It’s going to be a long day today. My son was up and out the door at 0430 hrs this morning on his way to catch a plane to Brisbane for his football trip/weekend. Football trips have been in the news in Australia of late for all the wrong reasons and, like most 19 year-olds, my sons impulse control and decision-making can be a little flawed when wearing beer goggles. But, like most 19 year-olds, he assures me that he is an adult, can look after himself and is allowed to have a good time so – like every mother before me – I have to let him go, keeping fingers and toes crossed that he comes home in one piece. The fact that he has gone off for a beery weekend with his third bout of tonsillitis this year only added to my concerns and I lay in bed worrying for 10 minutes after he left, then gave up and got up.
Given that I now had an extra two hours in my day, I decided to comfort myself with baking – my go-to remedy for most unsettling emotional disturbances. I have a fabulously active sourdough starter bubbling away on the kitchen bench at the moment. That this is so, is no real credit to me. It is a starter given to me by my dear friend Isabel and which I brought back from the US earlier this year. I wickedly neglected it over the last three months, leaving it languishing in the back of the fridge. In a guilt-induced panic last week, I pulled it out, whispered a prayer to the gods of fermentation and started feeding it. Like magic it kicked back into life and I baked with it earlier this week. I intend to use it again, to create something special later today but what I needed this morning was something a little more immediate, preferably with chocolate in it – I’m a bit predictable like that.
Now that my kids are well past the stage where nuts are a threat to their airways, I’ve become quite addicted to them. I have at least four different varieties in the house at any given time and try to get them into as many different dishes as possible. Somehow (yet another failure in efficient domestic management according to The Husband) I managed to buy almonds three times in one week a while back, so I started thinking about ways to use them up this morning and came up with something I’m really rather proud of. I have a Thermomix, so used it to make this, but any decent food processor will do the job, it will just take a little longer to process the nuts. I’ll give the exact quantities for the ingredients I used, but I think you could cut back on the sugar if you wanted to.
- 250 gms almonds
- 4 tsps solid coconut oil
- 180 gms soft brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 good pinch of sea salt
- 100gms dark choc chips
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Put almonds in the Thermomix, speed 9 for 1 minute. Scrape down, add coconut oil, speed 9 for 30 seconds or until a paste. OR
- Process almonds until finely ground, add coconut oil and continue processing until consistency of a paste.
- Add sugar, egg, vanilla bean paste, salt and bicarb of soda to Thermomix, speed 4, 10 seconds or process until combined.
- Add choc chips, speed 3 Reverse, 10 seconds, or pulse until combined.
- Roll teaspoons of batter into balls, place on prepared cookie sheet and press down with a fork.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Cool on tray for 5 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
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