Chocolate Pecan Cookies

School is officially back in session here in Winston-Salem!  Although the new year technically starts in January, the new school year starts in August/September, always giving a sense of something new unfolding.  It's officially the end of summer and the beginning of something new. I am not a student, but still feel like I am on the cusp of starting something new. My birthday is in September so I will officially start a new year then as well.  Who knows what this next year will bring?  

Last week I was craving something chocolatey and decided to make these cookies. They are perfect to tuck into a lunch box, whether it is for school or work.   The recipe that inspired these was a hazelnut, goji berry cookie.  I  don't like either but the technique worked perfectly with pecans as the nut and chocolate chips as the mix in.  These taste strongly of chocolate but are not very sweet, containing only a little maple syrup.  They are gluten free and can easily be made dairy free using coconut oil instead of butter.  I think the eggs are essential to their success so they are not vegan. All said, I think they are a very healthy cookie, and one you can eat without guilt.  The nuts and eggs with the low sugar content mean you won't get a blood sugar spike. Have a couple for breakfast if you're short on time.  They are really delicious with hot tea or coffee. 

Last week I made a new friend at church!  Yay!  She moved to Winston Salem last summer, also to be closer to family.  We have a lot in common and it felt so nice to meet someone I connected with.  She invited me to go to the Winston Salem Open semi-finals on Friday.  I have never seen tennis players that good up close.  I loved it.  I could finally see the spin on the ball and the strategy that expert players use.  It was a beautiful night, a great match, and really fun to be out with a new friend. 

In other totally boring news, a hydrangea I planted last fall is blooming.  Pink, not blue but still pretty.  In cat news, my boys have been taking turns playing with and laying on a plastic bag that somehow landed on the floor.  Cats are so weird. I put this nice arrangement of hydrangeas on my buffet in the dining room.  Unfortunately Red thinks they are for his personal entertainment and he has taken two out to play with, leaving petals all over the house.  I think he has finally tired of them and I still have enough for a nice dried flower arrangement.  We have had a string of typlcal summer days with late afternoon thunderstorms, leaving us with mushrooms everywhere! And lastly, last week I went to Thursday night free music at Old Salem.  Great music with Evan and Dana, a local duo.  You can check out their demo video below. 

And lastly before the recipe, here is a poem for you.  As you know I am a Coldplay groupie, and this is a poem that inspired Chris Martin to write many of the songs on their new record.  Part of this poem is included on the album and in the concerts.  Such a gift. 

https://kaylatselmft.com/2015/01/22/the-guest-house-by-rumi/

https://kaylatselmft.com/2015/01/22/the-guest-house-by-rumi/

So that is all for today.  I hope you make the cookies.  They are delicious! 

Chocolate Pecan Cookies

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Keywords: bake snack dessert gluten-free vegetarian cocoa pecans cookie

Ingredients (12 - 18 cookies)

    Dry ingredients
    • 2 cups toasted pecans
    • 1/3 cup cacao powder (unsweetened)
    • 3 Tbsp coconut flour
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    Wet ingredients
    • 4 Tbsp cold butter or coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    • 2 large organic eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.

    Place the pecans in a food processor. Pulse into a fine meal. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Pulse to combine.

    Add the butter or coconut oil and pulse to combine. Add the maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla and process to combine. Remove the bowl from the food processor, and remove the blade. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

    Let the dough sit in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. The dough will be wet and will seem more like a thick brownie batter than a firm cookie dough. Using a small or medium scoop, portion the dough onto the cookie sheets. With a wet hand, gently flatten each cookie. Bake for 12 -15 minutes, until firm and slightly dry looking. Let rest on the pan for about 2 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cook completely.

    Note: substitute dried fruit for the chocolate chips if desired.

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