Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wholemeal Cacao Cookies

I love simple recipes. I also love making things up as I go. In that respect, cookies are very forgiving. It's difficult to get it wrong!

Here is a recipe for slice and bake cookies, loosely adapted from the Women's Weekly Cookies book. I was looking for a link to post with the book, but I couldn't find one on Amazon. Perhaps it is no longer in print?

I tried to make them a little healthier, by adding the cacao, wholemeal flour and mesquite powder. Haven't heard of cacao or mesquite before? You can find information on them on the Loving Earth website (that's the brand of cacao and mesquite I have purchased). They explain how cacao is high in antioxidants and magnesium, and how mesquite contains many natural minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and zinc. I really love how cacao has a bitter, dark-chocolate sort of flavour. The spices complemented the flavour well.

If you didn't have these ingredients, you could always substitute the mesquite for more wholemeal flour, and the cacao could be dark chocolate bits. I used my Thermomix to make the dough, but the recipe is written for electric mixer and good ol' wooden spoon mixing.

250g softened butter
200g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240g wholemeal plain flour
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
50g mesquite powder
100g Cacao nibs
75g rice flour
50g cornflour
2 tablespoons milk

  1. Beat the butter, vanilla and icing sugar together using an electric mixer. When the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add in the flours and the mesquite, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, mixing with a wooden spoon.
  3. Mix in milk, then mix in cacao nibs.
  4. Knead the mixture on a floured surface until it is smooth. Break mixture in half before rolling the dough  into a log using baking paper. Refrigerate for about an hour, until firm. Don't worry if you leave it in there longer, or even overnight. 
  5. Take the logs out of the fridge. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees/140 degrees fan forced. 
  6. Slice logs into 1cm slices. Put on oven trays lined with baking paper, placing them about 2-3cm apart. Bake for about 15-18 minutes. 

As there are only two of us at home, I often bake up one log of cookies, and put the other in the freezer. I take it out and put it in the fridge in the morning if I want to bake the biscuits in the afternoon. Once or twice, I have used a sharp knife that I have heated in some hot water (and dried off) to cut slices from the log straight from the freezer. You need to add another few minutes to the baking time if you are doing this.

I hope you enjoy!

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