Hello, dear neighbors! One of the reasons I enjoy going to my favorite organic food store is that, unlike at the supermarket, I get to have genuine exchanges about food. The people who work there have known me for a long time, so of course they are well aware that I am always experimenting. They even occasionally get to try my desserts! Recently, one of them teased me: “I can’t believe that you, of all people, haven’t tried lentil flour yet! You really should!” And this is how I bought my very first bag of lentil flour. Quite a discovery! I would describe it as something between chick pea flour (aka gram flour) and chestnut flour. It is sweeter than the first and with a taste not quite so pronounced as the latter, and also twice as cheap! Do not taste it raw, as it will give you the wrong impression. It shows its true colors in baking, helping cakes rise nicely, as you can see in this photo of the last banana nut bread I made:
But let’s get back to my cookies. They are made using lentil flour and almond meal, and contain no egg. I am not a vegan, but I like the idea of not needing eggs in every single dessert, because it means 1) I can eat eggs in other ways during the day and 2) I am no longer a slave to the given quantities in a recipe, making half a batch without worrying about what I can do with a leftover half egg! Ground chia does the binding in this gluten-free recipe. The cookies can be flavored with anything you like, lemon (a popular flavor among my guests), orange zest, chocolate chips, anise…
Ingredients (for a dozen cookies)
– 60g organic almond meal (normally sulfite-free)
– 45g organic lentil flour
– 1½ TBSP ground chia seeds
– 45g non-hydrogenated margarine, or a combination of mostly margarine and some ghee butter, up to 20g, at room temperature
– 65g pure cane sugar (I sometimes only use 50g, especially if I add chocolate chips to the dough)
– a pinch of untreated sea salt (Celtic salt)
– the zest of one organic lemon + 1 drop of lemon essential oil for more flavor (optional)
– ½ tsp baking powder OR ¼ tsp baking soda activated with defrosted or freshly squeezed lemon juice
– some oil (olive oil for instance) to shape the cookies
(Pre-heat the oven to 160°C / 325°F, non fan, and note that a higher temperature will lead to burned cookies!)
1. Combine chia with 3 TBSP water, stir with fork and set aside. The mixture will become slurry.
2. Separately, weigh margarine / ghee butter and sugar in a large base mixing bowl. Add grated lemon zest, salt, chia slurry and mix well with fork until relatively homogeneous. (Using an electric beater seems a little unnecessary and needlessly violent here – and it saves energy, as well as my ear drums!)
3. Add in almond meal, lentil flour, and raising agent (baking powder or baking soda + lemon juice). The resulting dough starts bloating with joy, you’ll see!
4. Scoop out small amounts of dough using an oiled scoop and an oiled teaspoon. Place on a lined baking sheet, spacing them apart.
Flatten with your oiled hand as best as you can. In any event, these cookies have a mind of their own and will decide in the oven what their final shape will be!
5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 35 minutes at a low temperature setting. The cookies are still soft as they come out but they harden as they cool down.
They keep very well for several days in a closed metallic box… away from those with a sweet tooth!
I feel bad for not publishing more often, especially in English, and the banana nut bread recipe is a good example of what I haven’t taken the time to translate. Life is keeping me busy (and out of trouble, I guess), dear neighbors! Our local squirrels, Chip and Dale, have been very busy too. I found them so funny to watch that I turned into a paparazzi and eventually was able to shoot the crime scene with my old digital camera – not the best for close-ups, but since buying a new one is not a priority right now I decided it would have to do. Here is the video of Chip, the one with a darker coat, in full action:
Hope you enjoyed this short entertainment as much as I did, dear neighbors!