It doesn’t get better than this: warm and wintery chestnut flour, dark chocolate smashed into chunks, and toasted hazelnuts that retain their crunch. They’re big, which means they’re satisfying. One is (or should be) enough.
These could well be a hit during the Festive Season. This batch makes 20, so you could pop them into cellophane bags, tie them with a ribbon and give them as a sweet Paleo treat.
They’re dead easy to make. Do it in the food processor fixed with the blade, but don’t overdo it or the hazelnuts will turn to butter. You want them left in pieces – that’s one third of the satisfaction.
Another third of the satisfaction comes from the chocolate chunks. I use Lindt 85% because it’s the best quality I can find here, but if you can find organic, raw, whatever, than go with it. Keep it as dark as you can. And make sure the melted butter or coconut butter has cooled a little before adding it all together, because if the cookie dough is warm then the chocolate chunks will melt. Not what you want.
And the last third of the satisfaction comes from the texture – the powdery quality of the chestnut flour, and the quantity of butter gives the cookies a bite and crumble and soft crunch that rocks the Kasbah. And they dip well into coffee.
They’re so good that they come with a warning. It is easy to overdo one’s daily ‘sweet’ ration with these. Too easy. We sort of go: one after breakfast, one after lunch, and one after dinner. Hmmm. That’s well over the advice I offer in 10 Ways to Keep the Sugar Dragon Under Control. Then again, we’ve never professed to Paleo saints, and don’t expect anyone else to be, either. It’s the Silly Season! Enough that these are grain free, with a low dose of unrefined sugar, and contain the gentle nuts. Hazelnuts and chestnuts shouldn’t send your Omega 3 / Omega 6 levels off balance, and the small amount of Muscovado Sugar in each cookie shouldn’t give you an insulin rush. Whether they open the floodgate and send your Sugar Dragon out of control… I offer no promises. Do your best. And maybe plan a Whole 30 for January!
- 100 grams butter or coconut butter
- 100 grams dark chocolate 85%
- 1 cup chestnut flour
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
- ¼ cup muscovado sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180°C /350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
- Melt the butter or coconut butter over a low heat. Allow to cool.
- Using a sharp kitchen knife, crack the chocolate into chunks about the size of pumpkin seeds.
- Place the chestnut flour, cassava flour, baking powder and hazelnuts into the food processor fitted with the blade, and pulse until well mixed. Don't over process.
- Add the egg and the butter, and process, adding water 1 tablespoon at at time until the dough starts to form a ball. Keep an eye on it - the hazelnuts should be broken into small bits, but not turned into butter.
- Take the blade out of the processor, and mix in the chocolate chunks, using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula.
- Take the dough out, and divide it into 20 balls. Place the balls onto the baking sheet and press them into cookie shapes, using a fork to create decorative stripes.
- Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes.
- Enjoy... One at a time!
What treats are you baking for Christmas? Have you come up with cunning ways to Paleofy your old family favourites? Do share!
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Best wishes, Good Health… and Stay Calm