Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you are looking for a unique and special Chocolate Chip Cookie, this is the recipe. I developed a version of these for my book Super Natural Cooking circa 2007 and they have held a special place in my heart (and kitchen!) ever since. If I were to enter a cookie contest, this could very well be my entry. The taste is so good. Crafting them requires tracking down a special ingredient, Mesquie Flour. I promise the extra effort is worth it. Mesquite flour is a wonderful, fragrant flour made from the ground pods of the mesquite tree. It has a slightly sweet and chocolaty flavor with hints of malt and smoke. You can use it for all sorts of things well beyond these cookies, including pancake mixes, waffle mixes, oatmeal, and sweet quick breads.
Ingredients Spotlight: Mesquite Flour
Chances are you’re new to mesquite flour, so here’s a little about where it came from. First of all, mesquite trees are very bountiful and play an important role in the life of many native cultures in America. They grow in a wide area ranging from the southwestern United States to Central and South America – the Sonoran Desert, Chihuahuan Desert, Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico. If you’ve driven through the Southwest, you’ve seen a lot of mesquite. And as you can see from this list, mesquites are drought tolerant and thrive in hot and dry climates. They are also remarkably resilient plants, giving back in many ways and contributing life-sustaining properties to the communities they are a part of. Mesquite also fixes nitrogen, so it returns it to the land that way too.
Different parts of the plant are used for different purposes. Mesquite wood has long been used for fuel or shelter. Additionally, flour ground from mesquite pods is an important food source, celebrated for its nutrient-dense profile, contributing fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates to the traditional diet. The plant has both medicinal and ceremonial uses. For example, mesquite flour, a wonderfully delicious ingredient, plays a rich and important role in many cultures.
Where can you buy mesquite flour?
Obtaining mesquite flour takes a little effort. Look for produce that is harvested sustainably, preferably using traditional methods. You want 100% mesquite flour with no other ingredients or flavorings. As you drive through the Southwest, keep an eye out for bags of mesquite flour at the local markets and farmers markets. Here you will probably find locally produced products. Unfortunately, the ones I’ve picked up this way in the past don’t have active websites. This Peruvian mesquite flour mentioned below is reliably good and easy to get. Please let me know in the comments if you use local mesquite flour and can you direct me to an order page.
What if I don’t have mesquite flour?
If you don’t have mesquite flour, substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour OR all-purpose flour in its place; Your chocolate chip cookies will still turn out chocolatey and awesome.
How to freeze cookies:
Place cookie dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for about an hour, then transfer the frozen dough balls to a container or freezer bag. This will keep frozen for a month or two. Bake at normal temperature and add a few minutes to the total baking time. You can see them arranged frozen in the photo above.
Below are the cookies ready to go in the oven. I use a 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop to get consistent cookies. This recipe makes a lot of cookie dough. The motto here is: bake something, freeze something.
Avoid over-baking these cookies. The batter is darker than cookies made solely with unbleached all-purpose flour. Because of this, it can be a little harder to tell when they’re fully baked. Look at the edges of the cookies where the batter touches the pan. You want it to be nice and golden.
Finally, let’s talk about add-ins. These cookies are loaded with chocolate chunks and enriched with walnut chunks. I feel like the chocolate is key here and I love the chocolate and walnut combo. But I encourage you to experiment with other combinations. Some espresso powder would be nice. Or maybe some kind of toasted coconut version.
You can find all the cookie recipes here. I love chocolate chip cookies and you can find a number of different versions of them including David Lebovitz’s Great Chocolate Chip Cookies, Itsy Bitsy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (best ice cream sandwich cookies), Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies, this whole wheat -Chocolate Cookies and these healthy double chocolate chip cookies.
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