Blueberry Cookies with Chocolate Hazelnut Filling (Passover-Friendly)

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I love looking at food photography of other bloggers. Healthy food or not, I find it so inspiring to see how others both create and demonstrate their food. After seeing so many beautiful versions of homemade Oreo’s or sandwich cookies, it was time I made my own! I had a visual in my head of a purple or blue cookie with a healthy Nutella filling. I love pear combined with chocolate hazelnut spread but I wanted to do something different! Back in the junk eating days, I would take a huge scoop of Nutella and put berries on top, so I figured why not inject this flavour into a cookie?

The base of this cookie is based on my Maca Maple Flax cookies. I wanted the same soft texture and sweetness level of those cookies just with a strong blueberry flavour. I love infusing blueberries into my maple syrup for pancakes, so I did the same for these cookies. They taste like blueberry muffins! In fact, if you add some baking powder I’m sure these can be muffins… (to test at a later date…)

The almond base makes these cookies passover friendly.There are no leavening agents or grains. From what I understand, most of the ingredients don’t need to have a Kosher for Passover label because they are natures foods! BUT if you are strictly Kosher for Passover over the holidays, make sure to check with your local Rabbi or ask a knowledgable friend! The lack of dairy in these cookies allow them to be served after a meal containing meat!

Passover Seders not in your near future? No problem! These are a PERFECT Easter treat! Because of their beautiful colour they would make a great addition to any dessert table! You can even use a cookie cutter to shape them into bunnies or eggs. How cute? It is always nice to serve something a little healthier and gluten free when hosting an event! (just incase!)

Good on their own or with healthy nutella filling, these cookies are a flavourful gluten, dairy and refined sugar free treat. Hope you all love these and wanted to wish you all an early Happy Holidays!!
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Ingredients:

• 2 cups almond flour
• 2 heap tbsp ground flaxseeds
• pinch of sea or pink himalayan salt
• 1 cup + 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
• 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
• 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (the light kind works best here!)
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 egg
Healthy Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Makes about 20-25 cookies

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and grease with coconut oil.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour,ground (milled) flax and salt. If your almond flour is lumpy sifting is a good idea!

3. In a saucepan on medium heat, begin to heat your maple syrup. Once heated, add 1 cup of blueberries. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes or until the blueberries have exploded and begun to reduce in the pan. Whisk every 2 minutes.

4.Once the blueberries have turned the syrup a beautiful purple colour and have reduced slightly, add your coconut oïl. Once the coconut oïl has melted transfer mixture into a small mixing bowl and allow to cool for several minutes.

5. When mixture has cooled, whisk in your egg, vanilla and lemon juice.

6. Add the wet ingredients all at once to dry ingredients. Stir mixture until combined and a dough forms. Add your remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries.

7.If your dough is too liquidy to form into balls then place in saran wrap and allow to rest in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.

8.Scoop the dough using a tablespoon and roll into balls. Place onto baking sheet. Using your fingers press the dough down slightly.

9. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool and then spread a generous amount of healthy hazelnut chocolate spread on the bottom of a cookie, sandwich it with another cookie, pressing firmly so that the icing comes all the way out to the edge. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks!
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Healthy Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

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One of the most common consumer misconceptions is that the deliciously sweet chocolate hazelnut spread known as Nutella is healthy. My guy’s mom once told me how confused she was by their commercial, “how can chocolate spread on toast be a nutritional breakfast?” she asked. Well I had to deliver the bad news that in fact, Nutella is not a truly healthy option for breakfast. It does contain hazelnuts which have good-for-you flavonoids, healthy fats and vitamins to help support brain function, heart health and lower cholesterol. BUT, it also contains palm oil, and heaping amounts of sugar. A two tablespoon serving has 21 grams of sugar. That will not give your child sustainable energy throughout their day. They will most likely get an immediate sugar high followed by a very abrupt crash which will leave them in a dozed state during first period. Meghan Telpner gives an amazing break down on why you should probably ban the stuff for good here.

Good thing I have come up with an alternative! Well it isn’t just me… Most healthy food bloggers have come up with their own version of the spread using unrefined sweeteners and dairy free options. I took a look at a few and decided I would start with roasted hazelnuts and slowly add ingredients as I went. It took a while until I found the right consistency and flavour. What I realized actually was that this spread can work in a variety of ways to meet your needs. Don’t want it dairy free? Use organic milk. Want it sweeter? Add more dates, maple syrup or stevia. Want it chocolatier? (is this a word?…it should be) then add more cacao or even melted 70% chocolate! The possibilities are endless, but I have provided you with the spread that works best with my taste buds! The most essential part of this recipe is roasting your hazelnuts. Without roasting, the hazelnuts wont be noticed as much in the spread, plus you need to get rid of those annoying skins.

I have been spreading this on pears, my healthy bread and eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon! I am more excited though for next weeks post where I spread this tasty treat on a Passover friendly dessert. It is EPIC! Until then, get your spread ready!
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Ingredients:

• 2 cups hazelnuts
• 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (alcohol free is best!)
• 1/2 cup cacao powder
• 4-5 medjool dates pitted
• 1/2 cup almond milk (or more if needed)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Roast hazelnuts for 20-30 minutes or until oils are released and skins begin to loosen.
2. Place toasted hazelnuts on a large dish towel (preferably one that isn’t too soft) and fold the cloth over. Roll the hazelnuts back and forth within the cloth. (you’re kinda exfoliating the hazelnuts) The skins will fall off. If the cloth doesn’t remove the skin then you can do them individually by rubbing them between your thumb and index finger.
3. Place the hazelnuts in a food processor or vitamix and pulse until the hazelnuts turn into nut butter. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. Feel free to add more dates, maple syrup etc until you get the consistency and sweetness that you desire.
4. Place in an airtight jar, and store in your fridge!

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