These flourless chili chocolate cookies are crisp like regular cookies on the outside, but have a softer more cookie-dough-like centre. This easy recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, has no added sugar, and the dough can be made and baked in less than half an hour.
So no need to feel guilty about tucking into some delicious vegan cookies studded with chunks of soft dark chocolate and chewy raisins! The mild chili after-bite contrasts the chocolate flavouring divinely, but don’t worry, if you’re not a fan of the heat you can remove the cayenne altogether.
I’m a huge fan of spicy Mexican chocolate cookies studded with sugar , so this version captures some of those flavors but is much healthier. My son just got a palate-expander fitted, so it was important to me that the spice-level be child friendly, and the cookies softer, so as not to displace the expander or be difficult for him to eat (hard crunchy foods are a no-no right now).
Like other flourless cookie or brownie recipes, the not-so-secret main ingredient in this recipe is chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Wait, come back, don’t run away! I PROMISE you, you can’t taste the beans at all! But unlike other flourless recipes, this cookie dough actually tastes nice. Feel free to taste it (but leave some for making the actual cookies please, as they taste a hundred times better).
If you’re not a fan of the tahini used in the recipe, or are having difficulty getting a hold of it, you can substitute it with peanut butter.
How to make flourless chocolate chili cookies
This is a super easy recipe to make, even if your food processor is a bit rubbish like mine. It cannot be made with a blender though, as you would need to add too much liquid to get the mixture moving enough. You cookies would then be bubbly mushy mounds of chocolate-poo-shapes. Don’t do it. It’s a waste of ingredients (trust me, I tried it with my equally-rubbish blender first). You have been warned….
The dough needs to be silky smooth. As I only have a mini food processor I processed the dough in four batches and mixed them together. Roughly chop up the date and mix it in with the next six ingredients in a mixing bowl (from the chickpeas to the plant-based milk).
I used a sugar-free almond milk, but any plant-based sugar-free milk should do. If you’re not bothered about adding sugar you can use regular plant milk, but the cookies are perfectly sweet as is. The molasses are optional, as they are basically added sugar, but I think it’s worth it for the depth of flavor they bring to the table.
Your first processing should resemble hummus.
The amount of cayenne pepper depends on your personal preference and when you are going to eat the cookies. Half a teaspoon will result in perfectly spiced cookies the first day, and a higher level of heat the second day. 1/4 teaspoon will be barely perceptible the first day and mildly spicy the second day. You do you.
If you have a fantastic food processor you can probably add everything to the processing bowl without mixing it up first, but I prefer to mix it. That way everything is well distributed and you don’t need to add any extra liquid to help the processor do its job.
Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan. Process the mix, in batches if it doesn’t all fit in your processor, until perfectly smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Use an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon to portion out the dough onto a tray that has been lined with baking paper.
The dough is a little stickier and more difficult to work with than regular dough. You’ll need to dip the scoop or spoon in water between portions to prevent the dough from sticking.
Lightly wet your hands and flatten the cookies and round them if needed. These cookies won’t flatten out while baking so it’s important you shape them pretty close to where you want your final cookie product to be.
You should get around 14-16 cookies, depending on how large you make them. The cookies will only rise slightly and shouldn’t spread at all. Place them in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
When the timer goes off, take out the cookies and leave to cool on the baking tray for 15 minutes. Trying to move them sooner will result in sad broken cookies, as they firm up more when out of the oven.
After 15 minutes use a spatula or fish slice to gently lift them up and place on wire racks to cool down faster (or you can just leave them on the baking tray to cool if you’re not as impatient as me.)
At this point you’ll be sorely tempted by the sight of oozing chunks of chocolate to try a cookie – DON’T DO IT! While the dough tastes nice, the cookies do NOT taste great when warm. It will be a waste of a cookie. Leave them to cool completely (all the way through), and they will be much tastier.
I hope you enjoy these delicious flour-less chocolate chili cookies, tag me on Instagram (the_fiery_vegetarian) or leave a comment below if you do end up making them. Although they may be eaten so quickly you won’t have time to take a photo….Just saying….
- 10 stoned dates
- 1 jar cooked chickpeas (about 400g drained)
- ½ cup tahini (130g)
- 1 tbsp molasses (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp plant based milk
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- Cocoa 2.5 tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons ground almond
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- .5 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (100g)
- Pinch salt
- ¼ -½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
1)Roughly chop up the dates and place with the first 6 ingredients in the food processor. Turn on the oven to preheat at 180C or 160C fan.
2) Process until a smooth hummus-like paste.
3) Add all the other ingredients and mix until well incorporated
4) Use an ice/cream scoop or large spoon to portion out onto baking paper lined trays, wetting the scoop between cookies so the dough doesn’t stick.
5) Dampen your hands and flatten and shape the cookies. You may have to wet your hands several times during the process.
6) Bake for 15 minutes.
7) The cookies are still soft when they come out so leave for 15 minute on the tray and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a spatula or fish slice to carefully transfer them. Do not eat when warm (they don’t taste as nice) and wait to serve until completely cooled.
Will keep at room temperature in a sealed box for 3-4 days but taste better the first two days. Can keep for up to a week in the fridge but the texture may become more dense.
1/4 teaspoon cayenne will be very lightly spiced the first day and perfectly spiced the second. 1/2 a teaspoon will be perfectly spiced the first day and hotter the second.
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