Malty teff and hearty oats add toothsome texture and flavor to these chunky chocolate chip cookies. Layer the ingredients in a jar for a pretty gift.
Here’s a recipe that just barely made it into Alternative Baker – the variation listed under the Teff Oatmeal Cookies with Whiskey Currants. Jay’s favorite ever cookies are oatmeal chocolate chip with walnuts, and I couldn’t not include a recipe for them (especially given the 1 million dishes he did during the making of the book). But time was running out. (Er, technically, it had run out long ago, to the chagrin of my editor who kept getting emails from me begging to add more recipes into an already-too-long-manuscript.)
Luckily, the cookies won.
Drop cookies can be persnickety beasts, objecting to slight changes in temperature/moisture/Mercury in retrograde/bad vibes, either spreading into flat pancakes or staying in tight little lumps upon hitting the heat of the oven. This humble recipe was the one that took the most tries to get right. I tested batch after batch, making tiny adjustments, until I was finally satisfied. The originals are laced with a whiff of fresh nutmeg and studded with plump, boozy currants, all bound up in an earthy base of teff flour, oats, brown sugar, and lots and lots of butter. With each failed batch, I’d console myself with a warmly spiced (albeit overly flat/thick/sweet/salty) cookie and start over again.
When the manuscript was handed in (and I caught up on sleep enough for my synapses to start firing again), I suddenly realized my glaring omission. It was too late to develop and shoot an entirely new recipe, so, on a whim, I swapped out the nutmeg and currants for a mess of chopped bittersweet chocolate, in the hopes that I could sneak in just one more variation, but sure that the slight change of ingredients would wreck havoc on this most finicky of recipes.
To my surprise and delight, the recipe was far sturdier than expected. The cookies baked up beautifully, spreading into thick, chewy, chunky cookies laced with the earthy tastes of teff, oat, molasses, dark chocolate, and toasted nuts. Tessa made them with coconut sugar, and Traci shared the originals with step-by-step photos. This is probably the recipe from the book I make most often when I’m craving something quick and sweet late at night or on a rainy day. Clearly Jay isn’t the only cookie monster in the house.
When Sarah and I were brainstorming ideas for our DIY demo at our new (ginormous) Anthropologie later this week, I thought these cookies could make a good cookie mix gift in a jar. The recipe would need slight alterations – instead of adding the hot melted butter to the sugar, then stirring in the egg, then the flours, the egg and butter would have to be added directly to the dry ingredients. I expected disastrous results, but again met with cookie success. Sarah’s sharing her recipe today, too. It’s equally loaded with chocolate, alternative flours, and nuts and is TO DIE FOR. Get her recipe over here.
***If you’re in the area, come join us at Anthropologie’s new flagship store in Walnut Creek this Thursday 11/10 from 6-8 pm for cookie and brownie samples, jar how-to demos, book signing, prizes, and other festive offerings from Spotted SF, Elsie Green House & Home, and A Fabulous Challenge.***
If you’re new to teff, this recipe is a perfect introduction. The tiny grain is most commonly used in Ethiopian injera, but the flour has a nutty flavor that reminds me of malted chocolate milk, and it pairs beautifully with other similar flavors. Here, brown sugar, chocolate and oats all work together to show off its exceptional flavor.
I’ll be baking up a storm around the Bay Area this fall, including at the San Francisco Ferry Building this Sunday 11/13 with Les Dames d’Escoffier and an all-star lineup (including Dorie Greenspan!!!) Stop by to get your book signed and sample some goodies. Get the full details here.
Until then, happy baking!
- 3⁄4 cup (100 g) teff flour (preferably Bob’s Red Mill brand)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 cup (27 g) tapioca flour/starch
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup (50 g) organic granulated cane sugar
- 1 cup (90 g) GF old-fashioned rolled oats
- 6 ounces (170 g) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (60-70%)
- 3⁄4 cup (90 g) walnuts, toasted, cooled, coarsely chopped or broken
- Need: 1 wide-mouth 1-quart or 1-liter canning jar
- 8 tbsp (113 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- flaky salt for sprinkling (optional)
- In a small bowl, sift together the teff flour, salt, and baking soda. Pour into the jar to form the bottom layer, rapping the jar on the counter a few times to flatten the flour into an even layer. Spoon the tapioca flour gently over the teff flour to create the second layer, rapping the jar on the counter again. Spoon in the brown sugar, packing it down gently to form a flat layer. Repeat with the granulated sugar, oats, chocolate, and nuts.
- Seal and attach the following directions to the jar.
- Pour contents of jar into large bowl, breaking up any clumps. Stir in 8 tablespoons melted, cooled unsalted butter, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Scoop 2-3 tablespoon balls onto 2 lined baking sheets, sprinkle with flaky salt, and bake at 350ºF until edges are set and tops are soft and puffed, 10-15 minutes.