Wednesday 15 October 2014

Autopiloting and a tasty case of identity crisis {Chewy Chocolate Pecan Brownie Cookies}

Do you ever find yourself on autopilot? We all do it in some way, shape or form. For some, it's doing a repetitive motion at work or school without even having to think about it. For others, we do it when we drive. You know, when you start at point A and suddenly find yourself at point B with no real recollection of how you got there. Scary stuff eh? For me, I turn my autopilot on when I drive and bake. Double threat right there. I constantly find myself driving to work and arriving without remembering much of the drive. Sometimes, when I am supposed to be driving to one of the pools that I work at, I find myself instead en route for the gym, my boyfriend's house or another pool. It's pretty dangerous when you think about it!

As for my autopilot baking adventures, I'd say they can be pretty dangerous too. Take this weekend for example; it was Thanksgiving and I had lots of work to do for the dinner we were going to host. I was making three pie crusts; two gluten free hazelnut sablee crusts and one regular old fashioned wheat. What did I make instead? The fantastically tasty and confused recipe I am about to share with you. I swear it started off innocently enough; one minute I was making pie dough, the next I looked down and I had made brownie cookie dough in my food processor. Oops. My bad.

Even though my unconscious desire to bake cookies ran rampant, everything else turned out great, including the dinner and delicious pies that I topped with some homemade salted caramelized hazelnuts. All other delicious meals aside, these accidental delights are the real winner of my baking adventures this weekend.  After a couple recipe tests to ensure their awesomeness, I can't quite decide what they are. They're fudgy and chewy like a brownie, yet hold together and melt down as they bake as cookies tend to do. The addition of the pecan crumbs simply adds another level of mystery to the tasty problem at hand. Quite the identity crisis don't you think? Taste them for yourself and then call them what you want, but these cookie/brownie treats are bite-sized examples of autopiloting adventures at their finest!

Chewy Chocolate Pecan Brownie Cookies

Makes 12

1 cup slivered almonds
2 tbs almond flour (use 1 tbs less for even chewier cookies)
2 tbs arrowroot powder
1 tbs honey
3 tbs coconut sugar
1/4 cup dark 70% chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tbs butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder + 1tbs
1 egg
1/2 tsp Soda 
pinch of Salt
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
Dark chocolate pieces, or round drops of couverture, for decorating 

In a food processor, pulse pecans until they are very small crumbs. Set aside. (or chop them, and then stubbornly refuse to give up, like I did the first time)

Place slivered almonds in food processor and blend until they turn into butter, 5-8 min. 

Melt chocolate double boiler style while almonds are processing. 
Once almonds have turned to butter, add honey and pulse, then add the butter and chocolate then pulse to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the dark chocolate pieces, and pulse until just combined and dough ball forms.

Transfer to small bowl and place in fridge or freezer for at least 20 min. Preheat oven to 350 while you wait.
When ready, roll out your dough into 12 even balls and roll each one in the pecans to coat. 

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet with enough room for spreading. Place your thumb in the centre of each cookie and press lightly, creating an indent. 

Bake for 6-8 minutes, until cookies have spread and cracked on top, but are not fully cooked. Remove from heat. Immediately place dark chocolate chunks in the middle of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Once finished decorating, transfer cookies to a wire rack or cooler surface and let cool. 

Cookies keep covered and at room temperature for 3-4 days. 

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