Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chocolate Red Velvet Cookies...with a secret ingredient!


I admit it, I am a bit obsessed with beets.  I would go as far as to say I love beets.  I pretty much eat them every day in some form, in a salad at lunch or blended into a berry smoothie.  What's not to love, they are sweet, beautifully colored and packed with nutrition!  I am also aware that some people hate them and refuse to touch them. I find this unfortunate, and so I try and change their minds by creating things which make beets appealing.   One of my favorite ways in which to use beets that is definately delicious is in baked goods.  Whenever I make a red vevet anything you can be pretty sure it contains beets as I am not a fan of using bottles of artificial red food coloring. 


Last week at work when I was prepping beets for a salad at work, I began dreaming of red velvet desserts... oh yes, cake sounded nice but too much work.  But now cookies on the other hand sounded like the level of effort I was willing to put in. 


I have made red velvet cookies in the past, but they were simply mimicking the cake, vanilla frosting atop a red hued soft cookie.  I wanted the ones I made this time to be different, containing chocolate as well! 
But simply adding chocolate to my beet cookie base was not interesting enough for me so I decided to throw in dark chocolate chunks and dried cherries as well.  The dough was so increadibly good, it was a wonder as much of it made it through being chilled over night and into the oven the next day.  Good thing I had the willpower to restrain myself from eating it all.


I wasn't sure how much of the red color would be retained though baking, but actually the baking process made the cookies all the more lovely!  The red intensified into a beautiful deep color instead of a muddy one.  They smelled amazing while baking as well, like the aroma of brownies! 


Once they were just cool enough to dive into but while the chocolate was still gooey and liquid, I had to indulge in them.  They were amazing, the soft chocolate base, the warm chocolate pockets throughout the dough and the tart sweet chewy cherries!  Simply heavenly, and they did not taste of the beets, they were just made beautiful by them.  I can guaruntee that if you gave one of these to a non beet lover and told them they were red velvet cookies they would never know they were eating beets.  Only you would know the secret. 


I can guaruntee that if you gave one of these to a non beet lover and told them they were red velvet cookies they would never know they were eating beets.  Only you would know the secret. 
Beet lover or not, here is the recipe if you would like to experience some of the deliciousness for yourself!


Chocolate Red Velvet Cookies
makes about 16 large cookies 

Cookies:
1 cup maple sugar, or granulated organic sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup cooked red organic beet puree
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
12 oz chopped vegan dark chocolate
1 cup dried cherries

In a large bowl, combine coconut oil with sugar and whisk until well combined. Beat in the beets, vanilla extract, and agave nectar until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, then add to the large bowl, and mix until well combined, then add chocolate and cherries and mix until well distributed.  Place in the fridge to chill until firm (preferably overnight). To bake, Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll balls into about 3 inch balls, and place on prepared cookie sheets a couple inches apart (refrigerate unused dough while baking the other trays). Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until puffed and just starting to brown slightly (but do not overbake!). Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining cookies. 

23 comments:

  1. Seriously, how cool is that?! Perfect cookie for V Day!

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  2. Oh my gosh--these look awesome! I'll have to give the beets a try!

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  3. I have used beets to make a red velvet cake before, but never thought about making beautiful cookies with them! I love chocolate cherry cookies, especially if you throw in a handful of oatmeal.

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  4. This is possibly the first recipe I've seen where I may actually like the beets! We're coming up to a month of red - and I welcome that color and those cookies into my life.

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  5. Haha, that's brilliant! Very, very red velvety indeed, and I love smuggling in beets! The sweetness should work so well, too!

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  6. I like everything about these cookies! We have beetroot growing in the garden, and some in the fridge.
    Looks like these are on my 'to do' list for tomorrow.
    Thank You!

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  7. I really love the ingredients in these cookies. Not to mention how gorgeous they are. Very cool recipe!

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  8. I was so curious what the secret ingredient was!!!! Beets! How COOL! :D Or maybe I should say... How HOT! :D

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  10. I have a bunch of Spectrum organic shortening sitting around. Would I be able to substitute that for the coconut oil?

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  11. I love beets, so I would love to try these! Dried cherries sound perfect! Great job on these & congrats on the Top 9!

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  12. i keep seeing beets in desserts and they all look delish- i gotta try this one! if i don't have agave, is there a good substitute? more maple syrup? thanks!

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  13. What a great way to sneak in some delicious nutrients!

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  14. These look scrumptious! Love the cherries too. Yum!

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  15. These cookies are stunning! And the best part is - no food dye! I have featured your post in today's Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks for the inspiration...

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  16. I made these today and they taste amazing! Mine didn't turn out very red, but that's OK because I just love the novelty of putting beets in a cookie.

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  17. Could these be made using earth balance vegan butter? I don't think I have enough coconut oil....

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  18. any suggestion for substituting the whole wheat flour if your a gluten~free girl?

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    1. I would try quinoa flour, I have had the best success with it. You may need to add a little more though, as it is finer.

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  19. Hey I just made these gluten free and they are delicious!

    I have a gluten free flour mix I made myself using 1part tapioca starch, 1part rice flour, 1part millet flour, and 1 part sorghum and then throw in some xanthum gum (just a pinch) to help it all stick together.

    In regards to the cookies, I left out the agave and just uped the beets by about 1/4-1/2 cup and it was lovely! thanks for this! Totally inspiring!

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    1. So happy you enjoyed them and so happy they turned out well gluten free :)!

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  20. instead of whole wheat flour-could i sub sprouted flour?

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    1. You could try! Not sure how they would turn out, but experiments are a good way to find out. Let me know how it works for you if you do :).

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