I remember going up in Brazil and being fascinated with brownies and chocolate chip cookies in the US. Although now they are quite popular there, growing up it was not something you could find anywhere. Brazilian chocolate cakes tend to be light in flavor and texture, the cafe au lait coloured sponge cakes were a far cry from the deep cocoa brown, fudgey-dense little squares of brownies that I loved so much. And likewise cookies, or ‘biscoitos’ were thin and crunchy simple snacks nothing like the decadent little chocolate-chip studded mounds of buttery dough that I bought obsessively whenever I visited. Every time we went home we would load our suitcases up with Chips Ahoy, Jolly Ranchers, Nerds, and obviously Gap sweaters which were the height of fashion because it meant you could afford to travel to the US. In fact this luxury store in São Paulo called Daslu sold only exclusive designer brands – Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Jimmy Choo, Ferraris, helicopters – and the Gap. So weird.
Anyways, you can only imagine how amazed I was when I discovered Americans not only ate chocolate chip cookies all the time, they ate chocolate chip cookie dough. I saw it on TV shows and movies and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Although we always used to fight over who got to eat the leftover cake batter from the bowl or the spoon and who had to maneuver their way around the beaters…to make a whole batch of cookie dough and then just eat it RAW sounded like the most debauched, delicious thing ever.
So fast forward a couple years my fascination with cookie dough is still going strong but unfortunately I can no longer happily dig into a tub of Nestle Tollhouse and just have at it. I remember being 12 years old in the middle of a growth spurt and doing swimming after school plus soccer and basically eating so much and still being so scrawny my nanny was convinced I had worms in my stomach. For breakfast I used to have a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich followed by a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with muesli, Farinha Lactea (Called Cerelac here apparently), bananas, honey, and peanut butter swirled in. It basically turned my cereal into this gross sludge I adored. And of course after that I would have a slice of marble loaf cake. Now breakfast for me consists of a small bowl of granola with unsweetened almond milk and raspberries :/
So this cookie dough is all the things I love about cookie dough – a sweet bite of creamy smooth dough with a hint of peanut butter and lots and lots of chocolate flavour. But there is no butter or flour or refined sugar. It is nearly all oats, almond flour, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Plus the chocolate of course. And to add some variation I made half the batch double chocolate by adding some cocoa powder…and then dipped half the chocolate chip vanilla ones in some melted dark chocolate with coconut oil. SO yummy and nothing bad in them at all.
Serves 4. Or 1 for a couple days :)
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tbsp PB2 powdered peanut butter (Or just 1 tablespoon peanut butter, note PB2 is not raw)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of raw cocoa nibs
- 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chunks or chips (I like chunks better!)
- 1 teaspoon of flaked salt – for topping
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder – for double chocolate variation
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks + 1 tablespoon coconut oil – for chocolate covered variation
- In a food processor add in all the base dough ingredients and process until smooth. The longer you process the smoother it will be.
- If after processing for a while it still does not come together, add in an extra 1/2 tablespoon of water.
- For the chocolate chip vanilla variation – once your dough is ready add in cocoa nibs and chocolate chunks then process for 3 short burst, just so they are mixed but you still want large chocolate chunks in the dough. Alternatively if you want to keep the size of the chocolate chunks/chips, transfer the dough to a bowl and just mix in cocoa nibs and chocolate chunks by hand.
- For the double chocolate variation – if you want to make half the dough double chocolate, add in 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and process until fully incorporated. Then add in cocoa nibs and chocolate chunks and process in short burst to mix or alternatively mix in by hand to preserve chocolate chunks.
- Roll dough into small balls. Or whatever shape you want really.
- For the chocolate covered variation – Once you have your chocolate chip vanilla or double chocolate dough – or both if you go half and half like me – microwave the 1/2 cup of chocolate chunks with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a bowl for 30 second increments until melted then whisk until smooth. Dip the cookie dough balls in the chocolate mixture bowl and use a spoon to roll them around so they are fully coated. Let set on parchment paper.
- Optional (but recommended): Dust the top of the cookie dough balls with flaked sea salt.
*Note make sure to use vegan chocolate if you want the recipe to be vegan and to use raw chocolate, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, and omit PB2 for raw variation. PB2 products are powdered peanut butter made from roasted peanuts (not raw); you can read more about it here in my post about The Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie and you can buy it here.
And of course my favorite way to eat cookie dough is in ICE CREAM! With lots of other goodies. In this case, strawberries, cocoa nibs, and shredded coconut. I was inspired by this great little cookie dough bowl I saw on Into the Gloss made by Lily Kunin at Clean Food, Dirty City. So here’s my copycat version. Why am I not sharing my version of healthy delicious vegan ice cream with you? Because it was a fail and hence not very delicious at all. I was trying to do a coconut cream based strawberry ice cream and from the pictures you can tell it melted super fast and does not keep its texture at all. So it’s back to the drawing board for that one. But hey at least it was still pretty to look at.