Sunday, July 31, 2011

Unsweetened Chocolate and HEAB's Scookie Recipe!

I have been trying to get into bitter chocolate/unsweetened chocolate.  I've had a block of it in my pantry for awhile, and just yesterday picked up a bag of unsweetened chocolate baking discs from TJ's.  After my cocao nib experience (hated 'em!) I have been a bit hesitant to try bitter chocolate.  I love super dark chocolate, like 85%, but totally unsweetened is still a bit daunting.  Nonetheless, there really is no suitable sugar free chocolate I have discovered, or really a good way to make it yourself unless you have a combination of many different sweeteners as they have a tendency to become gritty, acrid, or metallic when combined with chocolate.  Therefore, I am diving in head first to unsweetened chocolate territory, with these next recipes.  Reading HEAB today I came across a couple fun recipes adapted by Heather, from Elana's Pantry.  The one that first caught my eye was a recipe she adapted for Coconut Cream Pie- yum!  Here it is, with my changes:

Grain Free, Sugar Free Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Pie Crust Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pre-heat oven to 350º.
  • In large bowl, combine almond flour and shredded coconut.
  • Over low heat, melt coconut oil, remove from heat, and whisk in stevia and vanilla.
  • Combine wet ingredients into almond flour mixture, mixing until well combined.
  • Press dough into pie dish and bake 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before filling.
Pie Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 cans light coconut milk
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dark or unsweetened chocolate chunks or chips
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted (optional topping)
  • Reserve 1/4 cup coconut milk. In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining coconut milk and salt to a boil; whisk constantly for 1 minute, then decrease heat to a simmer.
  • In a small bowl, dissolve the arrowroot in the reserved coconut milk, stirring to make a paste. Raise the heat under the saucepan to high and add the paste to the saucepan, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate, stirring vigorously until it is completely melted. Let the filling cool, then pour the mixture into the crust. Top with toasted unsweetened shredded coconut and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set before serving.
But the best discovery today at HEAB by far was her Scookie recipe- sort of a cookie/scone hybrid!  Her recipe was again adapted from Elana but of course I just had to go in and change it again!  With great results!  I am super excited about this recipe because of all the different variations I could make!  Sort of like the almond flour cupcake I made the other day- the possibilities are totally endless!  So that is very exciting!

Here is the recipe with my changes:
Bitter Chocolate Almond Flour Scookies (Makes about 20)
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup sugar sub
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, room temp

Pic of HEAB's Scookies!
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In measuring cup pour 1/3 cup sugar substitute, then pouring in almond milk until you get to 1/4 cup of liquid- stir to dissolve sweetener.  Elana's recipe originally called for agave, so this is my substitute.  And then HEAB used coconut butter, which would also be yummy.  In separate bowl, whisk eggs, oil, almond milk, and vanilla together.  Then add wet to dry, incorporating thoroughly- and add in chocolate chips.  Scoop onto cookie sheet with a tablespoon and put in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

The reason I'm so stoked about this recipe is because you could sooooooooo easily make a zillion different kinds of scookies (they are really pretty cookie-like using my recipe) for instance; apricot cinnamon, cranberry orange, chocolate walnut, etc!  The base recipe is simple- (dry) almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, plus (wet) coconut oil, egg, almond milk mixture, vanilla, and then flavorings.  Like 1/4 cup chopped apricots and 1/4 cup raisins, or 1/2 cup unsweetened cherries or cranberries with 2 tsp orange zest.  Or- reduce the almond flour by 1/4 cup and replace with 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and add in 1/2 cup chopped nuts.  Since MKG is not a bitter chocolate fan, I'll be trying apricot next.  I've also noticed that when making no sugar desserts- cinnamon really helps take away some of the bitterness- and add a little sweet.  So I use it more often than not. 

On a totally unrelated note- Baby S is FLYING up the stairs as fast as can be.  She just started this week.  It is unreal.  The first time she did the entire flight of stairs was Monday night- we had our friends and their two boys over for dinner and when they went upstairs she did NOT want to be left behind.  Oh my goodness, it was amazing.  And now she just cruises on up whenever she feels like it.  She will be 1 year old one month from Tuesday.  I am just completely dumbfounded about how fast this year has flown by- the last 7 months of it anyways- the first 3 or 4 months don't fly so much as crawl by, at a snail's pace.  I didn't know it was possible to have so much fun.  Definitely need to get cracking on her birthday party!  Maybe I'll make a bunch of fun GFG approved desserts for people to try!

Here's a couple pics, just cuz!

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