I thought I would throw together a quick post describing each of our paleo cookies in detail as well as offering up some tasty information on upcoming products. Currently we have a total of 3 flavors that we sell on our website. Each is available as a 12-pack, 6-pack, or in variety packs of 6 or 12. And now...
A Bit of Background
I love treats. As far as I know I always have. Making them brings back so many fond memories, mostly of eating them. One story in particular makes me particularly nostalgic. It also serves to highlight the natural baking skills with which I was born.
At 10 years old I decided to surprise my mom with homemade chocolate chip cookies. I followed the recipe to a tee, even using an electric hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar. Everything was going perfectly. Just before adding the chocolate chips, I decided it was time to clean out the beaters of the electric mixer to ensure that all the ingredients were completely incorporated.
What happened next is a mystery to this day. I don't know why my right hand had it in for my left, but just as I reached for the dough, the mixer suddenly turned on and yanked my hand right between the beaters. It hurt about as much as you would expect. I was a bit shocked, but quickly assessed that all my fingers still worked and that I wasn't bleeding.
So I leveled a stern and somewhat suspicious glare at the mixer, and once again reached for the dough. The results were exactly the same. Finally after the third such thrashing some sort of self preservation kicked in and I moved on to adding the chocolate chips.
At any rate, running my fingers through the beaters multiple times seemed to have dislodged all of the batter that was stuck anyway. Success! I've since moved on to a stand mixer which has proved to be much safer.
Anyway, in this post I'm going to take you through my process of developing our recipes. I'll talk about the inspiration for each recipe as well as why I've chosen the ingredients contained in each. I'll also briefly talk about some recipes that are in the works.
Coconut Cranberry Chocolate Chip
The is one of our best sellers. There's just something about the combination of tangy cranberries and dark chocolate. Add in a bit of crispy texture from toasted coconut and you've the perfect combination.
I can't take any of the credit for this particular recipe. The afore mentioned bakery in which I used work has been making a non-Paleo version of these bad boys for years. It's called the COCC. And every day of the week they sell dozens and dozens of them.
Because 90% of the ingredients used in the original recipe are serious Paleo no-no's, I basically had to start from scratch with the exception of the coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and the cranberries. But I knew if I could recreate the flavor of this recipe I would have a winner.
In addition to a few other ingredients, the original COCC contains flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, and butter. Of course none of these particular ingredients should be used in a Paleo recipe, so I had my work cut out for me. Here's what I eventually decided on: almonds form the base or body.
Next some dates were added for sweetness. A small amount of molasses provides a hint of brown sugar flavor, and a tiny amount of maple syrup adds just a bit more sweetness. Cinnamon plays a key role in the overall flavor as well since it highlights both the cranberries and the chocolate.
Finally comes a touch of vanilla, because vanilla is delicious. I don't often eat treats (even paleo treats) for breakfast, but when I do, this is what I go for. Of course it's delicious any time of day, but it just goes SO well with a cup of coffee. Mmmmm... A truly delicious Paleo biscuit.
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toasted PecansThe pecan chocolate chip is my favorite of the flavors we make. I absolutely LOVE the combination of toasted pecans and dark chocolate. The inspiration for this recipe comes from the mom of my best friend from high school. She would regularly send him dozens of these bad boys, and they never lasted long. Of all the cookies I've eaten over the course of my life, this is the best. It was perfectly balanced and LOADED with butter and pecans. When I first started creating Paleo friendly recipes I knew I had to give this one a shot.
Starting from the same base recipe as the coconut cranberry, I made some slight modifications to the amounts of the ingredients including the molasses, maple syrup and vanilla. I was actually quite shocked when it turned out to be pretty close to the original recipe. The original recipe didn't contain cinnamon, but I found it adds a nice touch to the overall flavor. Because of all the healthy fats, it is not only delicious, but very filling as well. This is the perfect snack to take on a day to the slopes, trails, or wherever.
Double Chocolate Macadamia Nut
This cookie is kind of ridiculous. It is based off of a recipe from Ina Garten at the Food Network called 'Outrageous Brownies'. When we were younger (and not yet Paleo), my mom used to make these on occasion. They are amazingly rich and a really great way to pack on 10lbs if ever the need arises. The original recipe doesn't actually contain a great deal of flour, but it is loaded with butter and sugar. I knew if I could capture the deep, rich chocolate flavor of this brownie I would have a winner on my hands.
Because of the amount of chocolate called for in this recipe, I had to modify my base slightly. I then added unsweetened chocolate, and a dark brute cocoa powder. Dates and maple syrup help offset the bitter of the chocolate, and the macadamia nuts add a great crunchy texture as well as a hint of butteriness.
Speaking from personal experience, this flavor is downright addictive. As with all my recipes, I try to keep the carbs down and the fats up. For this recipe, that was no trouble at all. This is another one that will satisfy your chocolate craving AND your appetite.
In the Works
For right now we're only producing 3 flavors. But here is a quick look at some recipes on which we're currently working. There are a couple more flavors as well as a brownie recipe that we're hoping to get out in the next couple of months. Here's a quick peek.
The Straight Up Chocolate Chip Cookie
As far as I'm concerned the original chocolate chip is the classic. I've actually been working on recipes for a Paleo chocolate chip cookie off and on for a few months. And let me tell you, this has been one tough nut to crack.
So what makes it so difficult?
Simplicity and subtlety. Most of our other flavors contain other ingredients to mask the flavors of almonds, dates, and other Paleo baking replacements. A classic chocolate chip recipe is very basic. Subtlety is achieved by properly balancing the flavors of the ingredients. But before we talk ingredients, we need to define what makes good chocolate chip recipe.
First let's talk about flavor. When I think of the perfect chocolate chip cookie I think vanilla, a hint of caramel, butter, chocolate, and then a tiny bite from the salt. With the exception of butter, which doesn't make the list of ingredients for this particular recipe, all of these are flavors we can achieve using Paleo ingredients. Up to this point, achieving the right butte flavor has been the toughest part. But I'm getting pretty close. And I hope to have this recipe ready to go soon!
This is a flavor that I developed completely by chance. Many people have come to Paleo lifestyle because of allergens. And a common allergen is nuts. Since most of our recipes are based on almonds, we've had a few requests for alternatives.
It was one such request that lead me to trying seed butters. Specifically sunflower seed butter. So I substituted almonds for sunflower seeds in a couple of our recipes. While it took some tweaking, they actually turned out pretty good.
On top of that, I was amazed at how much sunflower seed butter tastes like peanut butter. So we're currently in the process of developing a faux peanut butter recipe. We would love any input you might have as what other ingredients it should have. Since all of our other recipes contain chocolate, we are considering leaving it out of this one. We'll keep you posted though.
Paleo Oatmeal Cookies
Another all-time favorite. The Paleo oatmeal raisin recipe I'm currently working on is just about ready. I'm using an interesting mixture of shredded coconut, hulled pumpkin seeds, and walnuts to achieve an 'oat' like flavor. It's remarkably similar in flavor if I do say so myself.
I'm hoping to have it ready early this spring. The idea for this recipe actually came from the Paleo Mom, Sarah Ballantyne. She has several recipes that employ walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and shredded coconut. This combination of flavors bears a remarkable similarity to oatmeal.
Super Rich Paleo Brownies
As of right now the double chocolate macadamia is the closest thing we have to a brownie. But after reading some of Sarah Ballantyne's posts over at The Paleo Mom regarding chestnut flour, I decided to play around with a true brownie recipe.
So far the results have been pretty phenomenal. I based the recipe loosely off of the afore-mentioned Outrageous Brownie recipe. I've even gone so far as to include the instant coffee/espresso in the recipe. Now it's just a matter of making the recipe suitable for mass production.
But look for these brownies to be available soon. Unfortunately I can't set a definite date for the release of these new products. But rest assured that we will announce it here and on our Facebook page! In the meantime, please enjoy our current selection of amazing flavors! :-)