What you see right here is insanity. Insanity as in who actually makes their own snacks to go skiing? And, what got into me in wanting to individually package these little cookie dough bites and tape them with some washi tape? Well, I am not sure, but I certainly made good use of some leftover washi tape. At least now that they have all been neatly packed away, some wrapped individually, others in pairs, they are perfect for stashing into my jacket on the way to the slopes in the morning.
Yes, the slopes. Alessandro, some friends and I have decided to leave the hustle and bustle (and lately the rain) of Rome behind us for a little while and have driven up north to spend a week on the slopes. So by the time you read this I will be going up and down the slopes, drinking far too much grappa and hot chocolate (not necessarily in that order, not necessarily every day) and likely exceeding my targeted annual intake of cheese, cured meats and carbohydrates. Knowing myself and my lack of self-restraint I figured I could at least try to avoid the processed snacks available at the “Refugio” as much as possible by packing my own snacks.
Inspired by a number of recipes from around the interwebs (these stunning little Salted Maple Walnut Dark Chocolate Cups, this Raw Date Cocoa Nib Cookie recipe) this recipe came together based on what I had to hand and what I thought would make a wholesome yet tasty little pick-me-up to get me through that post-lunch slump that inevitably hits you after a long day on the slopes.
And yes, I am far from delusional – I know there is a fair amount of chocolate in these, but at least it’s dark chocolate so pretty low in sugar and the rest of the ingredients is wholesome and everything pairs together beautifully with a good crunch from both the chocolate and the cacao nib and every once in a while you hit on the little sea salt speckles, yum.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is super quick to throw together (provided you have a decent food processor) and lends itself to endless variations. In the past I have made it with cashew nuts (which are so easy to whizz into a creamy nutbutter) and you could also substitute the dark chocolate for a slightly less virtuous white chocolate and add some freeze-dried raspberries or dried blueberries. Lastly, this cookie dough is also perfect for rolling into little cookie dough balls and dipping them in melted chocolate for some cute cookie dough truffles.
Chocolate Walnut Cookie Dough Bites
Ingredients, makes ca. 25 little squares
70g agave syrup
1 tsbp olive oil
100g chocolate, chopped fairly small
50g cacao nib
Sea salt, to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp)
1. Place the walnuts and oats in your food processor and pulse until the oats and walnuts are starting to turn into a paste. Add the olive oil and agave syrup and pulse to combine.
2. Add the chopped chocolate, cacao nib and sea salt and, again, pulse quickly to combine. If the oat and walnut mix is warm to the touch (which sometimes happen with my food processor if I let it run for a few minutes), wait until the mixture cools back down to room temperature (otherwise the chocolate chips will melt and you want to make sure you can still detect the chocolate in your cookie dough bites).
3. The mixture will be pretty sticky and crumbly at this point. But, fret not, just plump it on a cutting board lined with clingfilm, wrap the mixture in clingfilm and carefully squish into a rectangular shape roughly 1 inch in thickness (the cutting board helps give the back a smooth exterior and the blade of a big kitchen knife will help squish the mixture together to achieve smooth edges). Place the mixture into the fridge for a few hours so it is easier to cut.
4. Unwrap the cookie dough and, with the help of a sharp kitchen knife, cut into little squares.*