It’s been a wild week here in Nacogdoches: we were in the direct path of hurricane Ike.
I am counting every blessing that we are ok, and that it was not as bad as it could have been. We had plenty of limbs and logs strewn everywhere, and 4 1/2 days without power, but nothing worse. Others in town were less fortunate: some neighbors around the corner no longer have a house due to giant oak trees being uprooted by the winds and crashing through the ceiling; others are still without power and water; and many others are in shelters across town, having fled Houston, Galveston, and Beaumont, with no word yet at all as to whether they have homes to return to.
All of this has left me grateful for my safety, yet decidedly unnerved. I have been working with my church , cooking meals for shelters in town, but I was off duty yesterday, so I turned to one of my favorite comfort activities: baking cookies.
I have been baking traditional chocolate chip cookie bars, by the giant panful, for several days, but today it’s a small batch, just for my family and one of my co-volunteer. She (the co-volunteer) cannot eat gluten, including many grains, so I decided to try my hand at making a chocolate chip cookie with a new flour: coconut flour.
I have tried and made countless chocolate cookies over the years, but making one without any grains is new to me. It turns out that coconut flour is quite an unusual flour: you only use a fraction of the amount of flour that you would use for a grain-flour recipe, and the flour is very absorbent. The resulting dough is very light and fluffy, owing to the higher number of eggs that need to be used, too (they add structure to the flour).
The flour itself is delicious (I have never said that about raw flour!) and it adds a delicious , faint sweetness and subtle coconut flavor to the cookies.
I love these cookies for their flavor and texture, but also because the dough comes together in about 4-5 minutes. I used a small cookie scoop for the cookies; they do not spread as much as all-purpose flour cookies, but I actually love the little dome cookies.
Nick and Kevin loved them, and my friend came close to tears when she tasted them. We are both re-energized to do more volunteering :). Hurray coconut flour! I cannot wait to use it in more recipes.
Please say a prayer, pass along some good karma, or however you send your good wishes, to the people who are suffering here in Texas. They are brave, but they need your concern and help.
Happy baking, and be well everyone xo.
- ½ cup coconut flour (use a light hand to measure it; do not pack it)
- ⅓ cup natural cane sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs (best if they are at room temperature)
- ⅓ cup virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (certified gluten-free, as needed)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the coconut flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, breaking up any and all lumps in the coconut flour.
- Add the eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla, stirring until very well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will seem loose at first; let it stand for a minute or two and it thickens into a fluffy dough.
- Using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 11 to 14 minutes, or until the tops of cookies appear firm and slightly dry and edges of the cookies are golden brown.
- Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool at least 5 minutes before eating. Eat warm, or cool completely.