It almost feels as though Christmas has appeared out of nowhere this year, catching me unawares. I have been flat-out working on my new artisan protein bar venture (yes, watch this space, protein bar aficionados … ) and this has taken me away from the blog and from recipe creation and testing. I have also started making chocolates but pursuing this aspect of Chocolate Chilli Mango will have to wait until 2014, once my protein bars are ramping up for world domination. Yes, I’m feeling giddy and optimistic after market testing! But hey, this leaves so many recipes yet unmade, unshared, and unloved :-/ Most will wait for the new year but I am planning to post something new before Christmas, after today’s post. I have some baking to do for Christmas gifting at the eleventh hour 😉
Speaking of Christmas gifting, I have been making a couple of batches of spicy chocolate chip cookies for a friend to gift to her clients and students. The aroma that filled the kitchen reminded me of how much I loved these little spicy mouthfuls myself, so I made a batch for mum and me too. They are based on the Awesome Choc Chip Protein Bombs recipe. You can make these as healthy as you like, or not 😉
I highly recommend finding a really good Lebkuchen or gingerbread spice mix for these (or make your own!) … and be generous with your use of spice, as you are generous with your spirit at this time of year.
They make a lovely gluten-free treat for family and friends who may not be able to enjoy other Christmas treats. They are gluten-free and can be low FODMAP (so long as you do not add any casein powder and only use dark chocolate chips). It’s great to not feel left out at times of celebration and family gatherings.
I have included the macronutrient profile for the cookies below the recipe as usual, for those of you who keep track of these things, as I do too.
Share and enjoy
Lebkuchen spice is a German gingerbread spice mix. Substitute your favourite gingerbread spice if you cannot find it. I recommend making your own fresh almond butter (it's fresher and cheaper too) but realise that many of you prefer to buy it.
Both the oats and the protein powder are optional extras in these moreish cookies. Personally, I would recommend the oats, as they lend a little extra oomph factor.
I've added the protein powder just as an extra because I often add it with great results It really doesn't add a great deal to the protein content of each cookie unless you make the cookies fairly large ;) Unflavoured or vanilla casein or pea protein isolate work best in this recipe but you could substitute whey. Whey is fine but will make them more crumbly in texture as it has a drying effect.
These cookies also work well with either your favourite brown or unrefined sugar (coconut, maple, and rapadura are all fantastic for these cookies). Granulated sweeteners like Norbu or Natvia are also excellent, if you need to reduce the carb content.
They are great with dark, milk, or white chocolate chips!
- 250 grams almond butter or whole almonds
- 100 grams Norbu or brown sugar
- 50 grams gluten-free rolled oats (optional)
- 30 grams protein powder (optional)
- 5 grams bicarbonate of soda
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 5 grams lebkuchen spice (German gingerbread spice mix)
- 2 grams pure vanilla bean powder* or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 60 grams good quality chocolate chips - dark, milk, or white
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Line baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
If using whole almonds, dry roast them in a 180°C oven until they are just golden and you start to smell the aroma. Let cool until just warm, then process to a smooth paste in a food processor.
Place the almond butter, sweetener or sugar, oats, protein powder, bicarbonate of soda, egg, lebkuchen spice, and vanilla into a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Roll heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on the baking trays, allowing some room for spreading. If you like, press very lightly with a fork or a flat knife.
Bake cookies for about 8 – 10 minutes until golden. Be careful not to over-bake them or the base will burn.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks. The cookies will be soft when taken out of the oven but will crisp up a little as they cool.
Store in an airtight container, away from heat, in a cool, dry place.
*Vanilla bean powder is simply ground whole vanilla bean. I use Professional Whey Organic Vanilla Powder
I have included the macros for the recipe using Norbu as the sweetener as well as using brown sugar, but without the added protein powder (simply add on the macros for the supplement you choose, if using).
If you substitute ingredients or add in extras, you will need to account for these changes.