I love the gap in between meals. I love snacks. Particularly cookies for a snack.
When I was younger I always loved the occasional trips with my mum to a shopping centre, bags gathered in hands with the excitement of new shoes and holiday gear. (Shoes which according to my dad should be saved for my holiday, by which time they were too small as I was the never-ending-child). We always made a detour on the way out by the Millie’s Cookies stand. Anyone also from the UK will have similar fond memories. I’d have a pick of two cookies, guaranteed white chocolate chip and the other a milk chocolate and toffee, my mum’s the oatmeal and raisin, all wrapped in a paper bag to nibble on on the car journey to my Nanan’s to bridge-the-gap before dinner.
Nowadays my cookie preference nods towards a more grown up flavour. Ideally a crispy on the outside and really gooey in the middle, the under baked kind with a good butterscotch caramel tone. Either with oats for a chew and plump raisins, or studded with dark chocolate chips (85% plus), more chocolate than cookie, and some nuts for crunch. Not forgetting that sprinkle of flaky salt. You can’t forget that.
Inevitably, eating cookies everyday isn’t going to do you any wonders. Perhaps your mental health, chocolate is known for its calming effects (I’ll take that as an excuse!!), but they are very high in sugar and fat. Sadly we do need to keep those added sugars down from day to day. On the odd occasion though, there will be no holding back.
For the every day 4pm slot, THIS recipe has been my recent nibble. Usually I’m a fan of the two-ingredient banana and oat cookie which, as I can’t be that minimalistic, morphs into an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookie. They’re sweet, gooey and as we always have overripe bananas in the fruit bowl, waste-free too! (BONUS). I found this version, full of add-ins for texture, crunch and goo, on The First Mess blog, her photography always does wonders there’s no surprise that I was drawn in. I am always on the hunt for the perfect specimen of a snacking cookie. Maybe now I’ve found it?!?!
It wouldn’t be a recipe of mine on this blog without the little tweak here and there, and this cookie is no different. I like my snacks to not be too sweet, wholesome and tasty yes, but sickly no. Initial ideas of subbing the mashed ripe banana for an equal amount of finely grated courgette, great. However the last courgette I had just put in the oven to roast, so it wasn’t going to happen after all. Next best option? Carrot. Naturally sweeter, why didn’t I think of that in the first place!
Made with finely grated carrots, oats, toasted coconut, roasted chunks of almonds (or pecans), some cinnamon and turmeric and not forgetting the dark chocolate (that’s the important part). Make sure to under bake these, they still will feel really soft from the oven, but bear with me here. Leave them to cool fully on a rack and store in the fridge ready for a week, or two (if you’re lucky), of snacking success. Note they’re vegan, with only a little bit of added maple syrup, I’d reckon they’re good enough for breakfast? Well they were good enough for me!
Carrot and oat chocolate chip cookies
- 70g (1/2 cup) raw almonds or pecans
- 40g (1/2 cup) coconut flakes
- 80g (1 cup) rolled oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground psyllium husk (if you can’t get this use ground flaxseeds or linseeds instead)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus extra for topping
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 110g (1/2 cup) finely grated carrot
- 60ml (1/4 cup) + 2 tsp milk, I used oat milk but water works too
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 90g (1/2 cup) chopped dark chocolate (my favourite is 85%)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan.
- Chop the almonds or pecans into small chunks and put in a tin and roast in the oven for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile chop the coconut finely and after the 8 mins add the coconut and the oats to the tin and put in the oven for 4 more minutes.
- Pour the almonds, oats and coconut into a bowl along with the cinnamon, turmeric, salt and psyllium husk and mix well.
- Put the grated carrot, milk, coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a small bowl and whisk together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with the chocolate (but reserve a little and put aside) fold until combined and everything is incorporated.
- Line two baking sheets with baking paper, or silicone mats. With an ice cream scoop place mounds of dough on the baking sheets until you have used all the mixture.
- Flatten to a pattie shape with damp hands, as they won’t spread in the oven. Squish the reserved chocolate chips into the top of the cookies and sprinkle rather generously with flaky salt.
- Bake for around 15-20 minutes, until the edges are golden and firm but the middles are still soft. I found 15 mins was perfect.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack until completely cool and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
But Seriously? We all know they won’t last that long.
Big hugs and sunshiney love