Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Black Bean Chocolate Chili Cookies

It's almost Valentine's Day and this might be our best one yet.  Don and I have never celebrated this silly holiday.  Perhaps because we were married a mere six days past the 14th, we have both passed on giving gifts or celebrating any sort of romantic notions.  Having kids changed this game plan a little, as the school system is quick to embrace the Valentine's culture.  For years we have made cards and chocolate dipped strawberries to share with classmates.  It's fun, but often a mad rush to have them completed in time.

This year both kids have advised they no longer need to take cards or snacks.  Although I'm a little sad that they're growing up, I'm relieved to skip the late night antics of February 13th.  If I were baking for Valentine's Day this year, it would be these cookies.  Deceptively decadent, you'd never know just how nourishing they are.  Free of refined sugars, flours and with a surprising kick of protein, it's a wonderful treat to foil all the crap you're likely to be offered.

Black Bean Chocolate Chili Cookies

adapted from My new Roots

1 ½ cups black beans, cooked
2 Tbsp. coconut oil 
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. chia seeds 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (80% or higher)
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla in a bowl and reserve.
Place drained and well-rinsed beans, coconut oil, cocoa, salt and cayenne in a food processor and blend until well combined. Add maple syrup and chia mixture and pulse to incorporate.  Remove blade from the food processor and add chopped chocolate and cranberries.  Mix well.
Spoon cookie batter onto lined baking sheet. Sprinkle cacao nibs on top of cookies, then using the back of the spoon, flatten top of cookies slightly. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, liberally.  Bake for 15 minutes until the edges are browning.  

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