These Caramelized Pecan Cacao Chocolate Chip Cookies are over the moon delicious.  The caramelized pecans deliver a wonderful crunchy topping adding depth to the cookie. They are free of refined sugar, gluten and eggs.

Caramelized Pecan Cacao Chocolate Chip Cookies [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

For the Maple Pecans

  • 2 Cups Raw Pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

For the Cookies

  • 2 Cups Maple Caramelized Pecans
  • 1 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Cacao Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds - ground
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 + 1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Butter 1 Stick - salted - room temperature
  • 1/4 cup liquid Cacao Butter - melted
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coffee or Almond Extract
  • 4 oz 70% 85% or 100% Cacao Chocolate Chips
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Preparation

For the Maple Pecans:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees and place rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a cast iron or a saute pan and cook over medium heat.
  4. As soon as the syrup starts to bubble, stir continuously. They will start to get really sticky.
  5. When all the moisture is gone and the syrup in the pan just starts to become golden brown, remove from heat. (about 8 minutes)
  6. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Separate them as best you can.
  8. Place the pecans in the oven on the middle rack for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
  9. Roughly chop up the pecans and reserve a cup and set the rest aside. Mince the reserved half cup and set aside.

For the Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the rice and buckwheat flours, cacao powder, chia, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small pan, melt the cacao butter on low heat.
  3. In a food processor with metal blade or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, maple syrup and extract together.
  4. Slowly add the melted cacao butter. Mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix everything together.
  6. Scrape down the sides at least once.
  7. Pour into a medium-size bowl and stir in the chocolate chips and the cup of pecans.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Bake
  11. Using a one-ounce cookie scooper, scoop up the dough and level it flat then release the scoop onto the parchment. Alternatively, use a tablespoon and measure out two tablespoons of dough.
  12. Make sure to level them out flat in the measuring spoon.
  13. Roll them into a ball.
  14. With your fingers. take a big pinch of the minced pecans and press them into the top of the cookies as best that you can. They don't have to be perfect.
  15. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 13 - 14 minutes.
  16. When finished baking, place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let cool completely.

Notes

The pecans can be a little bit of a challenge to get onto the top of the cookies. Whatever falls off just try to press back in. It's ok if half is on the baking sheet.

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