Teff Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Gluten-free, Vegan variation below
If there is one thing that I always have in my cupboard, it is cookies. If they are not there, my cupboard feels empty.
Since I am perpetually eating cookies, I am always looking for new ways to bake cookies. Recently I was reading a food blog that had a recipe for snickerdoodles and the recipe called for Teff Flour. I have seen this flour come up in a few cookbooks I have and perused past it in the grocery store. Little did I know that this new flour was such a game changer and the secret to these cookies.
Don’t have a Teff (but do)
I am a researcher. I like to learn everything I can about what I use in my baked goods. After I read about Teff, I wish I used it sooner. It is a nutritional powerhouse. Teff originates in Ethiopia so if you have ever had Ethiopian food and their staple flatbread, Injera. First of all the grain itself is about the size of a poppyseed, so it can’t be hulled. This means you get the whole grain ground and all the nutrition with it. It is packed with dietary fiber, protein, iron, calcium, amino acids and more. The flavor is also fantastic. It is a rich, nutty (almost like roasted hazelnuts) flavor that also reminds me a bit of a graham cracker.
When you are baking with Teff, it is much more starchy and absorbent than other gluten-free flours or even wheat flours. It is 1/4 cup of Teff flour for 1 cup of wheat flour when substituting.
Fun fact: you can use teff to make a sourdough starter because it has a symbiotic relationship with yeast!
Buck(wheat) the trend
I love buckwheat flour. I know that a lot of people are cutting out grains from their diets or they just associate buckwheat with soba noodles. Buckwheat is a fantastic gluten-free flour, for flavor and its health benefits.
Did you know that buckwheat has a rep for helping to detoxify your body? It also has all the essential amino acids. It is also packed with fiber, which can help you feel fuller and keep your blood sugar levels stable. It’s one hell of a grain from a health perspective.
But the taste? It is a robust flour for sure. It has a deep, earthy flavor that adds a little bit of bitterness, which I think is perfect in a sweet baked goods. If you are going to bake with buckwheat, it definitely needs to go with another flour to help give it some body. It is the perfect partner for Teff flour.
But first coffee
I am a coffee fiend. My dentist gets mad at me for it, but I can’t stop. I always have coffee in my house and love the flavor that it adds to baked goods. In this cookie it is the perfect match for the robust flavored flours I am using. Coffee lends a roasted flavor to any baked good. In this one, it helps to balance out the sweet, caramel-like flavor of the coconut sugar and depth of the maple syrup. Not to mention that it just tastes good.
When you are looking for a coffee to bake with, I recommend a medium roast. You do not want anything too dark because the flavor can be too assertive and bitter. If you aren’t so into coffee, just leave it out.
And always chocolate
I don’t know if I could go a day with out chocolate. I don’t trust people who say that they don’t really like chocolate. And I LOVE dark chocolate, but not all dark chocolate is created equal. I do not like the dark chocolate from certain Swiss chocolatiers because it taste bitter and burnt.
My favorite is Taza Chocolate. It is organic, direct trade, gluten-free, soy-free and uses only organic cane sugar. But perhaps the most important thing is that you taste the real fruitless of cacao. It is not an assertive bitter flavor, but a mild bitterness that fades away to a fruity richness.
It also has texture! Since it is stone ground, it has some grit, but grit is good! It only adds to the flavor. I buy this stuff in bulk and always buy a few other bars to keep for snacking. When you use the best ingredients, you are going to get the best cookies. And we all want that right?
1/4 cup (38g) Teff flour
1/4 cup (40g) Buckwheat flour
1 tbsp (6g) nonfat dry milk powder
2 tsp finely ground coffee
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup (55g) grass-fed butter
1/3 cup (112g) almond butter
1 overflowing tbsp maple syrup (28g)
1/2 cup (78g) coconut sugar (you can use 1/3 cup if you want to curb the sweetness)
1 large egg
100g (about 1 cup) Taza Chocolate Wicked Dark Chocolate, chopped (this is about 11/2 bars)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the teff flour, buckwheat flour, milk powder, coffee, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add the chocolate chunks and using your (clean) hands, coat the chunks with flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl set over a zeroed kitchen scale, measure out the butter and almond butter. Microwave for 1 minute to melt the butter. Add the maple syrup, coconut sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the egg and whisk again until smooth.
Using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the almond-butter-sugar mixture and fold until the flour is absorbed. It will be a sticky dough, but that is ok. Cover and set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Don’t skip the chill.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto the baking sheet, leaving 1 1/2 inches between each.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown, but the centers are still slightly soft.
I love these hot from the oven, but they are the perfect companion to vanilla ice cream.
Have no fear, these can easily be made vegan. Use a vegan butter (I like Melt Organic) or avocado oil in place of the grass-fed butter. Do not use olive oil since the flavor will be too strong.
Instead of the dry milk powder, use 1 tablespoon of coconut milk powder. I always have this ingredient in my pantry, but if you don’t have it and don’t want to go buy it, just omit it. I do recommend adding milk powders to your pantry for ultimate cookie gooey heaven.
For the egg, add 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds to the dry ingredients and 3 tablespoons of water to wet ingredients. I do not premix the two to make a “flax egg” since it can become too gelatinous and can cause the wet mixture to seize up.