- 5 tsp flax meal
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup almond meal (also known as almond flour)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp fleur de sel (or other quality salt)
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp chocolate extract
- 1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)
- 1/4 cup nuts (such as pecans, Brazil or walnuts), chopped*
- 1/2 cup chopped 70% chocolate wafers
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Prepare your mise en place.
Combine the flax meal and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the walnuts into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process for 2 to 3 minutes or until the walnuts start to become moist and a bit oily — almost like walnut butter. Add the almond meal and pulse a few times to combine the two ingredients. Note: if you using a super-powerful processor, such as a Robot Coupe, the times mentioned will likely be less.
Place the ground nuts in a medium bowl. Add the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt (grind the salt between your fingers, if the crystals are quite large.).
Place the pitted dates into the food processor (no need to clean the bowl) and pulse until they are in very small pieces. The dates should start to come together in a ball and be smaller than a pea, but not paste-like.
Next, add the vanilla and chocolate extract along with the reserved dry mixture to the date mixture in the food processor. Pulse for just a few turns to combine.
Scrape the mixture back into the mixing bowl. Add the chopped nuts followed by the chopped chocolate wafers.
*Note: For the additional nuts, you can use whatever you like, almonds, walnuts or even pine nuts would work here. To chop the nuts, this can either be done by hand or they can be pulsed a few times in the food processor — after the other nuts have been ground and removed. Also note that a variety of other ingredients could be used here instead, try adding dried cherries, or other dried fruit.
At this point, add the flax and water to the food processor and blend for a minute or so.
Lastly, add the flax egg to the cookie mixture and fold the ingredients together.
Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before forming. This will give the cookie dough time to soak up a bit of the moisture, making the cookies easier — and less messy — to roll.
To bake the cookies, roll into round balls and then flatten — the cookies will not spread out during baking.
Place the cookies into the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. When done, the cookies should hold together, yet still, be moist in the middle. That being said, the amount of time they will take will depend on your oven, how big the cookies are and how you like your cookies.
Let cool for a few minutes on the baking tray and then carefully remove them and let them cool on a cooling rack.
Like most baked goods, they are best when first made; however, that being said, these cookies are still extremely moist the next day (if they last that long). They are even forgiving enough that if left unbaked, they can be baked the next day. They also freeze well.
These cookies are sure to become part of your regular repertoire — and no one will even guess that they are sugar, egg, dairy, and wheat-free.
Try experimenting with these cookies, by playing around with different spices. For example, add a bit of ground ginger and see how you like that. Alternatively, different nuts and or dried fruits could be added as well. If you come up with something really good, please make a comment on the recipe so we can all benefit from your experiments. Enjoy!