Dark Chocolate Black Bean Cookies

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Dark Chocolate Black Bean Cookies

  • 1 can of black beans (15 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup 100% maple syrup
  • 5 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • ¾  cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Rinse the beans and drain them. Add black beans, olive oil, peanut butter, milk, honey, maple syrup to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Add cocoa powder, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bean mixture and blend until smooth. Chop the chocolate chips until fine. (Or put them in a plastic bag and hit them senselessly with a rolling pin.) Add chocolate chips to cookie mixture.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I used my silicon baking sheets. S/4poon 16 evenly distributed dollops of batter. Bake for around 10 minutes (the cookies should still be a little soft when you remove them from the oven). Set aside a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Finally, enjoy and reevaluate your judgments.

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 Black bean cookies? I know what you’re thinking and I assure you I have not lost my mind. Last year, while skimming Pinterest I saw a recipe for black bean brownies. My eyebrows rose at the thought of incorporating this savory food into my favorite dessert. I made a face similar to the one you are likely making and swore to never combine the two. Fast-forward three months and I found myself on Pinterest yet again (it’s been a long winter) and I saw not one, but several different recipes for black bean brownies. This time my reaction was a bit different. The more I saw these brownie recipes popping up the more I thought there must be something to them. Knowing I could no longer knock it until I tried it I headed to the kitchen. The results were pleasantly surprising. I served these brownies to my sister who was unaware of their contents. She gave them two thumbs up and still calls them the “best brownies ever.” That brownie recipe will be shared in a future post (A tease, I know.) For now I will share with you the brownie’s more portable cousin, the dark chocolate black bean cookie. I like the cookie version of this dessert for several reasons. 1. They are portioned out – I can commit to one cookie and be satisfied.  2. They’re more portable. 3. They can be frozen easily. If you’re still looking at me like I’m crazy I get it. I was skeptical too, but you need to get in your kitchen and try them for yourself! You will not regret it.

Jenna

Let’s get some comments rolling. Have you tried any other desserts that incorporate odd savory ingredients?

Pistachio + Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Pistachio and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Edible Perspective

Recipe:

  • 6 TBS butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • 2 TBS almond butter
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • 1 cup oats
  • ½  tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pistachios (de-shelled)
  • 1 TBS orange zest
  • 2 TBS water (or orange juice)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a medium sized bowl. Add the egg, vanilla, maple syrup, and almond butter to the butter-sugar mixture.

Combine the wheat flour, oat flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture until well combined.

De-shell the pistachios, place in a plastic bag, and use a rolling pin to break them into pieces. Don’t go overboard and turn them into powder. Chunks that are half the size of the whole pistachio will work.

Zest one orange.

Add the pistachios, chocolate chips, and orange zest to the dough. If the dough still seems crumbly add 2 TBS of water or orange juice.

Scoop the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet. Use a fork to press the cookies down like you would for a peanut butter cookie. This dough does not spread on it’s own. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 11 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool, and store in an airtight container.

Notes:

*You can buy oat flour or grind oats in a coffee/wheat grinder.

I never spray my pans because I use silicon baking sheets, but if you’re using a regular baking sheet be sure to coat it with non-stick spray.

To prolong freshness cookies can be frozen

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I am one of the lucky people to be experiencing spring break this week. Although there is still snow on the ground here in the Midwest, the temperature has increased from where it has been and it is apparent that spring is on its way. Okay, maybe it’s not apparent, but I did hear a bird or two yesterday. I’m not going on a fancy tropical getaway, but I am thrilled to forgo my hour commute for ten days straight. Instead of heading straight to school in the morning I will pour an extra cup of coffee and saver my time on our comfy couch. I will most likely be exra java-ed up, but it’s just what happens on vacations. Even if those vacations don’t involve you leaving your home.

This recipe is one you will make over and over. For the past couple Tuesdays I have brought these cookies to share with my friends at school. (Nursing students are never too old for snacks.) They are in love with them and so am I. The hint of orange found in these cookies makes them taste light and fresh. Chocolate and Pistachios work together beautifully to find the perfect balance between salty and sweet. I won’t say these cookies are “healthy,” but they are “healthier.” There is still some butter and sugar in these cookies, but I decreased the amounts of each. There is also no white flour found in these. Throw these in your freezer and add them to your lunch for an occasional treat. Enjoy!

I will now resume my coffee drinking.

Jenna

Peanut Butter + Chia Energy Bites

Balls

I don’t know about you, but when 3pm comes around I need a sweet treat. My blood sugar is heading downward and when I’m not home the convenience of the vending machine calls my name. If I’m not prepared I will easily fork over 75¢ in exchange for an indulgent snack that will only temporarily satisfy.

When my schedule gets crazy, which let’s be honest is all the time, I can grab these peanut butter chia energy bites before I leave in the morning and they’ll keep fresh all day. So let’s talk snacks and the occasional emotional rollercoasters that can occur in the kitchen.

Yesterday was Sunday. I woke up with an endless list of school related tasks that I needed to accomplish. After church, I planned to grab a quick bite to eat, get in a quick workout, and then chain myself to my desk until all of the information in my Mental Health Nursing book seeped into my brain and out my ears. An envy-worthy day, really.

After I ate lunch an idea popped into my head.

“What if I don’t study.”

(Gasp) This idea was far too tempting to ignore. Now, before you go all “mom” on me let me assure you that my exam for this class is still eight days away. I think I can spare one day without opening that textbook. With school off the table I headed to the kitchen. I opened a few cupboards and took a mental inventory. Next I went to the fridge where I found six pounds of butter staring at me. Yes, we buy butter in absurdly large quantities. Don’t judge. So, I decided on a more specific direction: cookies! I checked the baking cupboard only to find we were out of chocolate chips, which took my go-to cookie recipe off the table. Oatmeal-raisin cookies? Unfortunately, there were raisins, but not enough to actually make anything.

Maybe I didn’t have to make cookies. Maybe I could make something that I actually had the ingredients for. A recipe I had started to make regularly jumped to the forefront of my mind: Peanut butter energy bites! Although these didn’t fall along the cookie path that I was heading they would be the perfect treat to have on hand for the upcoming week. An added bonus: they’re healthy! The only items I needed to locate were the oats, chia, honey, and peanut butter. Oats: check. Chia and honey: check, check, check! I also found a few dove dark chocolate hiding in the pantry. Score!

Peanut butter was the last item that remained. I opened the cupboard and lifted the jar only to be disappointed in it’s lightness. Even scraping the sides would not have produced enough peanut butter for this recipe. In fact I have no idea why anyone put the jar back in the cupboard. I tried to think of something else I could make with the remaining ingredients I had on hand, but I couldn’t. I was so determined to make those energy bites. I scoured the rest of the kitchen searching for something that was peanut-butter-like. Almond butter? None. Cashew butter? Nothing.

By this time I needed a break. So, I went to the snack cupboard and tried to spin the shelves to get an overview of my options. However, when I went to turn the lazy Susan it was stuck. Lazy Susans never seem to work for me (and printers, but for a different reason.) My first step to fixing the problem was to sigh and roll my eyes. Step two, reach my hand to the back.  Step three, finally grab something and proceed to knock all the remaining items off the shelf. No big deal. Step four, celebrate. The box was full of my missing ingredient. The box contained nothing other than peanut butter to-go cups!

Okay, maybe I’m being overly dramatic. I will now proceed to make the peanut butter energy bites with less drama.

Actually, I can’t guarantee that.

Jenna

P.S. This is obviously my first post and I already acknowledge I will be embarrassed about it 3 years from now, but I am so grateful to you for reading. I am hopeful that as my blog develops you will hang with me. Comment your heart away. ❤

Peanut Butter and Chia Energy Bites

Recipe:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Drizzle (optional):

  • ¼ cup chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 tsp oil

Directions:

Place a piece of wax paper on a medium sized baking sheet. Add oats, creamy peanut butter, honey, and chia seeds to a medium bowl and combine. Form the mixture into bite sized pieces and place on wax paper. In a microwavable dish combine the chocolate and oil and microwave for about 1 minute. Stop, stir, and continue to microwave in 20-second intervals until chocolate is fully melted. Once chocolate is melted drizzle it over the energy bites. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about an hour or until the chocolate has hardened. Remove the bites from the freezer and put them in an airtight container. I recommend putting half in the fridge and half in the freezer.

*I used 4 dove chocolate pieces because it was what I had on hand.