Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies {GF, V}

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Soft and chewy gluten free cookies infused with cacao, mesquite, ginger and cayenne. They are sweet with just the right amount of kick. The perfect winter cookie to dunk into a hot mug of tea!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies {Gluten free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free}

With the Winter Solstice just passed, we’re now officially in winter. Everything in nature slows down, all her energy goes back into the earth. I like to see winter as the chance to do the same. A lot of deep rest, restoration, reflection and grounding.

Lucky for me, I’m now enjoying a three week break from college – perfect timing really, because that feeling of being wrapped up in a woollen shawl on the couch while the rain puts on a show outside is the absolute best.

I’m not travelling or heading off anywhere different, but plan to make my break special all the same. I’ve stocked myself up with books from the library – a collection of Ayurvedic nutrition and cook books – as I’m planning on a short Ayurvedic-inspired winter cleanse, turning my home into a health retreat of sorts.

After that, I’m really feeling the need to use different parts of my brain. Creative projects like experimenting with indigo dye, Shibori style (a Japanese technique), maybe a spot of gardening (my patch is looking VERY neglected), and if I can find one locally – a ceramics class.

Of course – all of the above, will no doubt be interspersed with a healthy dose of mess making in the kitchen.

Speaking of which, I couldn’t help but kick off this glorious down time with a celebratory treat. Today I’m sharing these incredible Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies – I made these just the other day and sat on the couch dunking them into a hot mug of coconut milk infused with superfood spices and cacao. Heaven.

Healthy + delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies! Gluten free, vegan. Recipe here. Click To Tweet

The cookies are entirely gluten free, made with a gluten free flour I’ve been experimenting with in the kitchen more recently – sweet white sorghum flour.

They turned out perfect – soft in the centre (thank you, almond butter), with just enough chew, and plenty of warming winter spices. A hint of sea salt sprinkled over the top before serving really made them next level. Total winter comfort food at its best.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies {Gluten free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free}

Ancient whole grain: Sweet White Sorghum Flour {GF}

Sorghum is a whole grain grown predominantly in Africa and parts of Asia – particularly, India. According to the Whole Grains Council, it is the fifth most important crop in the world – its robust nature makes it indispensable during times of drought.

It is gluten free, and relatively high protein (11.8g per 100g), for a cereal grain.

High protein gluten free flours are needed in baking to mimic gluten – which is also a protein, though as you know, quite a problematic one.

Approximate protein per 100g in various cereals:

Amaranth flour:14g
Quinoa flour: 14g
Buckwheat flour:      13g
Whole grain wheat flour:   13g
Sorghum flour:    12g
Millet flour:  11g
Oat flour: 11g
White wheat flour:  10g
Brown rice flour:   7g
White rice flour:6g

 

Source:
USDA National Nutrient Database (2016)
Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods (1978-2016).

Being a whole grain, sorghum is also high in dietary fibre (8.8g per 100g). There are many varieties of sorghum, though the red whole grain is known to contain high levels of protective antioxidant polyphenols [1].

In fact, the antioxidant levels of these darker, pigmented varieties are comparable to fruits and vegetables, and certainly far higher than other cereal grains [2]. However, it’s the ‘sweet’ white variety that is sold commercially as a flour.

Taste and texture wise, I feel like it is perhaps the closet gluten free flour to wheat. Amaranth has a strong grassy note, whilst millet and certainly quinoa are a bit bitter. As with all store bought flours, I use them in moderation.

This is mostly due to the fact that whole grain flours, having not been soaked or sprouted as I would do myself at home, contain anti-nutrients that can bind with minerals (particularly iron and zinc) and inhibit their absorption in the gut.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies {Gluten free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free}Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies {Gluten free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free}

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

These healthy treats use fructose free rice malt syrup to sweeten.

Homemade almond butter lends a soft and slightly chewy texture once baked. If you use store bought almond butter, try and find one without added salt – otherwise, omit the extra sea salt from the recipe.

The spice mixture includes mesquite powder, cayenne pepper for a bit of kick, and ginger. I only used a small amount of dark (plant based!) chocolate to fold through – but by all means go crazy with that part.

Finally – I’m sure yours will rise better than mine did for these photographs – earlier test batches certainly did. I fluffed around taking photos of the mixture before popping them in the oven, so I think the effect of the baking soda may have worn off.

Hope you enjoy – the recipe makes 12 – and they would go pretty nicely with my homemade Masala Chai if you haven’t tried it yet,

L.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies {Gluten free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free}Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies {Gluten free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free}

If you make and enjoy this recipe, please leave a rating below. And better yet – leave me a comment to tell me how you got on, or just say hi – I LOVE hearing from you. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest to see more of my everyday recipes and wellness tip.

A towering stack of freshly baked cookies on the kitchen bench
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies {GF, V}

Healthy and delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies spiced with mesquite, ginger and cayenne. Gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free. Makes 12 cookies.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Gluten free, Vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 205kcal

Ingredients

DRY:

  • 1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons mesquite powder
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on your taste
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt coarse
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

WET:

  • ½ cup homemade almond butter or natural, unsalted store-bought
  • ½ cup rice malt syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil liquefied

TO MIX THROUGH:

  • 40-50 g quality 70% dark chocolate chopped

TO DECORATE:

  • Cacao nibs
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven at 180˚C.
  • Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, stir to combine, then mix in the chopped chocolate.
  • Blend all wet ingredients till smooth, then pour over the dry mixture.
  • Use a spatula to fold the mixture together till it forms a dough.
  • Divide mixture into two balls, then make six smaller balls with each. Press onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving space for the cookies to expand. Sprinkle a few cacao nibs over each.
  • Bake at 180˚C for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool, so cookies can set.
  • To serve, sprinkle a little coarse sea salt over the top.

Notes

Store in an airtight container. You may like to try switching the sorghum for oats.

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies {Gluten free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free}

References:
  1. Khan, I., Yousif, A.N., Johnson, S.K., & Gamlath, S. (2015). Acute effect of sorghum flour-containing pasta on plasma total polyphenols, antioxidant capacity and oxidative stress markers in healthy subjects: A randomised controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition, 34(3), 415-421. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2014.08.005
  2. Dykes, L., & Rooney, L.W. (2006). Sorghum and millet phenols and antioxidants (Review). Journal of Cereal Science, 44(3), 236-251. Doi: 10.1016/j.jcs.2006.06.007

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi I’m Lauren, practising Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, and essential oils educator in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m incredibly passionate about food as medicine, and helping people connect with the healing power of Nature. I’ve been sharing my recipes and health articles here since 2012.

BNatMed, AdDip NutMed, BCS, Certified FitGenes Practitioner.

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