it is, I know one thing for sure: my toaster oven is quickly (and dangerously) becoming my best friend.
While Googling gluten-free cookie recipes, I stumbled across one that used all of the “natural” ingredients I’ve been wanting to incorporate: PB2 (my powdered natural peanut butter), Nestle’s unsweetened cocoa powder, agave nectar, and chocolate chips. I found great new blog (!) called loveveggiesandyoga.com. It was originally dedicated to vegan food and yoga, but now Averie, the author, has shifted the focus to desserts. Its name officially now is “Averie Cooks”. Here’s the link: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/. Thanks to Averie for sharing the original recipe. I used her recipe, substituting agave for both the white and brown sugars. I wasn’t sure how the recipe would turn out, so I made half batch (about 10 small cookies). For a full batch, just double the recipe. Here it is:
– 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used PB2, but Averie used Natural JIF in hers–something I can’t get in Korea)
– less than 1/2 cup agave sweetener
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chocolate chips
– 1 egg white
1) I first had to “make” the peanut butter, which consists of combining PB2 natural peanut butter powder with water. It took about 6-7 tablespoons to make 1/2 cup. Put the peanut butter, cocoa powder, agave, and vanilla into the bowl. Use the egg white of one regular-size egg by separating it. Mix all ingredients together.
2) After all ingredients are mixed well, add in your chocolate chips and stir.
*Averie suggested putting the dough into the freezer to make a thicker, fluffier cookie. I wasn’t sure if my dough would work properly with the substitutions. It looked a bit runny, so I stuck it in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes while I baked a “test cookie”. It worked!
3) Drop cookies by the spoonful or roll into 1-inch balls and place them onto the cookie sheet. I greased mine with grapeseed oil. I made these cookies bite-sized, but you can make them bigger if desired.
4) Bake at 350 Fahrenheit (I put mine at just above 200 Celsius) for 10-12 minutes. I found 10 minutes was the perfect amount of time. As Averie suggests, watch the cookies carefully! Because they are dark chocolate, it is hard to tell when they are done versus when they are burnt!
These cookies were rich and delicious. I was happy that they turned out well with all of my substitutions. I recommend them for anyone who is craving chocolate. The bite-size portions were perfect as well. I’m curious to hear how other people’s experiences are. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/08/flourless-chocolate-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies.html.