Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe originally came from IsaChandra at the Post Punk Kitchen. Along with the lenten chocolate cake I recently published here, this is my go-to recipe for a great lenten dessert. I like to make these for birthdays and name days that fall during a fast. They’re amazing. Below is the recipe from Post Punk Kitchen, with a couple of modifications from me. You will need:

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon whole flax seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grind the flax seeds on high in a blender until they become a powder. Add coconut milk (or hemp or almond, whatever you like) and blend for another 30 seconds or so. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In a seperate large bowl cream together oil and sugar. Add the flax seed/coconut milk mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla.

Fold in the dry ingredients in batches. When it starts to get too stiff to mix with a spatula, use your hands until a nice stiff dough forms. Add the chocolate chips and mix with your hands again. Alternatively, use a stand mixer. You need some power for this recipe!

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and flatten into a disc that’s about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.

Bake for 10 minutes. Seriously, 10 minutes. You really don’t want to overbake these, or they’ll end up being nothing special! Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then set them on a wire rack to cool completely.

These are really good as cookie-wiches: spread some kind of lenten frosting on one, and put another one on top of it. If you make them this way, however, you may want to make the cookies smaller or else you may find them to be too rich.

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Mujaddara

Mujaddara is one of my favorite things. I love to make it during the fasts because everyone in my family enjoys it, even the children, and it’s very easy, inexpensive, and one batch makes a whole lot! My godmother taught me how to make it a couple of years ago and I can never get it to turn out quite as delicious as hers, but it’s close. I am not sure how accurately I remembered what she taught me so maybe I am doing something different (I know she doesn’t use the pine nuts so there’s at least one variation), but whatever I’m doing, it’s working. Here is what I do.

2 cups rice
2 cardamom pods
1 1/2 cups green or brown lentils
4 sweet onions
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
olive oil
salt
pepper
toasted pine nuts (optional)

Put a large skillet on the stove and heat it up over medium heat. While heating, slice the onions, then add some oil to the pan and then the onions. Stir occasionally as they cook until they are soft (15-20 minutes?), and then turn the heat up to medium-high and stir frequently until they are caramelized to a nice deep brown. This should take about 20 or 30 minutes, I think. When they are done, add a splash of water to deglaze the pan.

While the onions are cooking, cook the rice and lentils. You can cook them according to package directions, but my preferred way for the rice is to cook it in the oven. Here is how I do it. Preheat oven to 350. Place the 2 cups of rice into an oven proof dish, about 2 quarts in size, and on the stovetop boil 2 3/4 cups of water along with a pinch of salt and a little oil. When it boils, pour it into the dish with the rice and cover the dish tightly with a double layer of foil. Bake in the oven until the water is absorbed and rice is tender; this should be 45 to 60 minutes. Remove and fluff with fork. For this recipe, put the 2 cardamom pods in with the rice as it bakes.

The lentils can simply be boiled on the stovetop until they are tender but not too mushy.

When all these things are cooked, mix the rice, drained lentils, and half the caramelized onion in a pot, along with about half a cup of water and a little olive oil, plus the spices, salt, and pepper, and stir and heat on the stove over medium heat until it’s all combined and smelling delicious.

Then place it all into a serving dish and top with the remaining caramelized onions and the pine nuts, if you’re using them. This is delicious served with chopped cucumbers and tomatoes drizzled in olive oil–or if it’s not a fast day, I like to have it with Greek yogurt.

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Hummus

Here is how I make hummus. I’ve gotten lots of compliments on it from people who should know! It’s very easy. This is what I do.

 

1 can* chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1/3 c. tahini
1/3 – 1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
salt
additional olive oil
paprika (optional)

Put it all in a food processor and whip it up till it’s very smooth. To get a really smooth consistency, you can remove the skins from the chickpeas, but of course, that’s pretty time consuming!

While it’s being pureed you can add more liquid as required: olive oil, reserved liquid from the chickpeas (if using canned), maybe slightly more lemon juice. You really want a consistency that’s not too thick; it shouldn’t be like cookie dough, more like yogurt.

I like to serve it with paprika and olive oil drizzled on top. I think it’s also great with za’atar.

* I’ve also used dried chickpeas but I can’t remember the equivalent, and I like to have the extra liquid to add in if needed.

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Lenten Chocolate Cake

This was modified from this page: http://www.theologic.com/oflweb/inhome/wakkicake.htm

My adaptations are the replacement of vegetable oil with coconut oil, and coconut milk in the frosting rather than juice. I like the light coconut taste imparted by these ingredients (more or less depending on whether or not your coconut oil has been deodorized), and whereas vegetable oil is unhealthy, coconut oil isn’t. You can read more about the great benefits and many uses of coconut oil at http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
6 T. cocoa
3 T. vinegar
2/3 c. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. water

Mix well all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Add all the liquid ingredients: vinegar, oil, vanilla and water. Mix well. Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake in 375º oven for 35-40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. When cake has cooled, dust cake with powdered sugar, or ice with frosting.

Lenten Chocolate Frosting

2 c. confectioners sugar
4 tsp. cocoa
2 T. shortening
1 T. coconut milk (or more as needed)
Chopped nuts (optional)
Toasted coconut (optional)

With electric mixer, mix together sugar, cocoa and shortening. As needed, add coconut milk. Add enough to make spreadable over cooled cake. Top with chopped nuts and/or toasted coconut, if desired.

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Cornbread

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk *
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup organic cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar **
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons oil

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.

Combine milk and vinegar and let stand.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the milk mixture along with the oil to the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

Pour batter into prepared dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

* I use a brand called So Delicious coconut milk, which must be refrigerated, but I think canned coconut milk would work as well. The So Delicious brand comes in unsweetened as well as sweetened. Make sure not to put in the full 1/4 cup of sugar if you use a sweetened milk.

** Coconut is my oil of choice, but any would work. Also, I have made this without the oil and it turned out fine.

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Freeze it

How can I make the upcoming lenten season a little quieter?

Unlike Great Lent, the Nativity fast falls during a period when many people are extra busy. It seems slightly more difficult to me to approach this season with due reverence and quietude, simply because there is so much to be done. (And there’s not nearly as much on my plate as there is for many others!)

In the interest of simplifying my life during this time, I plan to make extra lenten meals that can be frozen. There are two Wednesdays and two Fridays left before the fast begins for those of us on the new calendar, so why not use those opportunities to make double batches of food? I think I shall–and more besides.

Do you have a favorite lenten recipe that freezes well? Please share it!

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Pina Colada Quinoa

This makes a right tasty breakfast. I don’t have exact measurements but I think it should go something like this:

1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/3 cup coconut milk*
1/3 cup crushed pineapple
1 tablespoon flaked coconut (optional)
1-2 teaspoons sugar (or your favorite sweetener)

Heat it up and eat it! Here you have protein, fruit, fiber, and pleasant eating.

* Some varieties of coconut milk contain added sugar or other ingredients. I use unsweetened, and not the lite version.

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