I’ve been performing a lot of kitchen experiments recently. It’s partially because I’m enjoying the access to a variety of ingredients that comes with moving back to the States, but mostly because I love the whole process of mixing and testing and eating. It’s like alchemy – part art, part science, and part wishful thinking.
A lot of my experiments of late have involved almond flour, which seems to be the hip health food these days. It’s reasonably high in protein, low in carbs, unbleached, and gluten free. Also, it’s made of almonds, which are delicious. Thinking I’d found the perfect replacement for flour, I jumped right in and tried to make peanut butter cookies. The house filled with the delightful smell of fresh-baked goodies, and I patted myself on the back for being such a culinary genius.
They were a disaster. It’s partially my fault for even attempting a recipe with “vegan” in the title, and also probably the hubris of ignoring some of those vegan instructions by using butter and Splenda. They looked like cookies, but when you touched them they disintegrated into this sad nutty dust like a vegan vampire. I vowed to stay away from cookies (and vegans) and reserved my almond flour usage for more structured things like muffins and meatloaf.
This was all well and good until about two weeks ago when I really wanted a chocolate chip cookie. Like, wanted one in a way that could only have happened via post-hypnotic suggestion. The problem was, I knew that there was no way I could exercise self-control in a situation like that. Baking a dozen chocolate chip cookies would result in having 10 more cookies than could be safely left in a room with me.
I punched in some very specific search requests involving the requirement of butter (I wasn’t going to take any chances this time) and stumbled across a recipe that seemed to be both simple and comprised of actual human food. With only a slight adaptation of my requisite sugar swap, they not only looked and smelled like cookies, but actually stayed together like cookies. Eggs and butter, people. Eggs and butter.
Because of the almond flour they taste much closer to mandelbread than chocolate chip cookies, so I’ve taken to calling them mandel bites. I’ve also taken to blissfully eating them by the handful. You can find the recipe over at The Wannabe Chef, but be warned that these are about as addictive as they are easy to make.