Sunday, September 6, 2020

Almond Praline Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are filled with Kamut flakes, luscious chocolate chips and crushed almond praline for a unique twist on the classic!
 

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic, for good reason. There are very few kids (or adults!) who will pass up every type of the combination, so whether you're serving fans of the chewy-crisp (AKA: the "right" cookie), the cakey or - gasp - the crunchy variety, there is a recipe out there that will be a hit. My mom, for example, loves the classic, back of the bag Chipits cookie with the addition of walnuts or pecans - entry level in every aspect, from it's creation (one bowl, all shortening, nothing fancy) to it's flavour and texture (sweet, occasional chocolate, and flat and crisp). I loved it too as a kid (because Mom made them, of course!) but when I started baking myself I definitely fell hard into the chewy, rich cookie camp. Whether they are made with egg yolks, tofu, potato chips or avocado, I did my best to keep that chew factor alive (side note: wow I've made a lot of chocolate chip cookies!).

These cookies arose out of my burst of pre-school year nervous energy, coupled with boredom (I'm busy waiting for my end of term university exams, thanks CV19) and a desire to get the "jump" on holiday baking. I also had a ton of "odds and ends" lying around my pantry and freezer, including Kamut flakes, cream cheese, and ground up almond praline frozen early in the summer (I used it for a crumble over apples). All of these, along with a whole bag of bittersweet chocolate chips, found their way into these cookies. What I really liked was that the almonds added a nutty flavour (boosted by the Kamut) without a crunchy, chunky texture. For some reason, I'm 100% okay with pretzel bits and potato chips in my cookies, but not candy coated chocolate or nuts! Instead, the sweet crumbs just infused the cookies and made every bite decadent. It is 100% worth making that praline again just to do these cookies, in my humble opinion! That said, if you don't want to go to the trouble of making candy and grinding it up just for these cookies, I strongly suggest picking up pre-candied almonds (or pecans!) and grinding them up or chopping finely. You won't regret it!
 
 
Almond Praline Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes ~24
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vanilla
prepared egg replacer for 2 eggs (I used VeganEgg)
1 2/3 cups whole wheat bread flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
2/3 cup Kamut flour (or more whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup Kamut flakes (or large flake oats)
3/4 cup crumbled almond praline (I used this recipe, using almonds only, and blitzed it in my food processor to make crumbs)
1 (12 oz) bag chocolate chips (I used bittersweet to counteract the candied nuts)
  1. In a bowl (I used my stand mixer), beat together the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, Truvia, honey, vanilla and egg replacer until well blended.
  2. Add the flours, salt and baking soda, mixing until almost combined.
  3. Add the Kamut flakes, almond praline, and chocolate chips, mixing just until combined.
  4. Wrap in plastic and chill overnight (up to 1 week).
  5. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375F and line cookie sheets with parchment or SilPat
  6. Scoop 2-tbsp balls of dough onto the sheets 2" apart, then pull balls apart and smush then together, rough sides out (this makes the cookies craggy and delicious looking!)
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. Cookies will be a deeper golden colour due to the honey but should not be burned!