teff chocolate chip cookies to convert the masses

My creative bone is broken, and I just couldn’t come up with a funny name for these delicious cookies.  Tefferonis?  Teffnuts?  Tefferdoodles? Teffochippers? Terreffics?

See? Broken.

But the important thing is that they taste good and the texture is more interesting than regular wheat flour chocolate chip cookies. The teff flour is not husky like whole wheat; it’s rather more sandy or gritty in an appealing way because the hulls are so much smaller than wheat.

And small is the name of the game.  Teff is like quinoa or millet that shops in the petite section.  It’s an ancient, nutritive grain grown in Ethiopia…and now the Willamette Valley!  We’ve had access to Bob’s Red Mill teff for quite some time now, but Tom Hunton of Eugene’s Camas Country Mill has decided to try growing it, with great success.

I’ve described my own battles with injera, an Ethiopian flatbread made of teff, and I’ve heard that teff makes a good “enhanced” brownie, but I’m happy to report there’s a new teff recipe in town.  Tom was distributing a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe with his flour on sale at the Saturday farmers market in Eugene.  He said it was provided to him by Heidi Tunnell of catering/barn dinner fame.

Sounded good to me, so I took it home and changed up a few things to allow for what I had in the refrigerator.  There are quite a few versions of this cookie on the internet (I think it originally was printed on the Bob’s Red Mill teff flour bag), so if you don’t have these ingredients on hand, look for an adaption that suits you.

My biggest change was using almond butter instead of the peanut butter called for in the recipe, and I added just a touch more oil, since I was worried about the difference in consistency and fat mouthfeel between crunchy almond butter and, say, a conventional peanut butter.  I find the cookies really sweet already, and adding regular peanut butter would tip the scale into unpleasantness for me (but take this with a grain of salt, o sugareaters).  This didn’t stop me from adding more chocolate chips, though, since the 1/2 cup originally called for seemed more of a tease than anything.  Use the strongly flavored Grade B maple syrup (often called ‘pure’) instead of the more buttery and milder Grade A that we’re used to consuming or the processed crap like Mrs. Butterworth, because it provides a nice mapley edge to the cookie.

These cookies would be vegan if you could figure out another option for the chocolate chips, but I wouldn’t mess with that.  But no butter, no eggs.

The best thing about these cookies is that you can seduce healthy people with them, and still enjoy them yourself.  Win win.  And surely a better name will make them yet more appealing.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Teff Cookies

Yield: 3-4 dozen

  • 1- 1/2 cup teff flour (not grains, which are tiny but not tiny enough to be flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup freshly ground natural almond butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil (don’t omit)
  • 1 cup pure (Grade B) maple syrup
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.  In a larger bowl, combine almond butter, vegetable oil, and syrup, mixing well.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients slowly, mixing in with a fork, just until incorporated.  Cover and chill bowl of dough several hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On two cookie sheets lined with a sheet of parchment paper, drop dough balls about the size of a ping pong ball (~ one rounded tablespoon) two inches apart from each other.  Flatten each ball with your fork, making a decorative criss-cross pattern on the top.

Bake for 11-13 minutes or until bottom is lightly brown and cookie holds together when you try to gently lift it from the sheet.  Better to underbake than overbake, but be sure the center is not too wet.

Cool on a wire rack.

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