Macadamia and White Chocolate Cookies with Spelt Flour

Saturday, April 30, 2016

2016 should be the year I embark on a Great Grains adventure. With a wide array of nutrient-dense flour substitutes, it would be a shame not to explore this uncharted, unbaked territory. 

Spelt is considered an ancient grain, originating in Europe and northern Spain. It has a mild nutty flavour, and is naturally sweet. It is an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, and B vitamins. Spelt flour is probably the easiest to work with in baking. It is actually a form of wheat, though a lot of folks with gluten sensitivities find it easier to digest spelt than conventional flour. It lends itself well to breads, pizza doughs and cookies.

Since I'm not so much of a bread baker, cookies were the perfect introduction to this flour. And what better cookie than one with nuts to accent the nutty flavour of the spelt? 

These cookies baked well, they turned out perfect. Crisp on the edges, graduating to a slight fudgy soft on the inside. My kind of cookie! The scariest part is that since they were less guiltfull, I'm too tempted to enjoy more of them.

3 cups spelt flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
1 cup chopped white chocolate
1-1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: spelt flour, hemp hearts, ground flax seeds and baking soda.

3. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, around 4-5 minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until creamy and smooth. 
5. Then add the vanilla and milk. The milk helps them thin out, giving them that lovely crunch on the perimeter. If you like thick fudgy cookies, you may want to skip the milk. 

6. On the lowest speed, fold in the flour mixture until just combined, then the white chocolate and macadamia bits.
7. Scoop into the parchment lined baking sheets. I like to flatten them slightly so it spreads :)
8. Freeze for 15 minutes until firm to touch.
At this point you may place in a ziplock for future baking. But I can't wait ...

9. Preheat the oven to 375F.
10. Arrange cookie discs or balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
11. Transfer to a cooling rack and continue with the rest of the batch. 

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