Almond, cacao and peanut butter cookies

I can’t claim this recipe. I can’t even claim having found this recipe. The thing is, my friend who shared the love my way doesn’t have a food blog of her own (though the way she cooks, she should) so I feel it’s my duty to in turn share the love to you lot…whomsoever you lovely bunch are.

I’m constantly on the hunt for ‘treats’ which house relatively sound levels of goodness, both so that I don’t feel pangs of guilt every time I reach for the cookie jar, but also so I can have some control over the level of sugar which hits the thirsty veins of my threenager on a daily basis. Trouble is that most of the time I make something in the ‘vaguely healthy’ treat category she can sniff it out from a mile off and turns her picky little nose up at it.

These cookies, blessedly, have achieved the seemingly unachievable…being miraculously delicious and healthy at the same time. The original recipe is also very malleable which means you can tweak to your heart’s content depending on how you’re feeling on any given day and what’s in the pantry. You can roll them in sesame seeds or desiccated coconut or just leave them nude (as Thea demands). I’ve used liquid honey, brown rice syrup and pure maple syrup as the sweetener on various occasions. Maple and honey will yield a sweeter cookie if that’s what you fancy. Use all peanut butter, all tahini or a mix of the two. Leave out the cacao and chocolate and the recipe will be close to the original.

I’ve never made Elana’s recipe in its original form (though I have no doubt they’re great). I made a few little changes in the desperate hope my daughter would go for them and go for them she did. So…cook them à la original or mix it up a bit and get creative. Either way this recipe is a keeper. They’re regulars in the cookie jar now, which is almost always half-empty.

Makes approx 16 cookies (plus a little extra for eating raw…don’t deny yourself the pleasure).

1 1/4 cups ground almonds (almond meal)
2 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch sea salt
30g dark chocolate (I like to use 85% dark) – finely chopped
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup mix of tahini and peanut butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sesame seeds (or desiccated coconut)

1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line an oven tray with baking paper.
2. Combine the ground almonds, cacao, baking soda and sea salt in a mixing bowl along with the chopped chocolate.
3. Put the honey, tahini, peanut butter, coconut oil and vanilla in a separate bowl and stir well to combine.
4. Tip the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well to bring together into a dough.
5. Roll portions of the dough into walnut-sized balls (approx 20g each) then roll in the sesame seeds to coat well.

6. Place on the lined oven tray and flatten just slightly with a fork to about 1cm thick (they spread a bit while cooking). Bake for 10-12 minutes in the middle of the oven (too low/high and they will burn). I like these nice and crispy so tend to bake to 12 minutes but if you prefer them a little chewy, err on the side of caution and aim for 10 minutes. My oven is a little temperamental so to ensure they cook evenly I rotate the tray half-way through the cooking time.

7. Remove from the oven and gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

15 thoughts on “Almond, cacao and peanut butter cookies

  1. Stunning! I was actually looking for a recipe to use up some of the ground almonds I have sitting on my kitchen shelves. Funnily enough I have every single ingredient required for it at home RIGHT NOW. Looks like fate!

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