When I think of cookies I always think about what children can eat, because “cookies” to me always conjure up images of a sweet treat. But I also love savoury, so this week I wanted to make a cookie that allowed me to enjoy a “treat” pandering to my savoury tastes.
This cookie is definitely not “sweet” … the cocoa nibs give a slight bittersweet note, but I do love them for the crunch and the flavour they offer. Cocoa nibs can be an issue for some … I know when people first try them they expect a lovely sweet chocolate flavour, but cocoa nibs are taken straight from inside the cocoa bean and are raw (usually!), without anything added. So they are bitter, but if you get a good quality product (I use these) and bake them, then magic happens and the chocolatey flavour within them is more evident.
I have tried these cookies with quinoa flakes instead of oats, maple syrup instead of honey, raw cacao powder instead of Dutch cocoa powder (I prefer Dutch), raw almonds or dry roasted peanuts instead of sunflower seeds, and they are all perfect. I am sticking with the sunflower seeds due to allergy in our family, but I adore nuts and if I was making these as a gift then I would definitely use nuts instead.
In terms of linseeds (also known as flaxseeds) I used golden as that is what I had, but you can use brown or golden (see here for more information).
I decided to drizzle the cookies with some dark chocolate and as I didn’t need a lot I used the microwave … to ensure that it is “tempered” just melt 50% of the chocolate in your container, then stir continuously without heat until the balance of the chocolate melts by which time your chocolate should be tempered.
For chocolate I generally have on hand Callebaut (see here), but when I don’t I like to use Whittakers (see here) 50% Cocoa Dark Chocolate or 72% Cocoa Dark Ghana Chocolate as I find them excellent too. And as an added bonus for those that are dairy free, any of the Whittakers dark chocolate bars over 50% cocoa are dairy free, although the chocolate is processed on the same production line as all their other chocolate (see their FAQ section on their website for more details).
I have added 3 tsp of chilli flakes which gives these cookies a good subtle “hit” so I would suggest to stick to this for your first bake, and then increase this amount later if you wish.
- 100g linseeds
- 100g raw almonds, dry roasted peanuts, or sunflower seeds for nut free
- 200g rolled oats, or quinoa flakes for gluten free
- 200g Medjool dates (pitted weight – about 12)
- 70g raw cacao nibs
- 100g honey, or maple syrup
- 100g coconut oil
- 50g filtered water
- 1 tbls Dutch cocoa powder, or raw cacao powder
- 3 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I use callets)
- extra sea salt flakes and chilli flakes for sprinkling over chocolate
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees fan forced, and line two trays with baking paper
- Put linseeds and almonds (or dry roasted peanuts or sunflower seeds) into TM bowl and mill 10 seconds/speed 7
- Add the rest of ingredients and mix 10 seconds/speed 7 using your spatula to help move mix around
- Scrape around bowl, and repeat 10 seconds / speed 6 using spatula to assist again
- Mix should stick together when pressed with your fingers
- Place ingredients into a separate bowl so that it is easier to work with, and have another bowl with water to dip your tablespoon measure into (and also your fingers when they get a little sticky)
- Dip tablespoon into the water, then mixture, then place mixture into your hands and roll into a ball
- Place cookies onto baking tray and continue with the rest of mixture, dipping your spoon into the water as you go so that you can remove the mix easily from it
- When all the cookies are on the tray wet your fingers and press down on the biscuits to flatten them (I like to leave a little middle imprint of where my two fingers were but you can flatten them completely if you like)
- Bake one tray at a time for 10 minutes, then turn tray around and bake for another 10 minutes (this will bake the cookies so that they are firm which is what I like, but if you prefer them to be less firm bake for just an extra 8 minutes ... they will soften ever so slightly over the coming days but I do like a bit of "chew")
- Remove tray from oven and allow biscuits to cool 5 minutes before placing onto cooling tray to cool completely
- Once cool drizzle cookies with chocolate, sea salt and chilli flakes
- Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper
- For ease of piping the chocolate over the cookies place a snap lock sandwich bag into a mug with the corner of the bag facing into the base of the mug
- With the small amount of chocolate needed I tempered the chocolate by placing 150g in a small plastic container in the microwave (glass retains the heat too much) using short bursts of 20 second intervals, stirring after each burst until half the chocolate is melted, and then continue stirring without heat until the balance of the chocolate is melted
- Pour the melted chocolate into the bag and seal ensuring you remove the air first so that you can clasp the bag properly
- Remove the bag from the mug, and use one hand to clasp the bag around the top leaving the tip end that was facing down in the mug, facing upright
- Snip off the tip of the bag, then face it down towards the cookies and drizzle chocolate over them
- Sprinkle over extra sea salt and chilli flakes (as much or as little as you like)
- Allow to set before storing cookies at room temperature for up to a week