Remember the commercials for Chia Pets, the clay animals with a green furry layer of sprouted chia seeds covering their bodies? Did your parents let you have one? I SO wanted a chia puppy! I can’t help but chuckle at the fact that 30 years ago chia seeds were popular as an arts and crafts project and now they are the latest super food. Chia is giving flax and hemp a run for their money. So what’s all the hype? Chia seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, contain lots of protein and fiber and are rich in antioxidants. Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds do not need to be ground up or soaked for you to be able to benefit nutritionally. What’s kind of cool about chia seeds, though, is their gelatinous quality. If you add them to a smoothie or yogurt, they swell up and thicken whatever they’re in. My Whole Foods sells them in the bulk bins if you just want to buy a few spoonfuls and play round with them in your oatmeal or salad dressing.
But chia seeds are not in these cookies because I think they will magically turn this dessert into a healthful food — it’s still a cookie, or as my husband calls them — the “Chia Pet Cookies.” Nutrition aside, chia seeds just add a really fun crunch, almost like a poppy seed. You can add more crunch and texture if you like by adding finely chopped almonds, dried cranberries or chocolate chips. No matter how you make them, these cookies are really quite tasty and a nice change from peanut butter, which Mr. Picky eats enough of.
My friend Peggy invited me to a large dinner at her house a few weeks ago and asked if I would bring a dessert. The dinner happened to fall on a busy day for me (whom am I kidding? Everyday is a busy day, isn’t it?), so I whipped up two batches of batter the night before and hid them in the fridge way back there so certain people who can’t keep their fingers out of raw cookie dough wouldn’t see them. The next day while I tested someone on vocabulary words, I scooped dough onto cookie sheets and baked them off. Everyone at the dinner asked, “what kind of cookies are these?” “Almond butter and chia seed,” I replied. “Like the Chia Pet??!!” Never fails.
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup natural cane sugar (e.g. Sucanat) or regular granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup raw, unsalted, creamy almond butter
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon 100% pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour or gluten-free oat flour*
- ¼ cup ground almond meal (buy this already ground or make your own by processing blanched almonds in a food processor until powdery)
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds (optional, but fun!)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter, sugars and almond butter with an electric mixer until light in color, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, sea salt, baking soda and chia seeds. Add to the mixing bowl and stir until just combined.
- Using a 1 ¾ -inch ice cream scooper, drop batter onto prepared pans. Press down lightly on the cookie with the tines of a fork, making criss-cross marks. Bake 14-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack.
If you like a thicker cookie, refrigerate the dough for a few hours before scooping.
*Oat flour results in a more tender, cake-ier cookie.
Still one of my favorite “go-to” cookie recipes! I cut the sugar in 1/2 and they are Wonderful!
I like how you think! Thanks, Jodie!
omg, thank you very much for posting this! It is gonna help when I order Chia Seeds online! Very Great!
I have whole grain gluten-free oat flour. Could that work? Would PS recommend mixing in all-purpose flour? Or would it just not be the same.
I am really not sure how this recipe would work with a gluten-free flour. You can certainly use all-purpose flour. Not as nutritious as whole wheat, but it’s your decision! They’ll taste fabulous.
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Definitely giving these a try tomorrow, though I’ll be swapping out for some Earth Balance and the flax/egg substitute I saw mentioned in another of your recipes since I’m on a vegan kick this week. Can’t wait to see how these turn out. 🙂
Go for it! I’m sure they’ll turn out great. 🙂
I love these cookies! I bought sucanat and the package says, “dried sugar cane juice”. Is that the right kind? do you ever use any other kind of sugar or is sucanat always a better choice?
For a sugar substitute do you ever use xylotal and what is the benefit? Does agave work in equal parts to sugar?
Yes, that’s the right kind. I use lots of different kinds of natural sweeteners, but in cookies I prefer to use a dry sweetener, as opposed to a wet one. I have used maple syrup with success in a cookie, though. Check out the oatmeal chocolate chip recipe on my site. Sucanat is much closer to the source than refined sugar, so it’s a better choice from a nutritional standpoint. It has a little molasses undertone, so it’s not always the best choice from a baking perspective. I don’t love it in chocolate desserts, for example. Agave can sometimes be substituted for sugar, although I’m not a fan of agave for a few reasons. If there is a particular recipe you had in mind, let me know and I’ll give you my opinion for what it’s worth!
Absolutely! Buy organic peanut butter whenever possible since peanuts are very heavily sprayed.
I’ve had a container of chia seeds in my cupboard forever — now I know what to do with them. Do you think I could use peanut butter in this recipe?