Fudgy Chocolate Cookies

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Fudgy Chocolate Cookies
When I was a kid, I baked cookies. Often. I enjoyed being in the kitchen, creating new things, but I also loved putting a smile on people’s faces when fresh cookies were on the table. After going gluten-free, starting college, and having to cook other things for myself, I gotta say - my cookie game when down the drain. I still made a mean gf no-bake and have since perfected the chocolate-chip cookie, but my creativity has been lessened my the limits of cookies without gluten. I was feeling creative the other day though and am excited to announce that my cookie game is now going strong once again.

Fudgey Chocolate Cookies

Here was my inspiration: black bean brownies… yah, weird, I know. A couple years ago they were pretty popular though and I whipped them up sometimes on holiday breaks when I visited home. They really were good - gooey, cocoa-y, and rich. I liked them, but I didn’t feel as though they were an adequate substitute for a good gf brownie made with a gf flour blend, chocolate and all the other “normal” brownie things though… So back to cookies. When was the last time you’ve had a totally NEW type of cookie? I’m not saying a new “variation” on a snickerdoodle or oatmeal-raisin. Nope, totally new. Probably not in a while. Here I present to you a totally NEW type of cookie to add to your recipe log. These fudgy, gf, chocolate cookies, made with black beans, and 100% naturally sweetened are irresistible. Honestly, no one would ever know that the rich chocolate cookies you served them were actually made of beans and whole, healthy ingredients. I can’t stop talking about how amazing these are and sharing them with all my friends - thus, I am so excited to share the recipe with you all! They are super easy to whip up, leave you minimal dishes to clean (important in this household), and are loaded with nourishing ingredients. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Fudgey Chocolate Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-Free
Serves: 20-25
  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sun butter(or another nut/seed butter)
  • 2 Tbsp. plant-based milk (I used cashew milk)
  • 4 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 egg
  • 5 Tbsp. cacao powder*
  • 3 Tbsp. oat flour** (certified gf of course - wheat flour would also work-for those non gf people out there)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup cacao nibsor chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. To a high-speed blender or food processor, add beans, coconut oil, sun butter, milk, honey and the egg. Blend until smooth and creamy, about a minute.
  3. Add the cacao powder, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Blend for another minute or two
  4. Lightly grease a large baking sheet and drop Tbsp. amounts of batter onto the pan. Sprinkle with cacao nibs or chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will be soft and lightly spongy when done. Be careful not to over-cook. Let rest on pan for a minute or two and then move to rack for cooling.
  5. Cookies will last about 5 days in air-tight container (they’re pretty addicting though, so I’m pretty sure they won’t last that long).
*I’ve gotten asked a few times now what my deal with cacao powder is and why not cocoa, so I wrote a little article below and linked to other articles/ studies that I thought were interesting. Of course, if you do not have cacao, this recipe will still be amazing with cocoa.

**You can make this by simply grinding oats in a food processor

Fudgy Chocolate Cookies

Cacao vrs. Cocoa: Whats the difference?

I’ve gotten asked a few times now what my deal with cacao powder is and why not cocoa so here is my mini-article. Stick with me if you can, this information is actually really interesting. But if you absolutely cannot, here is the short answer…cacao and cocoa are basically the same thing and come from the same place. The difference is %100 in the processing.

So, it all starts with a cacao tree, which grows pods. Those pods are split open to reveal cacao beans which look similar to coffee beans. If you’re a coffee snob like I am, you know that the conditions in which coffee grows (i.e., soil, sunlight, elevation, etc.) changes the flavor of the coffee. This also goes for cacao beans. You can eat the beans raw, but they are very very bitter - regardless of the climate they are grown in. Before further processing, cacao nibs are usually fermented and dried. This is the last step before the distinction between cacao and cocoa becomes clear.

In making cacao, the harvested beans are then cold pressed or heated at a very low tempter This separates the cacao with the fat - cacao (or cocoa- it goes by both names) butter. The butter is used later in high-quality chococlates and is also used commonly in natural skin care. The cacao can be left in “nib” form, which is like a very bitter chocolate chip, or ground into cacao powder, which has the same use has cocoa powder.

Cocoa powder is heated at a very high temperature. This results in a slightly sweeter flavor. In the case of dark or “dutch” cocoa powder, the cocoa goes through an additional processing with an alkalized chemical solution. The goal here is to make the powder less acidic and richer.

Unfortunately, roasting the cacao at high temperatures really changes it’s molecular structure and reduces the enzyme content—lowering the overall nutritional value and removing health benefits. So when you read all those studies that boast the health benefits of chocolate, they are not referring to your grocery store’s average chocolate bar. They are referring to high-quality cacao. (If your Hershey’s bar is making you happy though- keep eating away. No shame here, just information).

So, all those benefits of cacao? Here are a few, and this is why I opt for it:

Cacao provides minerals such as: magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, and copper

Cacao has been shown to lower insulin resistance

Cacao has been shown to shield nerve cells from damage

Cacao has also been shown to lower and stabilize blood pressure

Boost your mood!

(quick note here, some of the articles I link to say “cocoa”, but they are referring to minimally processed cacao - not high roasted cocoa powder)

Finally, if you are hard-core into getting all the benefits of cacao possible, it is important to note that pairing cacao with dairy is not a great choice. Dairy unfortunately limits the body’s ability to absorb the phytonutrients. When buying chocolate bars at the store, look for high cacao content, dairy free—possibly made with cacao butter and natural sweeteners. These types of chocolate bars are typically more expensive, but you are paying for a higher-quality snackand a much higher amount of nutrients for your body.

In conclusion, I choose to purchase cacao powder over cocoa because I appreciate the extra health benefits that I get from it. In addition to that, there is lots of controversy (I’ll save this rant for another day) over the way chocolate is harvested in other countries—slave and child labor for instance—and I’ve simply found a few brands of cacao that are ethically sourced and minimally processed. All this to say, I also do not have a sweet tooth like some people do, and I love bitter chocolate, thus cacao is great for me. I highly recommend grabbing yourself a bag and at least experiment with it. You might need an extra drizzle of honey here and there, but I totally think it is worth it!

Fudgy Chocolate Cookies


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