Here’s some healthy stuff for us all to eat between cakes! 🙂 But nice and yummy so we can keep hold of that warm festive spirit and not mention that word (D-I-E-T). Oops. You didn’t see that. Let’s just nibble on some of these tasty little biscuits or cookies. Surprisingly yummy and addictive they’ll make you happy about having to eat more healthily after the festive food bonanzas you might have inadvertently taken part in. It’s terrible how food just creeps up on you. Yes, we’ve all been there. I didn’t know what to call these biscuits. They’re gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan with buckwheat flour, ground almonds and hazelnuts, maple syrup and other healthy stuff like dates, matcha green tea, chia seeds, coconut oil and optional sesame seeds. A bit of a mouthful. So I took the liberty of using the ‘s’ word and they became buckwheat and nut superfood cookies. A really fast, easy recipe and healthy too! Yay and yay! Um… I suppose I can eat a few more then. 🙂
And maybe another one. Hold on. Just one more. I’ve kind of forgotten how to exercise self-restraint. Oh well. I know I shouldn’t eat too many but these are healthy and I still feel good after several. Yay! 🙂
I’m going to focus on writing the recipe now so you too can partake of these little wonders. No they’re not chocolate éclairs or cream cakes but you might find them strangely tasty and more satisfying with a lovely subtle seed crunch.
These biscuits are an adaptation of the chocolate chia cookies in the book Deliciously Ella. I left out the cacao and replaced it with matcha green tea powder. Then I played around with some of the method, baking temperatures, times and ingredients. You could replace chia seeds with flaxseeds or sesame seeds, use other kinds of nuts, and maybe honey instead of maple syrup. And since they can be quite crunchy perhaps dipping the biscuits in dark chocolate would be nice, or sandwiching something nice and creamy between two biccies. Maybe white chocolate and Mum suggested salted caramel, which sounds delicious but kind of goes against the whole superfood thing. Darn. Though I confess to adding a yummy ‘not-very-healthy’ ingredient to some of them. Can you guess what it is?
These biscuits and the sesame seed ones were baked on day two with leftover dough kept overnight in the fridge. They were tasty but the dough had darkened and turning them over for an even bake seemed to make them less attractive. So maybe same day baking and no turning over is best. On day two I also experimented making them slightly thicker but I think thinner is best. Please adapt them to your own tastes. Anyway, they looked nice in the little packet mum made for her friend.
Preparation and equipment
Line two baking trays with baking paper or silicone mats. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F (static oven) or 170°C/340°F (fan/convection oven). You’ll need a food processor, grinder or barmix (if you don’t have these you could use ready-ground almonds or nuts and chop then mash your dates by hand. Stir then knead your dough by hand very quickly without overworking).
- 100g/three quarters of a cup almonds
- 95g/three quarters of a cup hazelnuts
- 100g/two thirds of a cup buckwheat flour
- 65g (50ml) maple syrup
- 2 and a half medjool dates, pitted (50g)
- 1 tablespoon (6g) matcha green tea powder or more, to taste
- 1 and a half tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 32ml/g water
- Process the almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor for a few minutes until they’re ground to a fairly fine flour.
- Add all the other ingredients and process for a minute or so till just combined. Don’t overwork or you’ll get tough cookies. You could do this step by hand in a bowl, stirring then kneading very lightly to make the dough.
- Make little balls with the dough (about a teaspoon or tablespoon each, as you prefer).
- Place on a prepared tray and flatten with a rubber spatula or spatula knife till thin (about 2 to 3 mm, but you could try thinner). Leave about 1cm (1/3 inch) between the biscuits. They can be closer than in the picture below as they don’t spread out much.
- Bake for 7 to 12 minutes, depending on your oven and thickness of your biscuits. Keep a close eye on them because they can go dark very quickly. They’re ready when they’ve browned slightly, even just around the edges but might be a little paler in the middle. I’ve found these cookies seem quite soft when you take them out of the oven but harden and go crunchy as they cool. So if you leave them in the oven till they’re a darker brown they’ll be very crunchy! You can experiment to bake them to your tastes.
ANOTHER OPTION: I tried making a roll, freezing it then cutting slices of cookies to put on the tray (you can flatten them out more on the tray). That worked but I prefer rolling balls to flatten on the tray.
VARIATIONS – to make them more exciting! 🙂
- Dip half of each ball in sesame seeds before flattening, with the sesame seed half facing up.
- lightly and quickly knead in some crushed feuillantine – this is my not-so-healthy ingredient that adds some sweetness to these cookies and a little spice. You could also add nuts.
I discovered Gavotte feuillantine wafer-thin biscuits (traditionally served with ice-cream) on the Cordon Bleu course in Paris recently and it seems to be a popular pâtisserie ingredient at the moment in France. The biscuits can be crushed and added to fillings like praline hazelnut paste or sprinkled on cakes, desserts and cookies.
Do you have any other ideas for using feuillantine? Or some other … ahem… healthier options for these cookies? 🙂 I did enjoy the sesame seed ones.
It’s strange how they come out of the oven a lot less green. I’m sharing them with Free from Fridays hosted by Emma@Freefromfarmhouse. Please help yourselves to a healthy biscuit, aka cookie. Have a few. They’re strangely addictive.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick dip into healthier baking reduced-sweet reader! And I wish you a lovely week ahead still enjoying some post-festive treats and glow. Happy baking and not-too-reduced-calorie eating! 🙂 x