Two bite chocolate cookies for the New Year (gluten free, vegan, healthier)

With a New Year upon us I thought it would be a good idea to share some irresistable bite sized treat recipes for those who are trying to...

With a New Year upon us I thought it would be a good idea to share some irresistable bite sized treat recipes for those who are trying to cut back on sweets but just can't quite refrain entirely. These two bite chocolate chip cookies are just the ticket -- and pretty healthy anyway so even if you nibble a few more than you planned, you don't need to worry about derailing your resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle this year.

These little cookies pack rich chocolatey flavour into a tiny bite. They also happen to be vegan and gluten free. Virgin coconut oil stands in for butter making these a little healthier than your average cookies. Coconut oil is believed to be thermogenic -- meaning it actually helps your body to burn fat! The sweeteners in this cookie are unrefined and healthier than sugar too. Coconut sugar is a low-glycemic sweetener that stands in for brown sugar in this recipe. Liquid sweeteners are used as well including maple syrup and brown rice syrup or honey (which isn't vegan but I still use it on a rare occasion). Bleached flour is replaced by brown rice flour which is wholegrain, and arrowroot starch is added to give a slight chewiness to the cookies (and aid in digestion). Raw cacao powder (which is crazy high in antioxidants) replaces cocoa powder and gives these cookies an intense chocolate flavour. Mini vegan chocolate chips finish off each bite and add an extra note of dark chocolate. One bite and you'd never guess these cookies were full of such innocent ingredients. 

I never really bought into the whole 'detox for the new year stuff' -- I'm a fan of living a healthy life year round --  but I do understand what its like to eat a lot of unusually rich food around the holidays and then want to get back into healthy mode as soon as possible. But even when I do that, I still like to enjoy a treat here and there. That's why these tiny cookies are the perfect solution. If you ate well balanced meals all week long and then nibbled on these over the weekend or after a long day, I don't see anything wrong with that at all. Your life won't be thrown upside down, if anything allowing yourself a treat now and then is a positive thing in my mind. It keeps your head in the healthy game because you aren't limiting yourself too much -- which I find leads to bingeing, inevitably feeling hopeless and giving up on being "healthy" altogether. So to stay on track this year, eat these cookies...and you know, salad!

TWO BITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES (gluten free, vegan optional)

  • 1.5 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1/4-1/3 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4-1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Blend all dry ingredients together well in a food processor.
  • 4-5 tbsp virgin coconut oil (solid)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2.5 tbsp liquid sweetener (I used raw honey (not vegan) to keep the recipe vegan use coconut nectar or brown rice syrup)

Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture and blend well. TASTE! Is it sweet enough? Add more coconut sugar or maple to sweeten to your taste, blending in well before you taste.Once you like the taste, the dough should still be crumbly. Add a small splash of water or non dairy milk and blend well to form a smooth soft dough. Scoop out teaspoon sized amounts of dough and gently roll each clump into a smooth ball. Arrange the balls of dough evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cup a ball in your palm gently and press your thumb or a smaller finger to make a dent in the middle, Place back on the baking sheet and repeat to make dents in all the balls.
  • OPTIONAL TOPPING: Mini vegan chocolate chips

Grab some mini chocolate chips. Drop 4-6 mini chips (or 2 standard sized chips) into each dent. Gently press the chips in to connect them to the dough, but do it gently enough to preserve the shape of the cookie. Place baking sheet in freezer for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, preheat oven to 370F. Once the balls have been chilled, bake them in the hot oven for 10-13 minutes until slightly golden brown on the bottom and semi-firm to the touch. Cool on a rack until room temperature.

Serve immediately or store in fridge or cookie tins for later.

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