When Mr H and I went to New York a couple of months ago we had a huge list of things (mainly food related) that we wanted to pack in to our five day visit. My list included things like The Butcher’s Daughter and Hu Kitchen and his included such culinary gems as Carnegie Deli and Levain Bakery. Now I know as well as the next woman that the secrets of a happy marriage are compromise and a well fed husband, plus here at D&H we believe in active avoidance (so whilst I might know that a piece of chocolate cake might make me feel rubbish tomorrow, I’ll have a couple of bites if I fancy it and not give myself a guilt trip for doing so), so I was happy to indulge him, and indeed as it turns out, myself.
We rocked up to Levain Bakery on a Sunday morning, after a gorgeous sunny stroll in Central Park, and lo and behold a massive queue stood between us and their famous cookies. We decided to join the back of the line (we’d come this far and also the smell was just amazing) and chatted in the sunshine for a good 20 minutes or so until it was our turn to squeeze in to the tiniest bakery I’ve ever seen.
We bought one of their double chocolate peanut butter cookies, hid it in my handbag, stopped off at a juice bar round the corner to get a green juice (in our heads it cancelled out the cookie) and went and sat in the park to eat it. It was just the richest, sweetest, gooiest, chocolatiest, most amazing cookie I’ve ever had. It was so sweet I only managed a couple of bites (and all the sugar made me feel a bit jittery afterwards) but it sure did inspire me to come up with a healthy version that doesn’t cost $8 a cookie (or whatever it was) and doesn’t require queueing up for 20 minutes for! I can’t tell you how happy I am with the results – you’d never know these cookies were healthy, they’re just incredible!
Makes 5-6 huge cookies
- 1 1/2 cups oats
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1 can black beans, drained (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 4 tbsp cacao powder
- Raw chocolate chunks – you can either buy this (my fave is Raw Halo, I use two of their 33g bars for these cookies) or make your own using 1/2 cup cacao butter, 4 tbsp maple syrup and 3 tbsp cacao powder
- 5 tsp peanut butter
If you’re making the raw chocolate from scratch it’s best to get a start on this first. Melt the cacao butter (or you could always use coconut oil instead) in a bowl over a saucepan half-full with water on the hob on a medium heat until completely melted and then add in the cacao butter and maple syrup and stir well. Pour the melted chocolate into a silicone loaf mould or lined loaf tin – you want it to be only 1/2 a cm or so thick so that you can break it up easily into chunks once it’s set. Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool while you make the cookies.
Pop the oats in a food processor or high speed blender and whizz for a minute or so until they become a flour. Pour this into a mixing bowl and stir in the ground almonds and cacao powder, then add the maple syrup and coconut oil and stir well. Next place the black beans in your food processor/blender and whizz for 1-2 minutes until the beans form a thick, smooth paste. Spoon this into the mixing bowl and stir it into the other ingredients.
If you’re using homemade chocolate chunks now’s the time to take the chocolate out of the fridge. Whatever chocolate you’re using, break it up into small pieces now and stir the pieces in to the mixing bowl. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spoon 2 heaped tablespoons of the mixture onto the paper for each cookie, and flatten so they’re about 3 inches in diameter. Next spoon about a tsp of peanut butter on top and lastly top with another 1-2 heaped tablespoons of cookie mixture, so that the peanut butter is covered.
Place them in the oven for 15 minutes, then leave to cool for a couple of minutes before you dig in. Don’t wait too long though, they’re yummiest when they’ve just come out the oven and they’re super gooey and all the chocolate is melted!
Love, Mrs H xx