Chocolate Chip Cashew Butter Cookies with Turmeric, Teff, and Dried Apple
I open the oven. Hot air floods over my face, scented with woodsy turmeric and sweet cinnamon. A tray of orange cookies bakes on the top rack. The chocolate chips settle into the cookie dough, glossy and melting. I turn the tray from front to back, then settle it on the lowest rack.
5 minutes later, I have maple-sweetened cookies in my hands. Chewy, autumnal, chocolate flecked rounds. Steam spins up from my mug of herbal tea, sitting on my side table. I watch streams of rain roll down the living room windows. Soft, dusty folk music plays in the background.
Music is a big part of my life. It's currently in hobby status. Although I admit I occasionally day dream that I'm a musician, in my own project. Currently, I play in a friends project as a backup singer and drum noodler. I'm learning guitar. That same muse that wakes me up from reverie, whispering ideas for black sesame donuts, she also plants songs in my head.
Or maybe I've got two muses, asking me to play. It's hard to tell the difference when they're dropping ideas and melodies into my minds eye.
I used to spend all of my free time looking for new music, making playlists for my friends, going to shows, or attending open mics. My computer crashed the Summer I graduated from college. I lost all of my music. I remember shrugging my shoulders and thinking, "thanks for the love, music library. I guess it's time for something else."
That's the same year I taught myself both gluten-free baking techniques and how to make chocolate from bean to bar.
I was driving with my friend Angel recently and she still has a couple of those mix CDs I made her in college. Most of them are scratched and skip. But it reminded me of how much love I put into those CDs. For each person, for each mood.
You guys. I made you a playlist. It’s something I’ve been listening to while I make dinner. It’s dancey and has a smattering of some of my favorites (The Dodos, Beirut, Devotchka) and lots of new-to-me songs (Empress Of, Sleepwalkers, Vacationer). I hope you like it. I like you. Get the playlist here.
These cookies. They’re a brain wave. I’ve been feeling inspired to cook with turmeric, lately. I love its vibrant color, subtle flavor, potent healing properties. And as it’s getting cooler out, Logan and I have been craving post-dinner treats. That usually means a date or two, maybe a handful of chocolate chips. I've been craving something a little more complex, toothsome, and rich. So into the oven went this sunny orange cookie dough. And out of it came dessert like piled sunsets.
Toasted cashew butter mixed with maple syrup imparts a white-chocolate-like flavor. The chopped apple rings are chewy and subtly sweet. I threw chocolate chips in there because what is a cookie without chocolate? Spiced with cinnamon, vanilla, and turmeric, they scream autumn.
The main flours in these gluten free chocolate chip cashew butter cookies are sweet white rice flour (michoko) and teff, an ethiopian seed-grain. Mochiko offers a glutinous quality that makes the cookies chewy. Teff is packed with protein, iron and calcium. It even contains thiamin (vitamin B1) and all 8 essential amino acids. Teff gives the cookies a nutritional heft. I'm always trying to slip good-for-you ingredients in my treats. Mostly so I can feel good about scarfing 5 of said treats in a row.
I can proudly say I ate these all day long and felt great and it was delicious through and through.
This recipe is adapted from the genius Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet. Alanna is an ex-pastry chef and knows her way around a cookie. So, go high five her for coming up with the original recipe. I simply tweaked it to my liking, including rad things like cashew butter, turmeric, apple rings (madness!), and some flour substitutions.
Chocolate Chip Cashew Butter Cookies with Turmeric, Teff, and Dried Apple (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Dessert - Author: - Renee Byrd (Will Frolic for Food) - Prep time: 25 mins - Cook time: 20 mins - Total time: 45 mins - Serves: 32 2 inch cookies - Adapted only slightly from The Bojon Gourmet's Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies (she's the real genius behind this recipe!).
1/2 cup (80 grams) sweet white rice flour (mochiko)
1/2 cup (70 grams) teff flour
1/2 cup (50 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (40 grams) oat flour (I grind whole rolled outs in a blender until fine)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1 cup (225 grams) toasted cashew butter
6 tablespoons melted but cool coconut oil
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (240 grams) maple syrup
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, preferably 60% dark or higher
1/2 cup apple rings, chopped roughly
Position a rack in the upper third and lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 375F.
Line two or three large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the the dry ingredients: sweet white rice flour, teff flour, old fashioned rolled oats, oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, turmeric, and cinnamon.
In the bowl of a high powered blender, combine the *cashew butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy.
[i]If you're wet mix is really warm, chill it for 10-15 minutes in the fridge.[/i]
Pour the wet mix into the dry mix, scraping out the bowl of the blender completely.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together vigorously for about 30 seconds (this promotes the glutinous quality in the mochiko flour and makes the cookies chewy).
Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped apple rings.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out heaping mounds of dough and roll them into balls between the palms of your hands. Space the cookie dough about 2 inches apart on your parchment lined baking sheets. Continue until all of the dough has been used up.
Place one tray on the top rack of the oven and another on the bottom rack. Bake for 10 minutes total, turning the trays from front to back and top to bottom after 5 minutes.
Remove the cookies from the oven. Continue this process with a third sheet if you have it.
Let cool completely to room temperature before handling. The cookies will seem soft, crumbly and brittle if you handle them before they're cool. But once cool they hold together, pliable and chewy.
Enjoy (and share!) immediately. Or store cooled cookies in a ziplock or other airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
*To make your own cashew butter: Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread 1 cup (225 grams) cashews out on a large baking sheet. Bake cashews for 10 minutes on the top rack, shaking the pan once half way through. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before handling. Add the cashews to the bowl of a high powered blender. Blend on high up to 3-5 minutes (I like to add the melted coconut oil here after 3 minutes and blend further). Then continue with step 4. [br]Prep time includes the time it takes to make the cashew butter.[br]Cook time includes the time it takes to bake three trays of cookies.