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Chocolate Cinnamon Heart Cookies
MAKES 8 LARGE COOKIES (16 small)
These cookies are a delicious way to say, “I love you.” The dough can be used to make any shape shortbread cookies desired. For sandwich cookies, cut out dough into smaller shapes and reduce baking time accordingly; when cooled, fill cookie pairs with Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting. Unfilled cookies may be frozen.
⅓ cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons plain or vanilla-flavor rice milk or milk of choice
40 drops plain or vanilla-flavor liquid stevia
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon flax meal
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup Ricki’s All-Purpose Flour Blend or flour blend of choice (page 65), more for rolling
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine coconut sugar, milk, stevia, vanilla, coconut oil and flax meal. Process a few seconds to begin dissolving the coconut sugar.
2. Add cocoa powder, flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt and pulse to incorporate the flour. Then process until mixture comes together to form a soft dough.
3. Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes to an hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.
5. Dust a clean, flat surface with flour blend. Roll out dough to about ¼-inch thickness. It may crack at first if it’s really firm. Keep working it and it will soften and begin to roll beautifully. Cut into heart shapes or other desired shape.
6. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes until dry on top and browned on the edges. Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. When cool, spread half the cookies with Buttercream Frosting and top with a cookie of the same size to make cookie sandwiches, if desired.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
MAKES 1 CUP
You can use this recipe immediately as a fudgy frosting. For buttercream, refrigerate until firm and then beat with electric beaters until fluffy and lighter in color. Either way makes a creamy filler in sandwich cookies. Sweet potato provides substance and a bit of sweetness. Extra frosting can be frozen. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight; then bring to room temperature and beat with electric beaters before using.
½ cup + 2 tablespoons sweet potato purée*
⅔ cup coconut sugar
20-35 drops plain or vanilla-flavor stevia liquid, to taste
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-Pinch fine sea salt
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2½ ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
¼ cup smooth natural sunflower seed butter or sesame tahini
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
1. Place sweet potato, coconut sugar, stevia, vanilla and salt in food processor and process to blend. Add cocoa powder and process until combined. Set aside.
2. In a small, heavy-bottom pot, melt chocolate, sunflower seed butter and coconut oil over lowest possible heat, stirring constantly until chocolate melts. Remove from heat.
3. Add melted chocolate mixture to processed mixture in food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as necessary. If coconut oil begins to separate (mixture will appear oily and a bit curdled) or if frosting is too thick, add more sweet potato purée or rice milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition until frosting is silky and spreadable.
Each large cookie without filling contains 360 calories, 20g total fat, 12g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 81mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 5g protein.
*TIP Homemade sweet potato purée is a bit sweeter than the canned variety and adds a lovely caramel flavor to this frosting. To make your own purée, bake a large sweet potato, unpeeled, at 400°F for about 40 minutes, until very soft. Allow to cool completely. Remove skin and purée in a food processor.
MAKES 4 CUPS
Use this blend for all your baking needs. To make your own millet flour, process whole-grain dry millet into a powder in a blender or coffee grinder.
2 cups millet flour
⅔ cup garfava bean flour
⅔ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
⅔ cup arrowroot starch/powder or tapioca starch/flour or cornstarch
1. Blend ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks until used.
Canadian Ricki Heller is a holistic nutritionist and author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love Without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar.