Thanks so much for all the sweet notes and comments you guys sent me after the launch of the new site last week. I’m so glad you like the new site as much as I do, and hope this little space will make you feel more welcomed and inspired than it ever was.
With the redesign and the upcoming launch of our online shop (in case you missed the big news, read it here!), let’s say things have been a bit crazy around here. But thank goodness for all the gorgeous cookbooks that have landed on my doorstep in the past few weeks. They give me so much inspiration for my everyday recipe needs, and a nice little break from recipe development.
I’ll be sharing in the next few weeks some of my favourite recipes from the cookbooks I recently got the chance to discover, starting with these cookies from the gorgeous SWEET cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh.
This book is more than a dessert cookbook, it’s almost a piece of art. Co-written with pastry chef and Ottolenghi’s long-time friend and collaborator Helen Goh, this new book is showcasing the famous chef at the top of his game. Sweet is an absolute feast for the eye, with beautiful, inventive and never-seen-before dessert recipes, beautifully illustrated with outstanding photographs. The desserts in this book are not healthy by any means – this is not the goal here. They’re meant for celebrations, special occasions or just for those moments when you want to offer yourself or your loved ones a special treat. Even if you’re not much of a baker, this is still a wonderful cookbook to add to your collection or simply leave on the coffee table.
In the original recipe, these cookies are made with white sugar, eggs and all-purpose flour. I made them vegan and a tiny bit more wholesome, using organic cane sugar, GRAIN’s red fife wheat flour and replacing the egg with a flax egg.
They have a gooey, fudgy center and basically melt in your mouth. The trick here is to undercook them slightly (only 10 minutes), so that the center remains super soft.
The pecan and powdered sugar coating makes them extra pretty and add an irresistible little crunch. I haven’t tried the original, non-vegan version but I can tell you that this adaption came out incredible. I have made them twice these past few weeks and they disappeared ridiculously quickly. It’s a superb recipe that you will want to make over and over, to bring to your holiday parties or simply to share with the ones you love.
Recipe adapted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. Copyright © 2017. Reprinted by permission of Appetite by Random House®, a division of Random House LCC.
Note: This recipe requires chilling the dough, so you’ll need to plan a little ahead of time. Once the unbaked dough has been rolled into balls, they can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. You can also bake them from frozen; you’ll just need to add one minute of cooking time.
Chocolate Banana and Pecan Cookies
makes about 24 cookies
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water
- 8 tbsp coconut oil at room temperature (not liquid)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tsp organic cane sugar
- 1 cup organic sifted red fife flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 1/2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup (100 g.) dark chocolate chopped
- 2 oz mashed banana (about 1/2 small ripe banana)
- 1 1/3 cups (165 g.) pecan halves finely chopped
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp (100 g.) powdered sugar (*see note)
In a small bowl, stir together the ground flax seeds and water and set aside to thicken, for at least 5 minutes.
Place the coconut oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer). Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, then add the flax mixture and continue to beat until incorporated.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cacao powder, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl, then add to the coconut oil/sugar mixture. Mix on low speed for about 15 seconds, then add the chocolate and banana. Beat until combined, then transfer to the fridge for 2 hours to firm up.
When firm, use your hands to form the dough into 1″/3 cm round balls. You might need to wash your hands a few times when making them, if they get too sticky. Place the finely chopped pecans in a medium bowl and drop the balls into the nuts as you form them, pressing so they stick into the dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or silicon mat) and place the cookies onto the sheet - there is no need to space them apart - and transfer to the fridge for at least an hour (or more), until ready to bake.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl and roll the cookies in the sugar, pressing it in as you go so it sticks well.Place on a large lined baking sheet, spaced 1 inch/2.5 cm apart, and flatten the cookies to 1/3 inch/1cm thick. Bake for 10 minutes. They will be soft to the touch when they come out of the oven, so allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve them warm (they will be slightly gooey in the center), or set aside until completely cool.
*I made my own powdered sugar by blending organic cane sugar in a high-speed blender for a few seconds.