Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whole Grain Goji Cocoa Nib Crisps

These cookies are adapted from the book, Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy: Melt-in–Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich. I tweaked the recipe quite a bit, substituting whole wheat for all-purpose flour, dark brown for granulated sugar, and adding cocoa nibs. I also added goji berries, which gave the cookies nice tartness to counter the richness. Goji berries are delicate and burn quickly, however, so keep that in mind (or omit them entirely) and don’t worry 'bout a thing. 

These crispy, toasty, buttery, tart, hazelnut and cocoa scented cookies are delicious and actually, as far as cookies go, kind of healthy! 

Hazelnut, Cocoa Nib, Goji Berry, Whole-Wheat Crisps…sort of healthy, right?!
Adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich
2/3 cup raw hazelnuts (no need to toast or skin)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon all natural vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons cold water
1/3 cup cocoa nibs
1/4 cup goji berries, roughly chopped (optional, currants or chopped raisins also work)

Line a baking sheet with foil. Chop the hazelnuts and mix them well with the other dry ingredients using your fingers to break up and combine everything. Cut in the cold, cubed butter with a pastry blender, forks, or your fingers until you have a coarse meal.  Add the cocoa nibs and goji berries. Stir the water and vanilla together in a separate bowl and add to the dough. It should be dry and crumbly but stick together when pinched.  You can use a food processor to pulse all the ingredients together as well.

Dump the crumbly dough onto your prepared cookie sheet. It should look-a-like-dis!

Press and shape into a square or rectangle of even thickness, around 1/8 inch thickness is ideal, with straight edges. Chill in the freezer for two hours (or refrigerate overnight).

Preheat your oven to 350F. Transfer the dough to a cutting board and cut the dough into sticks of your desired length/width. Mine were about 1 x 5 inches each and my yield came to about 26 cookies in total. 

Transfer them carefully back to the lined cookie sheet using a knife or other implement to support them. If they break, don't you worry, just firmly patch them together on the cookie sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven, one sheet at a time, for about 11 minutes rotating the pan at the halfway mark. Watch the goji berries because they burn quickly. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before storing. Enjoy!