cookies

When Jocelyn and I made the final version of these cookies last night, four people ate them all in ten minutes flat.  :-)  It may not beat getting to see my best friend and my goddaughter again, but getting her help with some recipes has definitely been the second-best part of her coming to visit us here in Texas.  :-D

You’d think the secret ingredient might be the pear juice working as a sweetener, or the carob powder making the chocolate chips richer and less bitter, but personally I think it’s the caramel extract from OliveNation.  Combine it with a little stevia, and you can re-create the taste of brown sugar to give these cookies a well-rounded, rich sweetness that combines with the dark earthy chocolate and nuts to make really a pretty darn good cookie.  :-)

The only real problem is that they don’t keep baked; once they cool, they’re too dry!  But, you can keep the batter in the fridge to bake later and it works fine that way.  Just work the cold batter in your hands for a minute so you can press it flat into individual cookies again, and you’re set.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield:  12 cookies

Ingredients:

for the chocolate chips:

for the cookie batter proper:

Directions:

1.  First, early in the day (or the night before), melt the palm shortening in a small saucepan over very low heat.  Add the rest of the chocolate chip ingredients (vanilla, stevia, cocoa powder, carob powder, and agar-agar powder), and whisk until fully combined.  Remove from heat; pour over wax paper laid flat in an edged pan.  Put the pan in the freezer so the chocolate can set all the way to a hard freeze — this makes it much more choppable and makes it behave much better once it’s time to make the cookies!

2.  Once it’s cookie-making time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the batter (paleo dough mix, baking soda, salt, agar-agar powder, and flax seed meal).  Then add the melted butter, egg, vanilla, caramel extract, stevia extract, and pear juice, and stir with a stiff spoon until fully combined.  The batter will not be very stiff, but it won’t be liquidy either.

3.  Finely chop your walnuts or pecans, then take out the frozen-solid chocolate and chop it up a little less finely — a bit bigger than standard “chocolate chip” size is fine.  Fold the nuts and chips into the batter.

4.  Spoon the batter into twelve equal portions on a nonstick cookie sheet.  (You can also reserve some batter to bake later.)  Once the batter’s divvied up, make sure to press each dollop of dough flat into a cookie shape — the dough won’t spread out as it bakes, and the shape that goes into the oven is the shape that comes out!  The very easiest way to do this is with your hands, but a spoon or spatula will work in a pinch.

5.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  The cookies might not look completely done, but you can do a toothpick test to make sure (just aim around the chocolate chips!).  Let cool a couple minutes only, then serve warm!