It’s day 5 of the 7 days of Chickpea Flour Cookies!
If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, you may have spotted freeze dried berries in the dried fruit section. Perhaps you have tried them, too. They are exceptionally delicious; the flavor is intense and yet not too sweet, and the texture–crisp, light and crunchy–is so satisfying right about 4:30 (or late at night) when you are craving a bit of sweet goodness.
As good as they are straight up, they also make a terrific add-in to cookies, a discovery I made earlier this year when I realized, half-way through baking, that I didn’t have the dried fruit I needed for a batch of shortbread I was making as a gift for a friend. (oops). I took a risk and stirred in some freeze dried berries instead.
It was a revelation! As much as I like dried fruit in baked goods, I don’t always like the chewiness and moisture it lends to cookies. The freeze dried berries, by contrast, kept the cookies crisp and light while maintaining their intense flavor.
I’ve since tried using freeze-dried strawberries, raspberries and blackberries in several cake, muffin and cupcake recipes, all with terrific results. It can be tricky to add fresh berries to quick breads and cakes due to their significant moisture content (which can throw off the liquid to dry balance), but not so with the freeze-dried berries). Add as many as you care to and rest assured the results will be perfect.
Another bonus? Freeze dried has a tiny fraction of the sugar of dried fruit (of course, I use that information to justify eating an extra cookie!).
Give freeze-dried berries in your baked goods a try! I am confident that you will be pleased. Here are some online options for freeze-dried berries, too.
- 2 cups (240 grams) chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1-2/3 cup natural cane sugar (or other granulated sugar)
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract
- 1-1/2 cups freeze-dried berries (about 1.2 oz) or 1 cup dried berries of choice
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes until light and fluffy.Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs and almond extract; beat for 1 minute until blended and smooth. Stir in flour mixture by hand until just blended. Stir in berries.
- Tightly cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the prepared sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until just set at the edges (centers will be slightly soft). Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes and the transfer cookies to wire rack (using metal spatula) to cool completely.