Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies (grain and egg-free)

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookie

These are super easy and delectably delicious treats for both kids and adults alike. Since we’ve continued with our grain free way of life I’ve been proactively looking for some great recipes to experiment with. This one is a complete winner and is well worth sharing with you.

It uses almond and coconut flour, two of my favourite flours to bake delicious treats now. Both can easily be found at health food stores.

I love the texture of these cookies, with their melt in your mouth deliciousness.

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies (grain and egg-free) 

Makes 20-30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup ghee or coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup (or similar sweetener of choice)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Pecan halves (approximately 30 halves)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Place the pecan halves on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a large mixing bowl
  4. Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips
  6. Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays
  7. Place one toasted pecan half on top of the cookie dough ball and press down until it is lightly imbedded in the dough
  8. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing so they set – otherwise they will be too soft and may fall apart
  9. Place onto a cooling rack after a few minutes, when they’re set… they’re ready to be enjoyed with a hot cuppa or a glass of almond milk 🙂

Seven Layer Bars (Paleo Friendly)

Seven-Layer Slice

Yes, this slice has 7 layers! Am I crazy? Perhaps, but all I can say is that it is one of the most delicious Paleo gluten-free slices ever!

It was featured in the Paleo Magazine as one of the best treats for 2013!  So I had to give it a go and see whether it justified all the fuss, and I was not disappointed! It definitely deserves the prestigious award. Every crumb was delectably eaten up the first time I made it, and it didn’t last very long…

This slice does take a little work and time to prepare BUT it is worth every second! All I do is put on my favourite jazz tune and start the process.

In a nutshell the layers start with a gluten-free almond and coconut flour crust, topped with a richly delicious dark chocolate ganache, followed by a caramel sauce, then a crunchy layer of walnuts covered with a coconut cream, shredded coconut and finally a fine layer of dark chocolate chips.

I’ve slightly modified the original recipe because I found it was a little too sweet and I prefer to use dark chocolate but you can always find the original recipe here https://againstallgrain.com/2014/02/18/seven-layer-bars/

Seven Layer Bars

Makes 12 slices

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

  • 1⁄2 cup honey
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1⁄2 cup coconut milk
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Crust

  • 1∕3 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1⁄4 cup almond flour
  • 1⁄4 cup unsweetened applesauce (alternatively make your own, please see notes below)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (alternatively omit)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt

Ganache

  • 100 grams dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk

Coconut Cream

  • 3 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 6 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Toppings

  • 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1⁄4 cup finely dessicated coconut
  • 1⁄4 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. The Caramel Sauce: Add the honey to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, stir the pan occasionally. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in the ghee (or butter), coconut milk, and salt. Return to the heat and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  2. The Crust: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place all the crust ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until a dough forms. Press the dough into an 8-by-8-inch ovenproof dish. Bake for 10 minutes. remove and cool for 15 minutes.
  3. The Ganache: Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stir in the coconut milk then quickly spread the chocolate mixture over the crust (2nd layer done!)
  4. Pour cooled caramel sauce over the chocolate layer.
  5. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over the chocolate layer.
  6. The Coconut Cream: Place the coconut cream ingredients in a small bowl, whisk, and then drizzle over the walnuts.
  7. Sprinkle the dessicated coconut over the cream layer.
  8. Finish with a layer of chocolate chips.
  9. Place the bars in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then refrigerate for 1 hour to set. cut into 12 even bars.
  10. Enjoy!!!

Notes:

To make Apple Sauce: Use one medium green apple, peeled and cut into small cubes, bring to the boil in a small saucepan with 5 tablespoons of water for about 15 minutes until the apple softens. You can add cinnamon for a little taste, but not really required. Then simply transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. It’s now ready to be added to the crust!! I prefer to make my own!!

Paleo Double Choc Nut Espresso Bars

Paleo Double Chocolate Nut Espresso Bar

We’ve found some brilliant paleo recipes, and this one is one of them! This is recipe is egg, dairy, gluten and grain free! Yes!

These bars have a crunchy crust made of chopped pecans and almonds. Topping this delicious crust, is a silky smooth layer of dark chocolate with a mild coffee flavour and is topped off with mini dark chocolate chips. We make coffee the real Italian way of brewing coffee in an espresso pot, but you can use good instant coffee if you don’t have one.

These are a great arvo pick me up minus the nastiness of the usual chocolate bars and sugary sweets, plus you can make a batch and share the love with your colleagues at work….they’ll love you for it! Otherwise, you can keep it for yourself….they really are that good!

Paleo Double Choc Nut Espresso Bars

Makes approximately 16 squares

Preparation time: Approximately 30 minutes

Ingredients

Crust:
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Chocolate Layer
  • 1 400ml can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping
  • ½ teaspoon ground coffee
  • pinch of salt

Method

Crust:
  1. Line an 20x20cm pan with baking paper covering all four sides
  2. Mix all ingredients for the crust and evenly distribute across the bottom of the pan
  3. Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes
Chocolate Layer:
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk and honey to a light boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally. Do not cover the pan. You will know you cooked it long enough when the coconut milk is reduced to half and has a thicker consistency and darker color, similar to sweetened condensed milk
  2. Melt the chocolate chips
  3. Add ¾ cup of the cooked coconut milk to the melted chocolate along with the ground coffee and salt, then stir to combine
  4. Pour mixture over the crust and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C
  5. Remove from oven and set over a wire rack to cool slightly, then sprinkle top with chocolate chips
  6. Cut into squares and share or refrigerate

Please note: Time is needed to make this recipe as it takes a bit of time to simmer the coconut milk to a thick consistency.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten free Dark Chocolate Cookies

Yes, these taste as good as they look!

My partner and I have decided to try a gluten free diet, which has lead to following a paleo diet, and it has been a brilliant decision! If you’re not sure on what the paleo way of eating is please follow the link – What is Paleo?

I’m finding the switch one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, the food is delicious and absolutely healthy. I’ll be posting a few fantastic finds and experiments I’ve been trying.

These cookies are scrumptiously delicious and light 🙂

Makes 15-20 cookies, prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Almond flour
  • 5 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine dry ingredients, set aside
  4. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs, vanilla extract and honey with an electric hand mixer
  5. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
  6. Add the coconut oil and mix through, then add chocolate chips
  7. Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays, press down slightly
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden and cooked, transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

 

Gluten Free Kale and Goji Berry Brownies

Kale and Goji Berry Gluten free Brownie

Did someone mention Chocolate brownies? I think all chocolate lovers out there appreciate a great, moist, delicious brownie.

This recipe will make all brownie lovers smile because this recipe is not only divinely bowl licking tasty, but these chocolate brownies have additional health benefits! After sampling these brownies at a local health food store I decided that I was going to endevour to recreate the goodness that made our taste buds dance.

Goji berries have been praised for their nutritional qualities for more than 2,000 years, across the rural areas of China, Tibet and Mongolia. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E, all of which are essential for breaking down amino acids and fats, and converting carbs into energy.  They also contain as many as 22 minerals (including zinc, iron, copper, calcium and selenium) and 11 amino acids. Goji berries also contain 3% more protein than whole meat, and more iron than spinach.

The kale and goji berries enhance this brownie recipe and add a whole lot of wholesome goodness to what would normally be a treat. So when you eat these delicious pieces of yummyness, you don’t have to feel so guilty because it does contain some goodness!

Kale and Goji Berry Brownies

Makes 20 squares

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of Kale
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 200g dark chocolate (cooking)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 5cm deep, 20cm base square cake pan with non stick baking paper
  2. Wash the kale and pat dry. Gently tear the leafy portions away from the stem. Place kale in a steamer for 5 minutes or until wilted. Place the wilted kale into a food processor and puree the kale. Drain any excess liquid and set aside. There should be about 1 cup of kale at this point
  3. Melt the chocolate, butter and sugar gently over low heat, stirring until evenly melted and smooth. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl allowing it to cool slightly
  4. Add eggs, kale, and vanilla extract to chocolate mixture. Mix well
  5. Add the almond meal, goji berries and cacao powder and stir to combine but do not over mix
  6. Carefully pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until set
  7. Once slightly cooled, carefully lift brownies out of the pan and place onto a cooling rack
  8. Place into an airtight container overnight or for a few hours before cutting into squares
  9. No topping needed, enjoy the moist delicious brownies 🙂

Additional information:

Health Benefits of Eating Kale

Health Benefits of Goji Berries