Grain-Free Hazelnut-Pecan Delights


First things first. I have some amazing news. I received my official notification in the mail that I passed my Professional Engineering exam!!!!  A grueling exam that I studied for nearly half a year for last year. It consumed me, but was worth it.  I now am a certified P.E., which has been a huge goal of mine. CHECK that off my bucket list.

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But now that I have checked that huuuuuge goal off of my list, I find myself at a bit of a loss. Where do I focus my energy next?  I’m a goal-oriented person and it only seems proper to set new goals. But aside from the small goals of “read more books” or “travel more”, I just can’t seem to figure out where to point my laser beams. So, if you have any ideas, I’m game.

At this point, I’m trying to tackle small things that include: (1) Organizing my “office” (junk room), or (2) Thinking about hanging pictures that have never been hung, or (3) Properly learning to do laundry because reading the labels seems more like reading hieroglyphics and I end up just throwing everything in at once and washing on cold. Evidently when clothes say gentle…they mean it. Booh.

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I also have been perfecting cookies….my butt thanks me and my skinny jeans do not. These Hazelnut-Pecan Delights are THE perfect cookie. They are just sweet enough, with a hint of salty, and are chewy and are….well….redonculous. Yes…redonculous, people.

They taste like my favorite Girl Scout cookie….oh that beloved Caramel Delight…and yes…they are soooo delightful.  The bonus with MY cookies is that they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. Plus they have hazelnuts and pecans, giving them added protein.

These are perfect to bring to your New Years Eve party, or football Bowl Game watch party, or for your last-hoorah-before-you-go-on-you-2013-fit-back-in-your-jeans party.

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Grain-Free Hazelnut-Pecan Delights

Makes 2 dozen tiny, bite-sized cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans (or other raw nut such as almonds, walnuts)
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 Tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped into tiny pieces
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
  2. In a the bowl of your food processor, add nuts and process for 2 minutes, until finely ground.  Add ground ginger, salt, and baking soda and process until well mixed. Add coconut oil, honey, and molasses and process until a thick cookie dough ball forms. Add chocolate chips and shredded coconut to the food process or and pulse for 15 to 30 seconds to finely chop the chocolate, distributing throughout the cookie batter.
  3. Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, making it easier to scoop and form cookies.
  4. I like these cookies tiny and barely bite-sized.  Scoop out the dough in exact, level tablespoons. Then tear those pieces of dough in two before rolling each 1/2 tablespoon of dough into a ball shape.  Place dough a few inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Use a wet fork to flatten each dough ball into your desired cookie thickness.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm around the edges (ovens vary so watch them), but still soft in the center. Allow to cool on the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
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