Hemp Heart Cookies with Dried Cherries and Chocolate Chips

First things first: hemp hearts are UH-MA-ZING. They taste delicious, they’re crazy nutritious, and they’re versatile. They’re available at health food stores and you should go buy some right now. The only downside is that they can be a bit pricey, but a bag of hemp hearts will go a long way if you’re just using a tablespoon here and there (with yoghurt, on salads, in cereal…).

And then, there’s this recipe. I’m going to warn you right now, it’s not gonna be cheap, because it calls for a full cup of hemp hearts. But let me guarantee you that it will be worth it. These cookies are outrageously delicious.

The summer after I finished high school, I worked at a little bakery cafe that sold out of these cookies every day. People absolutely loved them, and happily shelled out $2.50 for an itty bitty cookie. Ridiculous, right? But they were soooo gooood.

I never got the recipe from the baker (understandably), so I recently decided to make up my own. Am I ever glad I did! These cookies are chewy and soft, with an almost cake-like texture, but they’re still a bit crispy around the edges. Plus, they’re positively loaded with cherries and chocolate, giving each bite a burst of flavour that complements the nutty taste of the hemp hearts.

And the best part is that they’re healthy! Sort of. The hemp hearts are definitely healthy… and the dark chocolate has antioxidants in it! And the cherries are good for you too… the only bad part is… well… the cookie bit.

BUT I digress. I now present to you my cookie masterpiece:

Hemp Heart Cookies with Dried Cherries and Chocolate Chips

1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup hemp hearts
1/2 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips or chunks, whatever you prefer

1. Preheat your oven to 350º.

2. In a bowl, cream together the sugar, egg, and oil.

3. In a measuring cup, combine the water with the baking soda until the soda is dissolved. Add to the creamed ingredients.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add slowly to the wet ingredients. The batter may start to puff up and fizz because of the baking soda, but don’t worry! This is part of what makes the cookies so fluffy.

5. Add the hemp hearts, dried cherries, and chocolate chips and stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly. The cookie dough will be quite runny, almost like muffin batter. Do not panic.

6. Spoon rounded tablespoons of dough onto a greased cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart. If you want your cookies to be flatter, use the back of a clean spoon to spread the cookie dough out a bit. If you prefer cookies with rounder tops, do not alter the shape of the dough once it’s on the cookie sheet.

7. Bake the cookies for 10 to 14 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. They should be browned around the edges and slightly golden on top. This recipe yields approximately 20 cookies.

Between eating upwards of 3 cookies per day and giving the rest of them to friends, I actually went through my entire batch so quickly that I didn’t have time to take a picture of these babies.

You’re just going to have to bake your own to find out what they look like.

(Or wait until I’ve made them again… but I can’t promise the same problem won’t arise.)

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