Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sweet Tooth Saturday – Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


My alarm went off at 4:35 AM this morning. I was tagging along with Maria on the long run she was doing with a local triathlon training group at Clearwater Beach. We ran 13 miles at a pace that should have felt comfortable, but I’ve noticed that whenever I spend a few days running in a cooler climate, my first few runs back in the Florida heat and humidity feel a lot more challenging. Regardless, it was a beautiful run; I will never, ever get tired of watching the sun come up over the water, and it was a great way to kick off my three day weekend.

Because today’s run took quite a bit out of me, I wanted to go the easy route when it came to baking. And since both Cesar and I are still recovering from all the delicious food we ate while on vacation in Minnesota, I wanted to bake something slightly less decadent. Whenever I want to make something healthy but still delicious, I turn to Clean Eating Magazine. It is my favorite cooking magazine. I’ve introduced so many new foods into my diet since I started reading it, a number of the recipes have unique flavor combinations that I probably never would have thought of on my own, and best of all, I can feel good about eating anything from its pages. Today’s treat ended up being these cookies with a few minor changes. I used Archer Farms Almond, Peanut & Cashew butter (love this stuff!) in place of the almond butter, added a teaspoon of vanilla, and used Lindt Dark Chocolate with a Touch of Sea Salt for the chocolate.

baked cookies 2

While these cookies are definitely a treat, as far as cookies go, they could be much worse. They contain no flour, no dairy, and rather than white sugar, they call for Sucanat. Sucanat is dehydrated sugar cane juice which retains 100% of the molasses from the sugar cane (hence the golden brown cookies) as well as small amounts of some vitamins and minerals. I like to tell myself that it’s better for me than white sugar, although it is still sugar when it comes down to it. The nutritional value of these cookies aside, they taste darn good. They are rich and nut-buttery, and since they have no flour, they almost melt in your mouth. I have two hints if you decide to bake these – use a high quality nut butter and chocolate bar. Since these cookies have so few ingredients, I think it’s important not to skimp on what you put in them. Secondly, do not over bake them. The recipe calls for 10 – 12 minutes in the oven; I let the first batch go for 12 minutes, and that was too long. I pulled the second batch out just before 10 minutes was up, and they were perfect.

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