Double Chocolate Olive Oil Sea Salt Sandwich Cookies (Vegan, Gluten Free)
I'm in Montana. This is a completely different world to me, where the sky goes on and on and on. The air is dry. Grasshoppers jump and click as you stomp through trails. Everything smells of pine and cut wood. Rain is an event here, and everyone stops what they're doing to watch a storm roll in like a thick blanket over a twenty mile stretch. What's a drizzle to us in Virginia is a storm in Helena. And what I thought were mountain peaks in Virginia are rolling hills compared to this state's sharp upward inclination of rock.
This is a small town, Helena. The type of place where the local library is an attraction (or maybe I'm just attracted to libraries?). In the Fall and Winter snow drifts along the roads and creeps up the houses. The state doesn't scrape the snow out of the streets, so folks snowshoe to work or put chains on their tires. I met some folks who half-jokingly told me that the reason there are so many breweries and distilleries in Montana is because in the snow all anyone wants to do is drink. That and it helps keep your blood from freezing.
There's a certain sense of Wild West here that I've never experienced before. The government is hands off and careful about spending, and that's how people like it. There's tons of elbow room, house to house, street to street. The main strip used to be one of those desert streets you see in cowboy movies, shops with wide overhangs all linked together in a line. This is gold country, and used to have the highest number of millionaires per capita in the entire country. There's an odd mansion district of big brick houses surrounded by much smaller, newer suburban homes that found their place after the gold dust had settled. You can find copper and steel statues of bucking horses and men panning for gold commemorating what once was. And then you find an old indian cave on your leisurely hike and get to fantasizing about a world that will never be again -- cowboys vs. indians. But in real life.
These cookies have been on the back burner for about a week, just waiting to pop into internet existence. With all of my traveling it's been hard to find a spare moment to give these cookies a thought. I've been thinking that perhaps these cookies are too rich and decadent for August, but then again Australians might really dig these right about now. Dark chocolate, salt, and olive oil melt together, an interchange between dark and bright. It's best to pair a fruity, nutty olive oil with chocolate. A Spanish or Portuguese olive oil is a safe bet.
If you're looking to switch it up a bit, a coconut whipped cream or ice cream between these cookies would make these lighter for Summer. I think a lemon coconut ice cream would blow this out of the water.
Double Chocolate Olive Oil Sea Salt Sandwich Cookies
Olive Oil Sea Salt Chocolate Cookies
- 1 chia egg (3 tablespoons chia + 6 tablespoons water)
- ¾ cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup white rice flour
- ½ cup arrowroot
- ⅔ cup evaporated cane sugar + ½ cup
- ½ cup unsweet cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 4.5 ounces or 130 grams bittersweet chopped chocolate
- 6 tablespoons heavy coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons honey or agave
- 3 tablespoons tahini (or any nut butter that you like)
For the Cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease lightly with coconut or olive oil. Set aside.
- Make your chia egg: combine chia seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside to hydrate for at least 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sorghum, white rice flour, arrowroot, ¾ cup sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the olive oil, chia egg, apple cider vinegar, and almond or vanilla extract and stir to combine until your cookie dough comes together.
- Add ½ cup sugar to a small plate. To shape the cookies, spoon out tablespoon sized rounds of dough, roll into balls, and press gently between your palms to flatten. Coat both sides of each cookie with sugar and then place the cookies on your baking sheets with about an inch between each cookie. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the pan, and then bake for 7 minutes more. Let cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheets.
- Spoon a tablespoon of ganache on the flat side of a cookie. Top with a second cookie. Press gently down on the top cookie to help the ganache spread evenly between the cookies. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
For the Chocolate Ganache
- Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat coconut milk, honey/agave, and tahini in a butter warmer or small pot until simmering. Pour the hot milk mixture over the chopped chocolate, stir once, and let sit 1 minute. Whisk together until the mixture is smooth.