Spicy Mesquite Chocolate Christmas Cookies

I first came across mesquite flour at the Allergy and Gluten Free Show (as it then was) in 2011, when a producer dropped some samples off at our Free From Awards stand. I pocketed one of them faster than you can say “It’s the dried ground bean pod of a leguminous plant which grows throughout much of Latin America and it’s gluten free”.

The mesquite flour (or ‘powder’) taste has been described as a blend of ‘chocolate, coconut, mocha and cinnamon’ and, as unlikely a combination as that may seem, it’s faithful of the aroma too; I also think it’s slightly smoky. It sort of catches you in the back of the throat a bit, but not in a bad way.

Eventually, I got around to baking the following Christmas cookies with it …

Ingredients

* 200g butter
* 300g caster sugar
* 1 egg
* 50g cocoa powder
* 50g mesquite flour
* 180g plain GF flour
* generous amount of ground cinnamon, and ginger, and grated nutmeg
* some white chocolate (maybe)
* Some icing sugar (deffo)

1. Cream together the butter and sugar, and then beat in the egg.

2. Add cocoa and mesquite, and then the spices, and then finally, the flour – I used Doves Farm GF – blending all the way. (Use a blender. I did it by hand and my arm almost disembodied itself in protest.)

3. Dollop small balls of the resultant mixture onto greaseproof paper-lined baking sheets, leaving good space between them to flatten as they cook.

4. Into a preheated 200°C oven, for eight to ten minutes. Smoky chocolate spiciness will fill your home.

My attempt emerged so:

pic1The idea was to melt some white chocolate and drizzle it over the chocookies (yes, that’s a real word), and this was meant to represent settled snow. (I take my work seriously.) But as I melted the chocolate, it took on a more custardy appearance, and at some stage a spoon I used for the cocoa got involved and contaminated the ‘snow’, further denting its ambitions of whiteness. Sludgy snow, then – salvaged somewhat by a dusting of icing sugar atop. Naturally, this represented falling snow. (Like I said – seriously.) Here are some of the better examples:

pic3

 

On reflection, the experimental economy bauble was a decorative error:

pic6They are delicious: chewy, chocolatey, smoky, rich, cocoay (that’s a real word!).

Merry Christmas, folks!

Buying mesquite flour / powder

It’s not easy to find. Here are some options in the UK:

Footnote:
This recipe and post originally appeared in December 2011, and was inspired by Caleigh Gnana-Pragasam’s Free From & Festive initiative. The recipe was adapted from one by Charlotte Pike, blogger at Hello Magazine’s ‘free from’ kitchen.

11 Comments

  1. Siân

    The best (and funniest!) recipe for Chocookies I've ever seen. Brilliant.

    Reply
  2. Caleigh

    The best recipe for Chocookies ever. A successful first attempt, I feel – here's to many more batches of GF cookies.

    (flattery will get you everywhere, I will get thinking about Easter!)

    Reply
  3. Alex G

    Ah, just beginner's luck, I think! But as I say, Charlotte must take credit. Thank you both for kind words!

    Reply
  4. Saara Aziz

    oh my, these chocookies are making me pretty hungry! They look amazing Alex! If only I could somehow grab them from the computer screen 🙁

    Reply
  5. Alex G

    Thanks Saara – I wish I could too! Made them a few days ago and gave most of them away! 🙁

    Reply
  6. mickirose

    Gotta get me some of that mesquity flour stuff if only to overdose on the aroma from the sound of it. Wonder what flour we could use instead of the Dove's Farm for us grain-sensitives? Any ideas Charlotte or Alex? Either way, they sound fabilicious (and that's a real word, too.)

    Reply
  7. Alex G

    Are you okay with teff, Micki? Or potato? I really don't know. I'll give Charlotte a shout on Twitter!

    Reply
  8. mickirose

    No, teff is a gluten grain and potato can be OK but is a cross-reactive gluten food has a similar protein structure so the body reacts in a similar way). Chestnut flour, maybe..?

    Reply
  9. Alex G

    Teff is gluten free, but chestnut may well work – though it has a distinctive flavour and not sure how well it would work with cocoa and mesquite. Some adjustment to quantities would be needed – but by what levels I'm not sure!

    Reply
  10. Micki

    Sorry, should have been clearer. Teff is classed as OK for coeliacs as it doesn't contain gliadin (a situation I don't agree with for some coeliacs, as you know!) but is not OK for those on a truly gluten free grain-sensitive diet. Will have to have a go with chestnut flour and let you know. Ta

    Reply
  11. Alex G

    The only other flour I can think of is chickpea? Maybe Charlotte will be along later to advise! Good luck with the chestnut!

    Reply

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