June 23, 2010

Cashew Chip Cookies

I've been having chocolate cravings for a few days now and I wanted to find something to satisfy my cravings and be somewhat on the healthy side.  I came across this cashew butter chip cookies on Stephanie's Hope for Healing food blog and thought I would give them a try.
Cashew butter isn't readily available in your everyday grocery store. It can be found at Whole Foods, Planet Organic or other natural health and food stores.  Before I give you the recipe, here are some fancy facts about cashews:
  • Cashew nuts are actually seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree, which is native to the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil.
  • They are a very good source of monounsaturated fats and copper, and a good source of magnesium and phosphorus.
  • Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=98 

Variations from Stephanie's recipe:
-I cut down the sugar from 1 1/2 cups to 1 1/4 cups
-Instead of sucanat, I used fair trade natural cane sugar
-In half of the cookie batter, I added a dash of instant espresso powder
-I used just a sprinkle of large dark chocolate chips, it turns out that every cookie has 1 or 2 chocolate chips in it.

Cashew Chip Cookies (makes 3 dozen)
(The cookies on the left are the variation, flatter and with instant espresso powder, the ones on the right are fatter and without any add-ins)
1 16 ounce jar of natural cashew butter with the natural oils
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup of fair trade natural cane sugar
Dark chocolate chips (as much as you desire)
Dash of instant espresso powder (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix in all of the ingredients in the order presented above. The batter is sticky and you will need the liquid from the eggs to help you mix in the ingredients.   Using your fingers, scoop out a little bit of the dough and roll between the palms of your hand.  Make the cookie balls on the small-medium size to have cookies looking like the picture, above right.  If you want a flatter cookie, flatten the cookie ball between your palms.

Place cookie balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper a few inches apart.  My cookie sheet has individual cookie rounds made on it, so I use that to help gauge the distance between each cookie. When you bake the cookies, you will see cracks form, that's normal. Bake for exactly 12 minutes (use a timer!) and remove and cool for at least 10 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH them until at least 10 minutes are up, otherwise they will fall apart. 
If you want to add a finishing touch, you could cool the cookie completely and then drizzle melted chocolate on top of them.

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