Would you believe me if I told you there was a dark chocolate cookie punctuated by cacao nibs and kissed with sea salt, but it didn't contain any flour, butter, eggs, refined sugar, etc.? To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have believed myself. I would have laughed in my face and said it couldn't be done.
But I did it. Man oh man did I do it. And, I bet you will never guess what the secret ingredient in these cookies is. Actually, if you do guess, you are awesome and should win a prize because it is one of the top foods I thought I would never find anywhere near a cookie. I know the suspense is totally killing you, so I'll go ahead and tell you that these have an entire can of black beans (!!) in them. I'll let you compose yourself while you mull that over...Ready for some cookies now?
I was verrrry skeptical of these cookies. When I mixed them up, I thought they looked more like a side of refried black beans than cookie dough. I was prepared for the fact that these would go straight into the trash, never to be spoken of again, but then I tasted one. They are soft and chocolately, with a bit of crunch and subtle fruitiness from the cacao nibs. And of course, everything is balanced out by the sprinkling of fleur de sel. I would be lying if I said that I didn't stand in my kitchen and eat several of these before I even took one photograph.
Salted Dark Chocolate Nibby Cookies
adapted from here
1- 15 oz can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
heaping 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I use grade B)
2 tbsp ground flax seeds or chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cacao nibs
fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Combine the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and the ground flax seeds in a small bowl and set the mixture aside to thicken. Put the beans, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth and well combined. You want to make sure the beans are smooth so that you don't get any bean chunks in your cookies. If the mixture seems dry, you can add a bit more melted coconut oil. Add the maple syrup mixture to the beans and pulse until the mixture is smooth. It should look like a thick brownie batter. Add in the cacao nibs and pulse a few times to distribute them into the batter. Spoon the batter onto your lined baking sheet and smooth out the top, forming it into a round cookie shape. The cookies will not spread during baking, so keep that in mind. Continue with the rest of the batter. When all of the cookies are on the sheet, sprinkle the top of each with a bit of the fleur de sel. Bake the cookies for 15-17 minutes until the edges have firmed up, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheet, then enjoy! Cover any leftovers and store them in the fridge.