Coffee, Chocolate & Pecan Cookies

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.It’s cold out there, and very white… yes, we are kind of snowed in, which means no playing outside… as a result, we are spending more time in the kitchen, cooking and baking and generally creating some wonderful creations… and today I would love to share our new cookies with you 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 175g flour
  • 115g butter; soften
  • 115g light muscovado sugar
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 50g dark chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 50g pecans; roughly chopped
  • 2tbsp instant coffee
  • 1tbs hot water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4tsp grounded ginger
  • 1/4tsp grounded cinnamon

For decoration (optional)

  • 25g dark chocolate; melted
  • 25g pecans; roughly chopped

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare two large baking trays by lining them with baking parchment.

In a large bowl place the butter and both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.

Put the coffee granules into a small bowl or cup; add hot water and stir until dissolved, set aside to cool. Then add the vanilla extract and the egg and whisk until combined.

Slowly add the coffee mixture into your butter and sugar mix beating until creamed and fluffy again.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and fold carefully into your mix.

Finally, fold in the pecans and chocolate chunks.

Measure approximately one heaped tablespoon of mixture per cookie and place onto your earlier prepared baking trays spacing them well apart to allow room to grow.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside, they will still feel very soft to the touch but they are ready at this stage.

Leave to cool on the baking tray for a 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.If decorating, wait until the cookies have cooled down completely, drizzle with melted chocolate then immediately sprinkle with chopped nuts (the still warm chocolate will work like a glue as it cools and sets).

Store, after cooling down completely, in an airtight container.

Enjoy with a beverage of your choice!

Soft and chewy, those coffee, chocolate and pecans cookies offer a great treat; an irresistible flavour combination for any time that you need a pick me up.

Homemade Nutty Falafel

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.Ingredients:

  • 300g dry chickpeas
  • 50g pecans
  • 50g fresh coriander; chopped
  • 30g fresh flat leaf parsley; chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic; halved
  • ~2cm piece of fresh ginger; peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium size onion; roughly chopped
  • 1tbsp spelt flour
  • 1 1/2tsp salt
  • 1 1/2tsp black pepper
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1/2tsp chilli flakes
  • ~100ml olive oil for frying
  • 1.5l water for soaking

Method:

Pour 1.5l litre of filtered water to a pot, add the chickpeas, pop the lid on and leave to soak for at least 10h (overnight works best).

When you are ready to make your falafel, drain the chickpeas then pop them into a food processor.

Add all other ingredients spreading them evenly around the processor bowl but leaving the pecans to be added last. They will help to weigh down the fresh herbs, which means that everything will better stay in place while mixing.

Use the pulse function until your mixture is coarse to semi-coarse. Do not over pulse / mix or you will end up with a hummus-like texture, which isn’t ideal for falafels.

Once done, remove the blade from your food processor and start forming your falafels. I used an ice-cream scoop to measure mine out and the mixture should yield 24 almost perfect balls of falafel 🙂

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.Do not squeeze your mixture too much as this will make it dense and remove moisture from it, which will result in dry falafels later on. If you are struggling to form your desired shape you can:

  1. Pop the blade back on your processor and pulse few more times.
  2. Pop it into the fridge to help firm it up a bit
  3. Or worst case scenario add some eggs to help it glue together, but you really shouldn’t need to do this, if you followed the measurements as stated.

Once all your falafels have their final shape, it’s time to fry!

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.In a heavy bottomed frying pan, ideally a small cast iron one, preheat 100ml of olive oil (or more if you pan is bigger, ideally you are aiming for enough oil in the pan to cover half of your falafel).

Bring the oil up to 180C before popping your falafels in. Do not over crowd the pan. I cook 6 at the time despite having space for 12 or even 15. More falafels at one time popped into the pan means a bigger drop in the oil temperature once you put them in (this will result in your falafel soaking up the oil making them greasy) and a general inability to turn them with ease, so take it easy and fry them in batches.

When I fry the oil drops to 170C, this is temperature of my oil once all new falafels are in. I heat it up to 180C again as quickly as possible before turning the heat down and cook for about 5-6 minutes turning regularly

When done remove with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen roll to soak up any residual oil.

Serve warm or cold with a green salad or go classic and add into a wrap.

Most importantly of all though… enjoy!

Do you like falafel?

What’s your favourite way of serving them?

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.

9 Delicious Walnut Recipes

Walnuts, the nuts of wonder, not only taste amazing but can also provide us with countless benefits. Eating them as a snack is the easiest way to consume a couple of walnuts a day but how about some more adventurous ways of adding them into our diet?

Walnuts, the nuts of wonder, not only taste amazing but can also provide us with countless benefits. Eating them as a snack is the easiest way to consume a couple of walnuts a day but how about some more adventurous ways of adding them into our diet? Today I want to share with you a selection of delicious recipes which incorporate this wonder nut. I hope they will get you inspired.

blue-cheese-tartines-with-apples-arugula-walnutsBlue Cheese Tartines with Apples, Arugula & Walnuts

broccoli-salad-with-apples-walnuts-and-cranberriesBroccoli Salad with Apples Walnuts and Cranberries

butternut-squash-and-pomegranate-kale-salad-with-spiced-honey-walnutsButternut Squash and Pomegranate Kale Salad with Spiced Honey Walnuts

chopped-walnuts-twist-cookiesChopped Walnuts Twist Cookies

coffee-walnut-cakeCoffee Walnut Cake

maple-granola-with-walnuts-and-cranberriesMaple Granola with Walnuts and Cranberries

pear-and-apple-frittata-with-walnuts-goats-cheese-and-honeyPear and Apple Frittata with Walnuts, Goats Cheese and Honey

walnut-banana-protein-pancakesWalnut Banana Protein Pancakes

walnut-sage-cranberry-stuffed-mushroomsWalnut, Sage & Cranberry Stuffed Mushrooms

Which of those tickles your fancy?

And if you are in a super experimenting mood, remember walnut pairs well with apple, apricot, banana, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, rum.

5 Benefits of Walnuts

Who knew that walnuts are truly the nut of wonder… well actually they aren’t nuts but seeds but you get the point. They are among the oldest foods grown by humans, dating back to 7000BC, super rich in nutrition and with countless benefits to our body.

Who knew that walnuts are truly the nut of wonder… well actually they aren’t nuts but seeds but you get the point. They are among the oldest foods grown by humans, dating back to 7000BC, super rich in nutrition and with countless benefits to our body.I was never a huge fan of walnuts. I do like them, don’t get me wrong, but given the choice of different nuts I would usually go for almonds, cashews or even hazelnuts. Since coming to Bulgaria we have discovered that walnuts are the only protected tree in this country, which obviously means no chopping without very special permission, as a result there are walnuts everywhere! And I really mean everywhere! I can go for a 5 minute walk to my local village shop and come back with a basket of walnuts if I was to collect only those that have dropped from the trees along the sidewalk.  With such an abundance of these nuts I have started to look closer into them and to my big surprise I have discovered that they are truly nuts of wonder with many benefits which really shouldn’t be overlooked.

Heart health

Walnuts contain the plant-based omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an anti-inflammatory and may prevent the formation of pathological blood clots. Research shows that people who eat a diet high in ALA are less likely to have a fatal heart attack and have a nearly 50 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death. They also decrease LDL cholesterol, which is the so called “bad cholesterol” and increases production of the good one.

Brain health

Walnuts have a very high antioxidant content, which means that they can improve your brain functions including the memory function, comprehension and possibly even slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

Weight control

Surprisingly those fatty, fairly high calorie nuts can help us lose weight. If added to your diet they will help to keep us fuller for longer. One study has shown that people who included walnuts in their breakfast had a sense of fullness for much longer than the group which didn’t, which means less snacking, less other foods, less calories…

Source of vitamins and minerals

Walnuts are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals including: folic acid, vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium, copper, phosphorus.

Beauty nut

Well, walnuts can help us with the quality of our sleep (thanks to melatonin), they will strengthen our hair (thanks to biotin / vitamin B7) and make our skin glow (thanks to vitamin B and antioxidants) so how could we not call it a beauty nut?

 

Those are just five of the main benefits of walnuts. According to many articles on the net there is many, many more, some less proven then others but the bottom line is: walnuts are good for you, really good! Now, it’s just a case of finding some “healthy” (aka organic grown) walnuts near you. And if you struggling give me a shout I can share our stash with you 🙂

Source:
https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/walnuts/
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/19/7-walnuts-benefits.aspx
http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/go-walnuts-13-health-benefits-of-this-awesome-nut/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19910942
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16825686

Coconut and Almond Truffles

These Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.

These Vegan Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.The recipe was created by Amanda Hamilton, a TV Nutritionist working in connection with digestive health brand Udo’s Choice.

Ingredients:

  • 80g dates
  • 60g almonds ground or 60g of almond pulp from a Soyabella machine
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 2tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence

Method:

In a food processor blend together the dates, almonds (or leftover almond pulp) until they form a crumbly paste. If it’s too thick, add a little water, but only enough for it to just come together. Depending on personal taste, the truffle mixture doesn’t need to be totally smooth; some nutty pieces and chunks can be a good thing.

Add the cocoa powder and blend until mostly incorporated.

Remove the nut mixture from your food processor and place it in a large bowl. Stir in half of the shredded coconut, maple syrup, vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

If the truffle mixture is too sticky at this point, place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes so it firms up slightly. Measure the truffle mixture out as about 1 heaped tablespoon each.

Roll it into balls by rolling the mixture between your palms then roll the truffles in the remaining shredded coconut.

Truffles are at their best when cold so for the best results place the truffles in the freezer and allow to them harden for at least 1 hour. Store the remaining truffles in the freezer removing only what you are planning to eat now and allow them to soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

If this recipe takes your fancy you should definitely pop over to Udo’s Choice website and check they extended selection of nutritional healthy recipes.

These Vegan Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.