These chocolate and pecan cookies are made with almond flour and brown butter. TNS
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You have heard of almond flour and coconut flour, but in the gluten-free community, there is another one available that you may or may not have heard of: Banana flour.
Let’s go over what these flours are made of. As we are all well aware, almond flour is a product of grounded whole almonds, with or without skin.
Coconut flour is a by-product of extracting the coconut from the meat which is then pulverised and dried to a fine powder.
Banana flour, on the other hand, is made when unripe green bananas that have not yet turned to sugar are harvested, peeled, sliced, dehydrated and pulverised into flour. Because of the high starch there is a denseness to the batter when banana flour is used. It absorbs moisture and binds really well.
The following two recipes are made from alternative flours but there is no compromise in their taste.
BANANA FLOUR CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
Freeze brownies for at least 45 minutes before cutting into small squares. To store, cover tightly with plastic wrap for up to three days.
8 ounces chocolate 70% cacao bars, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/3 cup banana flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper) the bottom and sides of a 9-by-12-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Melt the broken chocolate pieces with the butter in a microwave on medium-high or in a double boiler; set aside.
2. Using a whisk or mixer, beat the brown sugar, eggs and water in a medium bowl. Add the melted chocolate and butter; stir until fully incorporated but do not overmix.
3. Stir together the nibs, banana flour, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add to the batter, stirring until fully incorporated, but do not overmix.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; smooth the top evenly with a spatula. Bake until the top is crackly, sides pull away from the edges and a toothpick comes out clean, 23-25 minutes.
5. Let the pan cool on a rack, about 25 minutes. Cover with foil and freeze for 45 minutes. The brownies will be much easier to cut into squares.
ALMOND FLOUR BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE COOKIES
Use a light-coloured pan to brown the butter so that you can see the brown specks develop.
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup almond flour, packed
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt or coarse salt
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a small pan, heat the butter over low to medium-low; allow the butter to bubble away until the foam subsides and the colour is a light nutty brown, 8-10 minutes. As you see a lot of foam rising, do not turn your back on the pan because the difference between deep golden brown and black can be seconds. Let butter sit off the heat for a few minutes, then transfer to a heat-proof container and freeze until solid, 30-35 minutes. The browned bits and flecks will sink to the bottom. When you invert the container, gently scrape off the burnt bits or the flavour will overwhelm the cookies. You can also use a fine mesh strainer to remove the burnt bits.
3. Whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. In a stand mixer (or with electric beaters) on medium-low, cream the butter and sugar together until light and the sugar is no longer gritty, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and flour mixture. Stir to combine. Stir in the chocolate, pecans and salt.
5. Scoop walnut-size pieces of dough; arrange on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans after 4 minutes.
6. Allow to cool before moving to a cooling rack as the cookies will be very soft.
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