Make cookies when it’s an oven outside? Who want’s to turn the oven on inside?! Here’s how to make some yummy chocolaty cookies when it’s too hot to bake. This is fun for kids to make, and if the kids want cookies, why not teach them to make their own. (These are low-sugar so a healthy snack – but don’t let on!)
I am posting this now, so you can make sure you have ingredients on hand for those picnic potlucks over the Fourth. I made these several years ago for a friends Forth of July picnic and I have been asked to bring them again for our celebration this year.
I list these as Mesquite No-Bakes, but I have made these cookies with a variety of gluten-free flours. If there are tree nut allergies in the house, you can’t use almond flour or the chocolate in the recipe.
Mesquite is a bean (legume) and not a nut, thus most folks with tree nut allergies have no problems with mesquite. People that have soy allergies should test their tolerance to mesquite flour, since soy is a legume as well. More on the toxicity of beans – here. Speaking of food safety – here is our post on how to safely harvest mesquite.
Mesquite No-Bake Cookies
makes 3 to 4 dozen
1/4 pound butter (to go vegan – see below)
4 ounces baking chocolate (can omit if tree nut allergies)
1/2 cup liquid – milk, cream
1 cup brown sugar or mesquite honey (not molasses with chocolate)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup mesquite flour or meal (you might need a little more)
3 cups fine cut oatmeal
Start with the Right Pot
Use a 3 or 4 quart pot to melt the butter and chocolate in. Large – yes! but you will use this pot as your mixing bowl. Unless you like doing dishes.
Melt the butter and chocolate. Stir continuously to avoid burning.
Get Your Arm Muscles Ready.
Remove from heat and the add liquid. Blend together.
Add sweetener, salt, and vanilla. Blend well to dissolve sugar if you are using it.
Add peanut butter while mix is still warm. Stir in until the whole blend is a creamy soup.
Add mesquite flour and stir in well.
Add oats and get those morsels coated with the “soup.” Except the soup is going to go away as you mix and you now have something more the consistency of library paste. Too young to know about that? Think standard chocolate chip cookie dough.
If the mix is still too creamy and soupy, you may need to add more mesquite flour. This is important so that the cookies will set up, otherwise you have a sort of dessert soup – which is tasty but not the cookie you want.
Time to Roll the Cookie Balls
I like to roll my cookies into walnut-sized balls. If you don’t live off grid and do have a fridge, you could drop by spoon-full onto a cookie sheet an place in the fridge.
At first the balls might be somewhat sticky. Soldier on, this will change as the mixture cools and the mesquite flour slowly absorbs the moisture and oils out of the mix.
Roll the balls and space apart from each other on a cookie sheet. This allows the air to help dry them out further.
Usually by the time I get to the bottom of the pot, the mix has cooled enough and the mesquite soaked enough that the balls are somewhat crumbly, and they tend to be smaller to get them to stay together.
If you have cocoa and have gone the chocolate route, place a little cocoa in a tea strainer and sprinkle over the finished mesquite cookie balls. Or you could use cinnamon sugar.
Use coconut oil instead of butter.
Use almond milk or coconut milk.
Make these two changes and you have a vegan cookie.
Optional Flavor Changes
Use dark rich espresso coffee instead of milk, complements the mesquite well.
Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to combine with the mesquite flavor nicely. Do keep the vanilla, it helps enhance all the flavors.
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What do you think?!
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Cover Photo – a cookie monster!
Try our cookbook: Using Honey in New & Savory Ways (Tierra del Sol Institute Press). Only $7 online – or buy from Monica or Jacqueline in person. This link is to Amazon and if you buy the book there the Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few pennies at no additional cost to you.
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