Mike has always been somewhat of a social butterfly, but when the weather starts to warm up he is even more so.
He’s been inviting a different dinner guest about once every 10 days for the past month and a half or so, and of course in addition to a home-cooked dinner, I always plan for at least a little something for dessert as well.
A couple weeks ago, Mike told me that our dinner guest was “a healthy guy” when I asked what he wanted me to make. As vague as that was, at least it was something to go on. I figured I could take my liberties and make something I’d enjoy as well.
And I’ve been in the mood for cookies. And chocolate. (Always chocolate, right, ladies?)
So Hazelnut-Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookie Balls just made sense.
These cookies are nicely sweet without being cloyingly so, and without an aftertaste that baked goods with stevia can sometimes have. They’re soft, but slightly chewy and dense. They’re pretty true to the flavor of real chocolate chip cookies, if I do say so myself.
And you probably noticed, I had a lot of fun with this photo shoot! I couldn’t help all the pictures. ;)
- 3 Medjool dates (60 g), pitted and coarsely chopped
- 6 tablespoons boiling water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted, grass-fed butter or coconut oil, slightly softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon powdered stevia, which is equivalent to 2 packets (see Note)
- Scant 3/4 cup (85 g) almond meal
- Scant 3/4 cup (85 g) hazelnut meal
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 oz (55 g/about 1/2 cup chopped) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350F; line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
- Add the dates and boiling water to a blender, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes, and then puree; transfer to a small dish and set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk together the butter, egg, vanilla, stevia, and cooled date mixture until smooth. Stir in the almond meal, hazelnut meal, tapioca starch, baking powder, and sea salt, and then fold in the chopped chocolate.
- Cover the bowl and transfer the dough to the freezer to chill until stiffened, about 15 minutes.
- Scoop the dough into 1 tablespoon-sized balls and arrange them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake until the cookies are set and light golden on the bottom, but not overcooked, about 10 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through.
- Cool completely on the trays before removing and serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.