Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies

  Well folks, I back from a lengthy hiatus due to this precious little gem that joined our family on April 16th:

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Little Ben totally lights up my life and is such a bundle of joy.  Our family praises God for such a precious gift and we are all totally in love.   But, as much as I’d like to think you came to drool over the baby, I’m guessing you’re here for the food.  So let’s talk cookies!

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   Now and again I have a craving for a really good cookie.   You know the kind I’m talking about…chewy, moist and loaded with chocolate.  The problem is that most of the cookies I’ve tried that use gluten free flour have been sort of lackluster, dry and grainy.  Little did I know that the secret to a delicious gluten free cookie was not to use flour at all!  Instead, a base of almond meal creates a chewy and totally satisfying morsel of goodness.  I’ve made these cookies twice and my kids loved them.  The second time I made them, we shared them with friends and got equally rave reviews.   And a giant bonus is that they contain no dairy ingredients and are sweetened only lightly with honey.  It’s one of those rare healthy-ish foods that doesn’t taste healthy.  It’s also a flexible recipe and you can adjust the add-ins to your tastes.  These are definite winners in my book!

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Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies (makes 2 dozen)

Ingredients:

3 cups almond flour, sifted

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup dried cherries

1/4 tsp salt 

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 Tbsp melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the chocolate chips and cherries.  In a separate bowl, stir honey, coconut oil and vanilla together (you may need to microwave for just a few seconds in order to get them to liquefy).  Add the egg and whisk until combined.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed.  Scoop the cookies into tablespoon size balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Gently flatten them with your hand.  Bake for 15 minutes and cool for at least 5 minutes before enjoying.  

 

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Blueberry Crisp

Once upon a time my oldest daughter LOVED frozen blueberries.  She ate them like candy. So, my mother-in-law and I washed, sorted and froze 30 pounds (yes really, 30 pounds!!!) of organic blueberries.  And wouldn’t you know it, right about that time that my daughter decided she didn’t like them anymore.  This meant that 30 pounds of blueberries were relegated to my chest freezer where they have been hanging out for over a year.

Recently, my mother in law gave me this book by Shauna Niequist and I figured it had to be good because it was about food.  I didn’t make it very far before I wanted to try the blueberry crisp recipe recorded at the end of the first chapter.  You can imagine my excitement when I found a healthy, gluten free version of a blueberry crisp, which promised to use at least two of those 30 pounds of berries.

This crisp is rich and sweet enough for dessert, but virtuous enough to enjoy for breakfast.    Start with about 2 pounds of blueberries, almond meal, pecans, coconut oil, maple syrup and gluten free oats.Image

Pour the berries in an 8″ glass baking dish and then put all other ingredients in a food processor until everything is finely chopped and well combined.

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Spread the crisp topping over the blueberries and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the berries or bubbly and the crisp topping is golden brown.

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Enjoy warm or at room temperature, alone or with ice cream or yogurt.  Any way you slice it, it’s delicious!

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Blueberry Crisp (adapted from Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist)

Ingredients

4 cups blueberries

1 cup gluten free oats

1/2 pecans

1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 c coconut oil

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour blueberries into an 8″ pan.  Place all other ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and well combined.  Spoon the topping over the blueberries and bake for 45 minutes or until the berries are bubbly and the crisp is golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature.