It’s that time of the year again, that shitty time when it’s so painfully obvious that my brother is no longer with us. David would have been 29 today. This is the forth year that we’ve celebrated his birthday without him. My way of getting through days like today is to distract myself. Yes, it’s nice to remember him…but honestly most of the time that’s just too hard. I’m not there yet. But I can bake for him.
Last year I made David Peanut Butter Cookies for his birthday. They were his favourite as a child.
Yesterday I made him a different type of cookie, using ingredients that he loved but could not eat as they triggered his severe migraines – chocolate and coffee. They’re intense, definitely intense. Hence I made sure to include that in their name.
If David were alive he would have wanted to eat these. He would have resisted, but he would have wanted them. For years we made him cakes, puddings and crumbles made with apple, banana or citrus…everything but chocolate. Today I’m giving him chocolate.
Happy Birthday, David. Love, Bud xo
Intense Cocoa Coffee Cookies for David
Makes 12 Cookies
1/3 cup Pecans
1 cup Almond Meal
1/2 cup Wholemeal Plain Flour
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons Dutch Cocoa Powder (I use Droste Cocoa)
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
8 teaspoons Ground Coffee (I use Delta Chicco D’oro Premium Blend Ground Coffee)
Pinch of Salt
4 tablespoons softened Light Dairy Spread (I use Devondale Light often in place of butter to reduce the saturated fat content of my recipes)
1/2 cup Low-Fat Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1. Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees Celsius, Convection setting. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2. In a non-stick pan, lightly toast the pecans over low-heat until just fragrant. Take off the heat, roughly chop and set aside.
3. Soften your dairy spread (don’t melt it completely). I soften my spread by placing spoonfuls in a cup, then placing said cup in the sink and surrounding it with hot water (making sure no water gets in the cup). Some may think this is weird, but it’s my method. I soften and melt many things this way – honey, coconut butter, dairy spread, butter… I grew up without a microwave – you learn to get crafty. You could also place the spread in a heatproof bowl over boiling water, but this way you avoid it getting too hot. Once softened to the consistency of a thick soup, remove the cup from the water bath and set aside.
4. Sift the almond meal, wholemeal flour (with the leftover flakes added to the bowl after sifting), cocoa, sugar, baking powder and coffee into a large bowl. Add the salt and whisk to combine.
5. In a separate smaller bowl, beat the egg. Add the softened dairy spread, milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup and stir to combine.
6. Fold the wet ingredients through the dry ingredients. Add the pecans and chocolate chips and gently fold until just combined.
7. Using a tablespoon and a dessert spoon, scoop out a tablespoons of the mixture, place it on the lined baking tray and form a cookie shape. Be sure to space the cookies so that they are at least 3 cm apart. You should get ~12 cookies out of the mixture. Depending on the size of your oven and baking tray, you may need to bake your cookies in two batches.
8. Place your baking tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cookies will come out clean. Your cookies will feel a little soft – don’t worry, this is good! Transfer your cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool – the flavour really comes together even more once they’re cool, so be patient, my pretties (mental note: learn to practice what I preach).
9. Enjoy alongside a glass of cold milk. Store in an airtight container.