As the days are becoming noticeably shorter, and the weather cooling a little as we move towards the latter end of Autumn, I felt it was time to dust off the old baking apron and start gathering some new ideas for some oven baked deliciousness! I love baking. The oven warms up the the house and the smells wafting through the rooms are some of the best there are! I think and you may agree there is simply no better aroma than that of freshly baked cookies. This simple fact got me thinking, why is this so? What is it about this sweet lip-smacking smell that we can’t resist?
I did a little research and found that warm foods convert flavours more readily. Warm cookies therefore have a stronger flavour, and much more flavour than cold cookies. From this research, another finding you may find interesting is that there is actually a science behind why sweetness is more acutely sensed when whatever you put in your mouth is warmer. The retrogradation of the starch during the cooling process means the starch compounds tighten back up and lose some of the warm, freshly baked flavour while the food cools down.
Also read: Swiss Leckerli Cookies
This little bit of research gave me the urge to put science to the test and experiment!
I thought about how tantalising cookies can be but also how, contrary to popular belief I’m sure, healthy and guilt-free they can be at the same time.
As I don the apron, and start collecting the almond meal, vegan chocolate and coconut sugar from my pantry, I decide to experiment with some gluten-free vegan cookies. Adding the shredded coconut and using coconut oil enhances the nutritional value of these beauties and of course the vanilla extract, as all cookies should have, add that sweet, mouthwatering edge.
- 1 1/4 cups almond meal
- 1/4 cup chopped dark vegan chocolate
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celtic salt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 flax or chia egg
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, mix almond meal, dark chocolate chips, coconut, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, beat flax egg until fluffy.
- Whisk in the coconut oil and vanilla, then add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Chill in the fridge for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 180 C
- Shape dough into one inch balls, place on baking sheet allowing space in between each for expansion. Press down to flatten slightly.
- Bake until edges begin to brown approximate 10 minutes. Be sure not to overcook.
- Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
These gluten free chop chip almond coconut cookies are so easy to prepare. Just remember, as they are baking, to stop and smell the aromas!