I have gushed about chocolate on here many times, so I'm certain by now you know of my deep affection for it. I'm not sure what it is about chocolate, but I am sure that when I eat it, good things happen for me (maybe not for certain parts of me but oh well). At the very least, I know my mother-in-law, Mia, and Sarah, all know what I'm saying here!
Recently, Jay and I were invited to the opening of a chocolate shop in Santa Monica (John Kelly Chocolates, as we've mentioned here and here). After living in LA for 7 years, I really could care less about a movie premiere or whatever, but a "chocolate shop premiere"--I'll be there with bells on! It was so fun, and getting to sample many of their exceptional chocolates was a dream. However, there is a reason one's dinner should not be comprised solely of the "brown gold", and I was feeling the painful weight of that particular indulgence like Augustus Gloop as he fell into Willy Wonka's chocolate river!
Not one to be deterred by a little thing like a chocolate-induced tummy ache, I sought out some less-traditional chocolate treats that can be made at home. Don't be thrown off by their surprising ingredients--they taste amazing! Even James, the picky eater of the century, couldn't help but eat these chocolate cookies. Hope these scratch your chocolate itch too.
* We loved being able to make lots of variations on this one. The one shown above, we used chopped almonds, even added a little almond extract and cinnamon. FYI, I couldn't find cocoa butter, so I used coconut oil, which worked fine, though made it more melty.
* Don't judge this book by it's cover (just read the benefits of black beans preceding the recipe). I love these cookies, if for no other reason than it got my baby to eat black beans--gotcha James! Truly though, if he willingly eats these, assuming they are chocolate cookies, you should too. Recommendation: add a bit more sweet/maple syrup/honey and take a little of the cayenne out. Just know they aren't going to taste exactly like a decadent flour/sugar/butter cookie, but they are surprisingly delicious, and you won't feel like Augustus!