BAKERY CAFE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Valentine’s Day!!

Guys!!! These cookies are perfect for such a romantic day.  I love romantic traditions and any excuse to celebrate the love for my husband makes me very happy because I dreamed of a marriage like the one we have. Oh and since he is gluten free and loves cookies it’s a perfect recipe! I am so excited for this one!!!

I also dreamed about creating a gluten free bakery chunky chocolate chip cookie with simple ingredients. Almost like a single serving or a small portion recipe because let’s face it, we need a quick simple killer recipe we can make ASAP that really stands out.

I love bakeries and every time I go I think why don’t they have a “healthier” cookie that is gluten free and has less sugar? Now this is my indulgent cookie because it does have some brown sugar (not a lot but it needs it to create a chunky chewy cookie. And since we are celebrating a special day and it’s once a year: let’s splurge!

Creating this recipe really was challenging because when I was asked by The Teff Co to create a special Valentine’s Day recipe and I immediately gravitated towards chocolate chip cookies (kind of the NYC bakery style) and I craved these cookies so much I said YES! I LOVE their ivory teff flour !! Little did I know it would take me 6 recipe tests to make this happen, and boy am I glad I did! 

This recipe is sponsored by The Teff Co (I love this company and their products are amazing) thanks for supporting the brands I love! All opinions are my own! 

I am soo excited to share with you all I have learned baking with Maskal ivory teff flour! I love the flavor notes, how healthy it is and how it blends really well with almond flour. It is a great ancient grain gluten free flour that adds smooth, earthy notes to baked goods. I see it like the new quinoa (it tastes way better than quinoa or amaranth!). Here are some of the health benefits:  high calcium content, with a cup of cooked teff offering 123mg, about the same amount of calcium as in a half-cup of cooked spinach. Teff is high in resistant starch, a newly-discovered type of dietary fiber that can benefit blood sugar management, weight control, and colon health. It’s estimated that 20-40% of the carbohydrates in teff are resistant starches. A gluten-free grain with a mild flavor, teff is a healthy and versatile ingredient for many gluten-free products.

Where do you buy Maskal Teff flour? Grab some here

Other recipes I have made using Ivory Teff are: matcha alfajores, jam shortbread cookies, granolasavory granolabanana bread, pumpkin olive oil cake

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
BAKERY CAFE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
 
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Chunky chewy cookies!! And they are gluten free (no gums, no starches, no nut butters, lower in sugar than most recipes), easy to make, short simple ingredients. You would never guess they are gluten free! And this is a small portion recipe which let's face it it's brilliant!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4 small or 3 large
Ingredients
  • 30 gr grass fed butter such as Kerrygold, unsalted: at room temperature
  • 40 gr brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 egg yolk I love and use Vital Farms organic, pasture raised (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 32 gr Maskal Teff ivory flour
  • 40 gr almond flour such as Costco brand, trader Joes or Bobs Red Mill (must be fine and blanched)
  • pinch Ceylon cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon Redmond sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda (at high altitude use a pinch)
  • 25 gr chocolate 72% chips I used Equal Exchange 70 %
Method
  1. I love to bake my cookies on a perforated tray with a Silpat and using a Baking Steel underneath bakes these better. Check out the products in my shop.
  2. In a large bowl: with a whisk: mix butter, brown sugar and vanilla to combine (don't whisk to much or the cookies will spread). Add egg yolk, mix well. Add flours, baking soda + salt. Mix until combined.. With a rubber spatula fold in chocolate. Shape cookies with a large scoop and put onto the baking tray (don't flatten) and freeze for 1 hour. Pre heat oven to 350 F. Bake frozen cookies for about 8-10 mins until golden brown and crispy on the edges. Remove from the oven and sprinkle some Maldon Salt on top. Let cool and remove cookies with a cookie spatula. Cool on a perforated tray with parchment paper. They keep well for about 3 days stored in an acrylic container such as a recycled pre washed salad container.

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ORANGE ESPRESSO PALEO BROWNIES

As you have seen I LOVE love brownies, I consider myself a brownie queen because I started baking brownies when I was 7 years old.

I have made cocoa brownies, chocolate brownies, a combination of chocolate + cocoa, unsweetened chocolate based like these, flourless, garbanzo bean flour, raw brownies, black bean brownies, marbled brownies, keto brownies, etc, etc.

Something about brownies makes me very happy and I am on a constant quest for the next best brownies (I literally have enough recipes to make my next ebook). All my brownie recipes MUST be chewy. I hate cakey brownies and fudgy brownies are way too intense. Chewy and a crackly top is essential. So when Santa Barbara Chocolate asked me to develop a special recipe for them using their impressive unsweetened chocolate I said hell yes! Little did I know I was up for a challenge. I love recipe development and bake every day, every moment I can and while I do have 28 years of extensive recipe development experience I always learn something new.

Once I decided which formula would work, I had to make these brownies twice to get them just right. I started with one of my favorite paleo brownie recipes, but in this case I had to use the unsweetened chocolate as a core ingredient (which meant it was harder to get the chewy texture I craved, because when you substitute a 70 % chocolate for a pure 100 % chocolate (called cacao paste, raw cacao, cacao liquor or unsweetened chocolate) most baked good will get very fudgy, very crumbly and INTENSE due to the lack of sugar and fluidity of the cacao paste. 

So let’s talk about why I adore this cacao paste or unsweetened chocolate from Santa Barbara Chocolate and why it has become a staple ingredient in my baking pantry and in my workshops.

It is called raw chocolate within the health food industry for its robust taste. Under the FDA definition it’s called chocolate liquor, though it’s non-alcoholic. The home baker’s term is unsweetened baking chocolate. Santa Barbara Chocolate calls it Unsweetened Chocolate Pure Cacao because this is the most descriptive.

Santa Barbara Chocolate’s no sugar added baking chocolate has become a favorite among sugar aware people like me and athletes seeking authentic pure cacao. 

  1. There is no sugar added at all (no sugar alcohols nothing!) brilliant! (side note: I don’t  really like “sugar free” chocolates sweetened with stevia or monk fruit or Maltitol) I prefer this! 
  2. Unlike every other 100% chocolate (most are un edible) this one is naturally sweet and creamy and fluid (according to a chocolate expert I talked to this is because of the cacao beans used.
  3. I could eat it by the handful every day. I love it in smoothies, cookies, brownies. 
  4. It is a perfect keto and paleo chocolate with no added sugars !!! WIN/ WIN!!
  5. It is organic.
  6. It comes in small discs (perfect for melting and for using as chocolate chips). BRILLIANT.
  7. It bakes and melts very well. I all applications (cookies, brownies, glazes).

Another great thing I love about Santa Barbara Chocolate is their cocoa powders (my absolute favorite is their Red Cocoa) YOU NEED this in your life! It bakes so well, it tastes amazing, it has the perfect amount of fats, color, texture. It enhances everything. I really can’t use other cocoas after this one. Please note I used 2 types of their cocoa in this brownie because I wanted to make it less intense. So I used half of their Red Cocoa (they also call it vegan cocoa) and half of their Rainforest alkalized cacao. You can use just their red cacao or sub the alkalized Rainforest cacao for a raw cacao powder you like (I use this combo to create a lighter color and flavor).

I was inspired to add orange marmalade to the brownies because an instagram friend suggested it and I love orange + espresso together. It will take your brownies to another level. You can also omit. 

This recipe is perfect for Valentine’s Day. My husband LOVES them! Serve with a salted caramel ice cream and some raspberries and you have a perfect romantic dessert. 

These freeze very well.

Thanks to Santa Barbara Chocolate for sponsoring this blog post and recipe. All opinions are my own.

Thank you for supporting the brands I love. I only share what I use and adore! If you make this recipe please comment, review and share your creations on Instagram and tag me @chefvanessamusi I love seeing your creations. 

 

ORANGE ESPRESSO PALEO BROWNIES
 
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Best paleo brownies made with unsweetened chocolate and cocoa. Chewy, perfect gooey brownies with orange and espresso. A match made in heaven. These are my new favorite brownies!!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9 medium
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ large organic, pasture raised eggs (to get ½ an egg : beat 1 egg use half)
  • 10 grams vanilla
  • 75 grams Santa Barbara Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 50 grams avocado oil
  • 115 grams coconut sugar
  • 100 grams fine almond flour
  • ¾ teaspoon (3 gr) baking powder: gluten free, aluminium free such as Rumford (at high altitude use half of this)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 grams Red Cocoa Santa Barbara Chocolate
  • 13 grams organic natural process cacao powder Santa Barbara
  • 20 grams unsweetened chocolate Santa Barbara Chocolate (to garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon best orange marmalade (you can add more to taste)
  • ¼ -½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (or more to taste)
Method
  1. Prepare a 6 or 7 inch square brownie pan or baking tray such as American Metalcraft, grease lightly and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a medium bowl: sift: almond flour, cacao, salt and baking powder. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl; melt the 75 gr unsweetened chocolate and combine with the avocado oil.
  2. In another large bowl: whisk eggs + vanilla + coconut sugar, add chocolate + oil mixture and combine well. Add the marmalade and coffee.
  3. Add the almond, cocoa mixture and mix well.
  4. Put the batter in the prepared pan. Level the batter with an offset spatula and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate. Bake for aprox 15 mins: this depends on your oven and the pan used. Make sure you test it out during baking with a toothpick which must come out with very moist crumbs (not wet or dry). These brownies are a bit tricky to gage the exact time. Don’t over bake or they will be dry, crumbly and fudgy cakey in a bad way!
  5. You ideally want them moist and as they cool and set up they have a chewy consistency. If by any chance you under bake them (it has happened to me 🙂 just put them back in the pan and bake them a bit longer. Cool for several hours so that they set well and cut into 9 pieces. These keep well for about 3 days max. Store in a covered container.

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SWEET POTATO TURTLE CAKE

Happy New Year guys! 2018 was quite a year! Hope 2019 is amazing for you all!

2018 had SO many highs and lows. On the plus side the highs were finding and buying our baking school a mixed use property which is REALLY hard to find here in Central East Austin (and when you do it’s super expensive), I still pinch my arm that I found this UNICORN property and that it’s in a great neighborhood and it was affordable. Now we need to remodel and get a commercial permit. I am blessed to have met the right people. It does take a village to create the first healthy baking school in the world. 

We also celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary in NYC which was awesome!!!

On the low side: I was diagnosed with pre diabetes. As many of you know I have had hypoglycemia for 27 years but in November I had a messenger come on the form of a lovely student who has diabetes and works for One Drop a wonderful company that created a very cool glucometer that my student so kindly sent me as a present. So when it arrived I pinched my finger and tested my fasting blood sugar and it came out to 186 I was horrified to say the least because I had never crossed the 100 line. So basically in 6 months I had become pre diabetic. My A1C (A1C is a blood test that reflects your average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. TheA1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1C, HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin, or glycohemoglobin test. Hemoglobin is the part of a red blood cell that carries oxygen to the cells.) was 6.3 (a diabetic’s is 6.5 an above). So I rushed of to the doctor and had more blood work done and was diagnosed as pre diabetic. Word of advice here: after going to a specialist in diabetes most doctors will tell you the “normal” range as if this is the ideal or the ok place to be, be ware it’s not. I am still working on lowering my numbers and pinch my finger every day. It has been challenging to control and lower my blood sugar because: 1. I am a healthy pastry chef 2. I do a LOT of recipe development and taste many recipes 3. I have a sweet tooth (more than I would like to acknowledge). 3. I am a HUGE foodie and savor the world.

What has helped me lower my blood sugar is: 1. Sleeping 8 hours 2. Eating a plant based keto diet (5 cups veggies/ mostly greens) reducing carbs a lot and not eating after 6 pm 3. walking 10,000 steps every day 4. No added sugars 

Hope these tips help you as I do get a lot of messages from diabetic and pre diabetic and hypoglycemics. 

So here is a recipe I love and so many of you have asked me for. It’s not KETO but  paleo and here is my perspective: eat clean and if you are going to have a dessert make it paleo or keto.

 

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
SWEET POTATO TURTLE CAKE
 
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I love this Sweet Potato Turtle Cake! I actually prefer sweet potato desserts to pumpkin ones! This cake is a perfect balance of textures, spice, chocolate and pecans I hope it will become your go to recipe for a great paleo cake
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 medium loaf cake
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs I love and use Vital Farms organic and pasture raised
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree (roast a medium large potato with skin until soft/ peel and blend)
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup refined coconut oil, melted or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup arrowroot (60 gr)
  • 1 cup (110 gr) almond flour (always scale for best results)
  • 58 gr cassava flour
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda I used and love Bobs Red Mill (at high altitude use ½ teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pecan muscovado crumble:
  • 50 gr chopped pecan halves
  • 12 gr grass fed butter such as Kerry Gold
  • 12 gr Light or dark moscovado sugar
  • Maldon Salt to taste (aprox ¼ teaspoon)
  • Mix all ingredients
  • ½ cup 70 % Chocolate chunks such as Guittard, Valrhona
Method
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F, grease and line a large loaf pan (or 3 small loaf pans) with paper. In a large bowl: whisk all the wet ingredients: sweet potato, oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar: mix with a whisk. In another bowl: sift all the dry ingredients: flours, salt and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients and use a plastic spatula to finish mixing. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle pecan moscovado crumble on top.
  2. Bake for aprox 50 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. You may need to lower the baking temperature to 340 F so it doesn’t over brown. Towards the end of baking add the chocolate chunks. Let cool, un mold. Cool completely and cut with a serrated knife.

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