When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Bake Cookies

In just the past two weeks, your world has changed. And that’s true no matter where in the world you are. If you don’t know someone who’s been exposed or laid low by coronavirus, the experts say you likely will soon. So, what to do in such touch times? I harken back to the last time I had to spend weeks on end, under enforced isolation with sick kids. Miserable, whiny, sick kids.

Only now, there’s no baking with sugar for too many of us, and there are all sorts of new ingredients to be had, assuming your store isn’t out of them and you can order online. I baked these and posted them on my Facebook because when you’re socially distancing, how else can you share them? And they got lots more responses than usual, some from people I haven’t seen since I was a whiny kid myself.

These are chewy – but light – chocolate chip cookies made with coconut flour. Here’s how:

If you preheat the oven to 350 while you do the mixing, your cookie sheet will be ready to go in when the stove beeps. Assuming, of course, you already found all the stuff you need for these…

The recipe makes about 10-12 cookies, which is enough to last a week for two people who should not be eating more than one a day. Household hint: hide them in the freezer. That will keep the chips from melting and you’ll have to search every time you want one. Searching uses up calories, I am told… Feel free to double or triple the recipe if you have enough cookie sheets. I don’t have them any more, so I used the pizza pan and they fit perfectly. If you have parchment, rip off what fits and you won’t have to wash much. Really, it’s worth it…

Start by mixing the dry stuff:
1/2 cup coconut flour (You may not know this but you’re supposed to spoon flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping from the bag. Normally I don’t bother but it makes a difference with coconut flour – a little goes a long way…)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
A pinch of sea salt, kosher salt, or just plain salt

Then add these, in no particular order:
1/4 cup butter (that’s half a stick) melted – this probably takes 20 seconds in the average microwave, but yours might be above average
1/4 cup sugar-free maple flavored pancake syrup (I used Lakanto, which has monkfruit, but I might try Mrs. Butterworth next, and if you don’t have any, feel free to use whatever you have. The baking police will not arrest you.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs (crack them in a little bowl first to make sure they’re good, then scramble them a little)

Mix like crazy with a soup spoon or the bigger one that probably came with your set. It will thicken as the flour absorbs the liquid. And now you’re almost ready, so get those chips out. I keep them in the refrigerator. They are sweetened with stevia and cost like $12 a pound from Amber Lyn. Worth every penny, just saying. Feel free to use any kind you can find. And if you want to go half and half chips and nuts, feel even more free. I used 1/2 cup and let’s just say I had no complaints that the cookie only had three chips. You know, like the ones you buy in the store… And it is quite possible that I used a *heaping* half cup, if you get my drift.

Now for the reason you stirred with that spoon. It’s because you use it to plop spoonfuls onto the parchment paper, leaving enough space in between in case they spread more than you expect. You should get 10-12, depending on how big you make them. Just try to make them the same size because they’ll bake better that way.

Did the oven just ding? If it’s at 350, just pop the sheet in and give it 12 minutes. Might need 13 if your cookies are larger or you like your cookies more browned.

That’s it. Let them cool on the sheet, then move the parchment onto a rack if you have one. If not, just leave them on the counter (on the parchment) until they cool completely or until only one is left…

May you live in healthy, happy, yummy times.

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