Friday, November 4, 2011

November Cookies: Dark Chocolate Coconut 'n Flax Cookies

I am POOPED today! I took Lily to a zoo in Brooklyn yesterday and after having to take 3 different trains there and back, not to mention having to be on my feel all day with her, I am still sore. I am almost too tired to even write anything right now…but, bloggers can’t rest now, can they? Not when they’re trying to actually stick to what they set out to do and post at least 3 times a week and have a different cookie recipe every Friday! Not when they’re computer acts up non-stop, narrowly avoiding being punched in the screen several times in less than a day! And definitely not when the internet connection was acting up all morning for no known reason, luckily finally deciding to work again as soon as I was about to reach my wit’s end! (It’s been that kind of day…) No, nothing will stop me from getting healthy cookie recipes to you, my devoted readers (at least I think you’re devoted…), not even a cranky toddler (who I just put down for a nap, yay!).

Note: Lily woke up just minutes after I started writing the paragraph below…what a stinker! She only napped for about 30 minutes!

And for the sake of chocolate and indulging in naughty sweets, this first November Cookie recipe is not the healthiest I have, but certainly one of the yummiest, and I think it deserves to be the first I post, mainly because it has become the new favorite of the house and because I felt like it.

Dark Chocolate Coconut ‘n Flax Cookies

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
¼ cup ground flax flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or ½ butter ½ cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut

I usually preheat my oven once the dough is ready to be put on the cookie sheets, but if you prefer to preheat your oven once you start making dough, you can go ahead and set it to 375 degrees. Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. In separate bowl, mix sugars, vanilla, and butter and/or oil together until smooth and creamy. Add each egg one at a time until well beaten and combined with mixture. Then slowly add the flour mixture, a little at a time, until well blended together with sugar mixture. An electric beater works best. Lastly, add the chocolate chips and coconut until mixed in evenly with dough.

Drop rounded spoonfuls of cookie dough onto ungreased baking sheets in rows, at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes in oven on center rack until golden brown. Remove cookies and allow to cool before serving, as they will be HOT! Enjoy with a nice glass of milk (I prefer almond).

Can't you just smell them baking?

Of course, cookies are best when they’re fresh out of the oven, and often I can only wait for about 10 minutes before sinking my teeth into one of these heavenly delights. The coconut and dark chocolate go perfectly together, and the whole wheat and flax flours add the extra benefits of fiber and omega-3s. This recipe also calls for 25% less sugar than the average classic chocolate chip cookie recipes. 

Delicious outcome

I use organic and Fair Trade chocolate chips when I can, like Sunspire, which is available at Whole Foods if you have on near you. You can also find a store online. I have written a post about slaves being used for harvesting cocoa beans where you can read more on the abominable practice of forcing children into unpaid labor under harsh working conditions. It’s very difficult to find chocolate that is truly slave-free, especially when it comes to chocolate chips. If you feel very strongly against using chocolate that may have come from unsavory sources, try just breaking up a slave-free chocolate bar instead! Here’s a site that lists many of the organic, Fair Trade and/or slave-free chocolates available.

I know it’s very difficult to find chocolate that is not only organic and Fair Trade, but also truly slave-free. It’s also hard to find an affordable one! Vitacost.com- one of my favorite websites ever! –has Sunspire baking chips available at very reasonable prices and in a variety of different versions, from grain-sweetened, to vegan, to carob and more! Of course, they don’t offer a “classic” semi-sweet or dark chocolate version on vitacost, but they do have that kind available at Whole Foods.



Of course, I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone; I don’t always use certified chocolates myself since they are not always readily available like I said. I a merely trying to draw attention to the situations surrounding the cocoa bean trade that some sources claim is “getting better”, yet many state otherwise. It’s always good to be informed, and if you are able to make a better buying decision isn’t that always the best way to go? Most of you have children and are horrified that children as young as three (probably younger!) are put into labor camps to harvest cocoa beans, coffee beans, and many other items. Heck, even if you don’t have kids I’m sure you are just as saddened by the situation, so let’s do our best to support those companies that are trying to make a difference!

To end on a lighter note, Lily recently tried chocolate chip cookies for the first time (here’s the photographic proof!) and loved them! This version of chocolate chip cookies would be a great first cookie for a little one in your life due to the added benefits of whole grain flours, coconut and less sugar than most readily-available cookies out there. And of course you want your child’s first cookie to be homemade! They will taste the love you put into making them, I guarantee it!

Dark chocolate has also been proven to be quite healthy itself, especially in comparison to milk chocolate. First of all, it is full of heart-healthy antioxidants and natural mood-boosters which is why many people crave chocolate when they're feeling blue. It also contains many vital minerals such as iron and magnesium. I don't know about you, but I greatly prefer the taste of dark to milk chocolate anyway!

Check back next week for Meatless Monday, the first featured up-and-coming blog post, and another cookie recipe! Have a great weekend!!!

2 comments:

  1. Yum, those cookies look delish!

    ReplyDelete
  2. These cookies do sound great! I like the idea of using flax seeds too! Thank you for opening my eyes on free trade, slave free chocolate. I'm sorry to say but it's something I hadn't thought about and now will be more careful where I put my money. Thanks! Hope you get a little sleep, having a little one really does zap your energy!! Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete

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