Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chocolate Black Bean Cookies

From a very young age, my parents brainwashed me into believing that Americanism is a very, very bad thing to which we should not subscribe – cultural imperialism my Dad called it.  Now in my second year of university and, as I like to think anyway, more independent in my thought processes, I can’t help but agree.  Everywhere we go, things wreak of America: fast food, commercial television, movies, etc, etc. I’ve become so sensitive to these sorts of stimuli that even uttering the word “cookie” makes me cringe.

To be fair, cookies and biscuits are different; that’s my way of justifying the vocalisation of the former. In my mind, cookies are large, soft and gooey while biscuits are usually a bit smaller and have a more crunchy texture.  For example, I would say Monte Carlos, Milk Arrowroots and Iced Vovos are most definitely biscuits while those choc-chip things they sell in big plastic tubs at Woolies and Coles would be cookies. Does anyone else have any ideas?

This brings me back to the cookies that are supposed to be the feature of this post, rather than my anti-Americanisation-of-Australia rants. These should be soft and gooey – and half of them did turn out that way – but when I turned my back for 10 minutes I found my parents had decided they were undercooked (they were straight out of the oven and still warm for goodness sakes!) and popped them back in to be roasted hard and dry.. apparently they taste better this way. Hmph. So basically, half the batch were cookies. The other half were biscuits.

Black bean cookies... it looks like one of the beans fell out + another one peeled as it roasted... ah well. The other ones were too ugly (in terms of shape) to use for a photo! (Or they had been eaten by my parents..)
The credit for this recipe goes once again to Green Kitchen Stories. I did originally make a batch with coconut palm sugar as they did, but tried to cook them using the ‘crisp’ function of the new microwave and promptly smoked the house out, leaving flat burnt carcinogenic paddies and a strong chocolate stench permeating the house. It turns out that “20 minutes in the oven” translates to “7 minutes or less in the microwave when it is set to crisp”. Something to keep in mind for next time.

Attempt #1: carcinogenic cookies
Attempt number two was a little more successful, apart from the already mentioned sabotage by my parents. This time though, I used honey (simply because we have 100kg of the stuff at home at the moment) instead of the coconut palm sugar and decreased the amount of the other liquid ingredients by a smidgen. I have previously made the ‘Black Bean Chocolate Chili Cherry Cookies’ from My New Roots and although they were absolutely delicious, these are simpler and much more worth it when considering the work to reward ratio. David from Green Kitchen Stories suggests adding in whatever else you might fancy because apparently these were created as a result of a desperate urge to bake, rather than being prepared for the task. However, I reckon they’re pretty darn good as they are.

On a final note: just because the unhealthiest ingredient in these is honey/olive oil/nut butter/salt, it doesn’t mean you can eat the whole batch at once. OK….. Yes…. Well….. It’s time for the recipe now.

(I think I need to practise this cookie-stacking business... it's harder than it looks :-| )

Chocolate Black Bean Power Cookies (adapted from Green Kitchen Stories)
Makes approximately 10 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked black beans
1 Tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
2 Tbsp nut butter (I used cashew)
1  Tbsp soy milk
½ cup (120 ml) honey
4-5 Tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
Good pinch of salt



Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C

2. Rinse the beans in cold water and drain them.

3. Put aside ~20 beans and place the rest in a food processor along with the oil, nut butter, milk and honey. Blend until smooth.

4. Sift together the cacao, baking powder and salt and add it to the bean mixture in the food processor. Blend until combined (the batter will look like a thick mousse).

5. Line a baking tray and spoon 9-12 dollops of batter onto it, evenly distributing them throughout the tray. Use a spoon/finger to push the batter into cookies of 7-10cm in diameter.

6. Top each cookie with a couple of the left over beans and bake for ~20 minutes (they will still be soft to the touch at this stage).

7. Set the tray aside for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool.


I had to exercise a lot of self control to not eat the batter as it was, straight out of the food processor. Even though people  might love cookies, people also love chocolate mousse… and that’s exactly what the batter was!

- Matilda

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