Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Heart-Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been experimenting with creative ways to keep fun treats in our kitchen while staying within the boundaries of the heart healthy diet ordered by Don's cardiologist. I made these vegan chocolate chip cookies from a recipe in this month's Vegetarian Times Magazine. They were in a segment titled "Feed your Heart" containing recipes to get more heart healthy ingredients into your diet. These cookies have a walnut puree rather than butter and the recipe calls for any kind of vegan chocolate but I used vegan 75% Dark Swiss Chocolate from Trader Joe's. The cookies were wonderful! I loved the oat flour in place of the white flour and the rolled oats add a nice texture and solid base for this gooey cookie. Unfortunately it ended up being difficult to keep them too heart healthy because we found it completely impossible to eat just one.

2 cups walnuts
3 tbs canola oil
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup oat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
3 3.5 oz bars vegan chocolate (I recommend dark)

Preheat oven to 350

Blend walnuts in food processor 30 sec then add canola oil and blend 2-3 min more scraping down the sides of the food processor occasionally (texture should end up like that of a natural peanut butter). Transfer to bowl.

Whisk together brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring mixture to boil. Pour brown sugar mixture over ground walnut butter. And vanilla extract and stir until no lumps remain.

Whisk together oat flour , baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in separate bowl. Stir oat flour mixture into walnut mixture. Cool 10 minutes. Fold in oats then chocolate pieces.

Shape cookie dough into 2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on sprayed (or covered in parchment paper) baking sheets. Flatten cookies with the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in water. Bake 8-10 min (I found that mine only took about 7... maybe 8) or until cookies begin to brown and the tops look dry. Cool 3 min on baking sheets then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


These cookies were made to the sounds of Animal Collective's new album "Merriweather Post Pavilion". I kept skipping back to track 2 "My Girls". I was dancing all around the kitchen.

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