Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

11 December 2010

Gluten Free Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been interested in using Mesquite Flour for quite some time now. As I was recently challenged to come up with a recipe using this flour for a baking demonstration, I've been experimenting with lots of combinations of ingredients. It's really delicious. I'm almost surprised at how much I like it. That said, it's definitely a strong flavor. You would want to use it as part of a blend of flours, not exclusively on its own or I think it would overwhelm the finished item. It's similar to other strong ingredients like cumin, saffron, coconut... in that way.

Mesquite has a heady aroma, somewhat reminiscent of chestnuts and a deep earthy flavor. The color is a warm amberish gold and I think that almost describes the flavor too. It's divine and I think it's just perfect with chocolate.

This cookie recipe is simple and really highlights the unique flavor of the mesquite. These are definitely making it into all my Christmas gift tins this year. Please look for this unique ingredient. You'll be glad you did!


Gluten Free Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Yields about 2 dozen

1 cup/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup superfine sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup mesquite flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the chocolate chips and mix briefly until evenly distributed.

2) Using a 1 TB size cookie scoop, dollop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Space cookies, about 2" apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are just golden brown and the centers are still soft but just set. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Optional additions:

1) You can add 1/2 cup oats to the cookies. Just note that the cookies will be slightly drier and denser than without the oats. The may also be puffier and won't spread as much in the oven.

2) You can also add 1/2 cup of any chopped nut that you fancy. This will add some nice crunch to the cookies.

3) You can substitute 1/2 cup of the brown rice flour for another gluten free flour, like millet, almond, or sweet potato. If you're not gluten free, you can also use Spelt flour or All-Purpose Flour in place of the entire quantity of brown rice flour.

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