Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Chocotastrophy": Do try this at home


When you last left this blog (yesterday, if you are a loyal reader), I dropped a hint as to what I was rawifying in my kitchen over the weekend. I talked about my Girl Scouting days, and if you've been keeping up to date with my posts, you also know about my love of cookies and other raw desserts.

I also mentioned that I'd have something sweet to share with you today at the end of last week's We Like It Raw post. Combine the clues and you're bound to come up with a valid conclusion.

If you arrived at this post via the WLIR website (or looked up at the photo above), you already know the answer. But, if you still need it spelled out for you, I was making raw versions of the top five Girl Scout cookie flavors: Thin Mints (25%), Samoas®/Caramel deLites™ (19%), Peanut Butter Patties®/Tagalongs® (13%), Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos™ (11%), and Shortbread/Trefoils (9%), according to the Girl Scouts website.

I posted the recipes for my Trawfoils, Do-si-raws and Samoraws on the WLIR post, and saved the Rawgalongs and Thin Mints (no spin on that name) for you. Now, before you get too excited, I'll explain why.

I had a bit of a "chocotastrophy" (which explains the title of this post) in my kitchen near the end of the cookie rawifying process. I was running a little short on time (I needed to get my tookus out the door for our usual Sunday dinner and celebration of my grandfather's birthday; Happy b-day Poppy!), and rather than waiting until I returned to tackle the chocolate portion, I did it then anyway.

Now, I'm not a chocolatier (should have called my friend, Becky, who's a bit more knowledgeable about the stuff), so I had no business whipping some up in a jiffy without an educated plan or a no-fail recipe.

You see, chocolate can be quite temperamental. You must be gentle with it and take it slow. Know the correct ratios to keep it from getting bent out of shape, so to speak.

I didn't heed the warning, tossing raw cocoa butter in a double boiler (it melts at very low heat), melting it down and adding other ingredients (cocoa powder, agave and vanilla) in whatever amount I could pour into the pot (in other words, WAY TOO MUCH agave). The result was a soupy, runny, way too liquidy (but very tasty) mess.

But if you know the cost of good quality raw cocoa butter, you'd understand why I would then do anything in my power to keep it from going to waste. So, in a rush (my second mistake), I poured the mixture into my Blendtec and added more cocoa powder, cocoa butter and coconut butter.

It still wasn't thick enough. I reached for my last resort (the third strike and I was out of there), the lecithin (I've seen it on many chocolate wrappers; I thought to myself, "hey, why not?"). First, I added a tablespoon, which I finely ground in my Magic Bullet, before pouring it into the blender. It mixed in beautifully. But the second tablespoon, I added in haste, officially ruining my chocolate's lovely sheen.

Boo hoo, what was I to do? Well, it still tasted good, so I drizzled it on my Samoraws and used it to dip the Thin Mints and cover the tops of the Rawgalongs (I decided not to dip them entirely after the mess I had made with the Thin Mints, not to mention my time constraints). I even had some leftover to make some molded chocolates.

So, that's my story presented to you for your entertainment (I'm only human). But, if you want to try it yourself, here is what ended up in my chocolate: 1/2 pound raw cocoa butter, 2/3 cup raw coconut butter, 2/3 cup agave nectar (you may want to go a little easy on that one), 6 Tbsp. cocoa powder, 1 tsp. vanilla, a dash of sea salt and 2 Tbsp. lecithin.

And now for the cookies:


Rawgalongs
For the cookie
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup sesame seeds, ground into a powder
2 Tbsp. agave nectar
2 soft pitted dates
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash of sea salt

For the filling
3/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp. lucuma
1 Tbsp. mesquite
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash of sea salt

*melted raw chocolate (I won't be offended if you don't use my recipe)

In a food processor, grind cashews, almond meal and ground sesame until it reaches a flour-like consistency. Add the agave, dates, vanilla and sea salt, and process to create a ball of dough.

Flatten the dough into a sheet, and cut out cookie-sized circles. "Bake" the cookies in your dehydrator, flipping once, until crisp.

In the meantime, combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl. Top each cookie with the filling in a mound shape. Chill to set.

Then, either make my chocolate recipe or your favorite tried and true version. Use the melted chocolate to dip the tops (or if you are adventurous, the whole cookie), and allow the chocolate to harden in the freezer. The chocolate will remain stable chilled in the refrigerator or freezer (I keep mine in the freezer since it reminds me of how my mom would keep a stash in hers; my sisters and I used to sneak them all the time).


Thin Mints
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flakes, ground into a powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. agave nectar
2 soft pitted dates
1 tsp. peppermint extract
dash of sea salt
*melted raw chocolate for dipping (if you skipped to this recipe, go back and read the actual post)

In a food processor, combine almond meal, ground coconut and cocoa powder. Add the agave, dates, extract and sea salt, and process to create a ball of dough.

Flatten the dough into a sheet, and cut out cookie-sized circles. "Bake" the cookies in your dehydrator, flipping once, until crisp.

Then, dip the cookies in the melted raw chocolate and allow to set in the freezer.

All the cookies keep well in the freezer, so stock up to be ready for the Girl Scout cookie season. When you are tempted by the real deal, you can reach for your own raw version ... if they last that long. Happy eating :-)

45 comments:

April said...

Yummy!! Those cookies look sooooo goooood! I wish girl scouts were selling me your version! What kind of dehydrator do you use? Is it the excalibur or something else? Just wondering because the excalibur is so expensive if there is something cheaper that will do just as good of a job then I might buy it. Have a good day and great job!

wheresb said...

We'll be right over...

x Raw B and Carrie

(We'll bring the almond milk)

Runnergirl said...

Wow! You outdid yourself, girl! Can't wait to make more! Wahoo! My co-workers will be so excited!

Alissa said...

you've really outdone yourself this time!

i love thin mints!!

Tara said...

Brilliant! I am in the process of transitioning to a high raw diet and I was just thinking the other day, as I passed on eating a donut hole, that there probably isn't any standard that can't be converted to raw. Now after reading your post, I'm SURE that I was right. :-)

wyldegirl said...

oh. my. goodness. you are the raw goddess, i'm bowing down to you right now and will soon begin construction of a shannonmarie altar, complete with girl scout cookies. . . gone RAW. (like girl scouts gone wild- get it?!!)

i was a good little brownie back in the day, skipping through the neighborhood. . . selling the poison cookies. . .
and my mum was the troop leader, i cannot wait to share these with her!
um, certainly you get some sort of badge for this right??? if not, i'm inventing one for you.
xx jenny

Raw Goddess said...

yummy yum yummers Shannon!
As another big dessert fan, I LOVE these cookies (like all your others). I am sooo looking forward to a "Shannon Day" where I can make your recipes!

myrawlife said...

Oh my gosh Shannon, these are "rawsome"! I'm so impressed by your inventiveness. You just have such incredible ideas, and they are always tasty too! Wow! I definately think you should revisit the idea of producing a raw cookbook. It could be all about "cookies" and deserts! Right on! :)

And as always, thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

- Debbie :)

Linda Salas said...

speechless.... all I can do is drool, and write a new grocery list!!!

Thank you for posting this!

shannonmarie said...

April, I never got around to purchasing an excalibur. I just make due with my old school round ones. They work for me.

Raw B and Carrie, does this mean you're breaking your juice feast?

Holly, I hope your coworkers enjoy them. Rawbin (who's not only my friend, but my coworker, too) did.

Thanks Alissa. My nonraw hubby loves thin mints. He thought these tasted just like them.

Tara, I agree. I'm always telling people that they can rawify just about anything.

Jenny bo benny, you're so silly. You always make me smile :-)

Heathy, have fun making these in your kitchen. I can't wait to see them on your blog.

Debbie, I hope to have a cookbook in the works soon. Now, I just need to come up with the time to put it together.

Thanks Linda. Have fun "baking" cookies.

RawBin said...

Shannon, thank you so much for the lunch samplers! To all you who read her blog, the pictures are good, the cookies are SUPER! Monday I was honored to try the Tagalongs and Samoas. They were so good, that I had trouble believing that they weren't the real thing! Then today, I got my very own (thanks Matthew for sharing) Thin Mint... OMG! So real, crunchy, minty, chocolaty, super!!!

Bueller said...

This is the best post ever! Thin Mints are my fave. I can't wait to try them!!

April said...

You are such an inspiration!!!!! Truly!!!!

Kati said...

You are a raw cookie goddess! I am making the samoraws today - will let you know how they turn out (after 24+ hours of dehydration :( not sure I can wait that long...).

Anyway, I just recently discovered your blog within the past week or so and have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. Keep up the good work (or play?)!

wheresb said...

Not yet. Rumor has it we are about halfway...I think.

Nice job girl. You are taking the raw food world by storm. Keep shining.

xx Raw B

Stacey said...

i want to buy some girl scout cookies :)

luv your blog

xoxoxo
stacey

shannonmarie said...

Poor Matthew is sick, so Rawbin, he was okay with sharing. But, I was surprised to see him go through with Thursday Night Raw.

Sounds like bueller wants the thin mints, too.

Good luck, kati. They're worth the wait, although I'll admit to sneaking some dough here and there. Hey, they're egg-free.

B, you've made it further than I ever could. Congrats.

Thanks Stacey. You can make your own. I believe anyone can do it if they try :-)

NifteThrifte said...

I love, Love, LOVE your blog sweet cheeks!!! It's like, the best blog evaaaahhhh!

you should publish a book.

Carmella said...

Shannon,
I was just looking over your recipes after seeing Heathy's renditions of them. They look fantastic and I'll be definitely giving some of them a try on my next sweet D day. Just a quick question though, when you say 'almond meal', do you mean ground almonds or do you think wet almond pulp would do the trick?

Alli said...

I thought you should know, I am now in my 9 yr. old daughter's good graces again thanks to your blog and recipes! It means so much to me and her ... thanks a lot!

shannonmarie said...

Thanks, niftethrifte, I've been thinking about the book thing. Maybe when I have a little more time.

Hey Carmi, I usually just use finely ground almonds, but occasionally will also mix in some dry almond pulp, dehydrated after making "milk." I feel the pulp by itself lacks a little flavor.

Alli, I'm glad you and your daughter are enjoying my blog. Have fun together in your kitchen.

Claire Cooks said...

I actually used to work for the Girl Scouts in NY and go back and forth between raw life and just thought about getting back into it. These recipes look amazing!! You should send them to GSUSA, get some publicity!

shannonmarie said...

That's a great idea. Do you think the Girl Scouts mind that I used their cookies to "rawify"?

Meow Mix said...

hey.. I just wanted to let you know that I used one of your recipes to make valentines day cookies.. You are a genius.. all your recipes look amazing.. check out my blog so you can see the pictures.. and how I gave you all the credit.. b/c you are the master mind behind it all anyway.. :)

shannonmarie said...

meow mix, congrats on your new blog. I hope you don't mind that I mentioned you on my latest post.

Katie said...

Wow! Those look amazing! Please join the goneraw community (www.goneraw.com) and post your recipes. We need you!!!! My profile name there is "northernlights" in case you are wondering who the heck I am. :) Anyway.. I was reading somebody elses blogg who referred to yours... and anyway.. you are so creative! Thanks for sharing your recipe online!

shannonmarie said...

You're welcome, katie. I'm actually already a member of Gone Raw; I was one of the first members (or at least it was only in the double digits). I only posted a couple recipes more than a year ago.

Now, I've decided to keep it simple by posting my recipes on my own blog and as a member of the We Like It Raw Squad. But thanks for thinking of me. I'll have to stop by there again soon :-)

Allisun said...

i'm making the somraws and rawgalongs for a potluck, and am desperately wondering how many cookies does a single recipe of yours make?

thanks!

shannonmarie said...

I made them a long time ago and never bothered to count them. However, I can give you an estimate. The Samoraw recipe made the most; probably about two dozen. As for the Rawgalongs, I'd have to say the recipe yielded about half that, give or take a few.

Allisun said...

so i doubled the recipes, and ended up with 23 samoraws and 22 rawgalongs. kinda pricy ended up being a bit over a dollar a cookie. but definently worth it. can't wait to see the faces of the people at the potluck today : )
i couldn't pull off the chocolate piping tho - i tried putting some into my icing-making napkin with the little nozzle attached and it was just too sticky to the cloth. what did you use for that? so i just smothered it over the samoraws.

shannonmarie said...

Thanks for the count Allisun. Now I'll know the answer the next time someone asks. Hope everyone at the potluck enjoyed them.

As for the piping, I think I just put the chocolate in a sandwich bag and cut off a small tip. I know; not the most eco-friendly idea, but that's what I did.

Merin said...

Hi all! These cookies sound wonderful, I can't wait to make them! I'm sorta new to this raw stuff though. Where is everyone getting cocoa butter for the melted chocolate?! I've tried a grocery store, a whole foods store, a chocolate specialty store that wouldn't sell it to me... Does it HAVE to be added? I'd prefer not to order it online if I didn't have to. Thanks!!

shannonmarie said...

I buy my raw cocoa butter online from NaturalZing. They also offer Chocolate Rocks, which can easily be softened in your dehydrator and sweetened with agave.

If you don't want to order online, you can find coconut oil in some stores. You can use it to make raw chocolate, too.

Merin said...

I already have the coconut oil, how do you use that to make the raw chocolate for the cookies?
Thanks for your response :o)

shannonmarie said...

As you can tell by my post, I'm not the best at making raw chocolate, but I can give you a little guidance.

Your coconut oil should be solid at this point. Using very low heat, soften it enough to combine it with some cocoa powder, agave and vanilla. Go easy on the agave or your chocolate will result in just a sauce.

The chocolate should firm up a bit after you've used it to decorate your cookies. If not, chilling it in the fridge or freezer should help. Good luck :-)

Merin said...

Thanks so much, Shannonmarie! I can't wait to try it! I can finally stop giving in to real chocolate now!!!

shannonmarie said...

You're welcome. Even if you don't get the texture right, it will still taste good.

friedgreentomatoes said...

My thin mints are in the dehydrator right now. The dough tasted so good so I know they are going to be even better crisp and covered in chocolate! Thanks for the recipe.

shannonmarie said...

You're welcome and thanks for the comment. They are good right out of the dehydrator, but more chocolate makes them extra special.

Sheri said...

Hi Shannonmarie! I came via a link from Bitt's blog and I am swooning! These cookies look amazing. Can't wait to try them!

And I've heard it said that you are the raw cupcake queen so I look forward to exploring your blog some more :)

Congrats on the new ebook too :)
Sheri

shannonmarie said...

Thanks Sheri (and thanks to Bitt for leading you here).

Hope you like the cookies and the cupcakes, too. They are scattered throughout this blog, so I put together the book to make them available in one place (with a few new ones added in). Thank for the congrats on that, as well :-)

Dolphin said...

Oh goodness. You just made my tummy all happy just by looking at those recipes. I definitely have to make those thin mints today. Thank you for sharing!

shannonmarie said...

I hope you got around to making them ... and that you liked them, too :-)

Josh SM said...

If I use coconut oil instead of raw cocoa butter for the thin mint "chocolate coating," what would the equivalent to the 1/2 lb of cocoa butter be? Odd grammar...

shannonmarie said...

Hi Josh. It's been a while since I wrote this post, not to mention a while since I tried making the chocolate coating this way. If you want to recreate it, I believe 1/2 pound of cocoa butter is around 1 cup (based on this cool online converter tool: http://convert-to.com/656/cocoa-butter-conversion-and-nutrition.html). These days I still just play around with the ingredients or use someone else's recipe. I think this dark chocolate coating is worth trying for this - http://www.barefootandfrolicking.com/2011/04/raw-cake-pop-challenge.html Good luck! :-)