Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I recently read David Lebovitz's latest book The Sweet Life in Paris. In it, he makes an off-hand remark about using mesquite flour in his chocolate chip cookies. When I read that, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to make them. Though there are many recipes in the book, those cookies are not one of them. I could have done a quick online search and gotten the recipe, but I forgot about them... Until a couple weeks ago, when Nancy emailed me a link to the very cookies! I was so excited to try them out! Mesquite flour is not something I had ever tasted before, though I was eager to.

Once we both had our mesquite flour, we made the cookies together via Twitter along with Wendy. I hadn't gotten to do a bake-a-long for a long time, so it was especially fun!

Mesquite flour is a very fine powder that is tan in color, and to me it smells very similar to carob. It has a natural sweetness, so you can reduce the sugar in recipes you use it in. It also has a number of vitamins and minerals, and it is gluten free. I've heard of mesquite pancakes, breads, etc... Now that I have a big bag of it, I'm sure you'll see more mesquite recipes on here. But, the cookies. The cookies, the cookies, what to say about the cookies.

I didn't really like them.

I wanted to like them. I tried to like them. I just couldn't like them.

It's funny, because by most people's definition I'm a health nut when it comes to food. I'm a life-long vegetarian, I only eat organic food, a typical meal for me is steamed vegetables with quinoa, my favorite food is broccoli, my 3 year old has never had refined sugar, you get the idea. When it comes to desserts, however, that all basically goes out the window. If I'm going to eat something sweet, I want it to be incredible. I don't want to sacrifice the deliciousness of the dessert just to make it a little healthier. While I will substitute whole wheat flour for unbleached on occasion, and use palm sugar in place of cane, I only do that when I feel the outcome will be enhanced by these changes. What I'm getting at is that these were a bit too much of a health-food cookie to me. I'll take the NYT chocolate chip cookies over these any day.

My husband was crazy about them, however, so I'll let you make up your own mind.

Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson

2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup mesquite flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the sugar and beat until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, each time mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the oats and chocolate. If the dough is too stiff for your mixer at this point, use your hands to combine the ingredients thoroughly. Form dough into balls about 1 1/4" in diameter. Place them about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies have just begun to set, and the tops have browned a bit. Let cookies cool completely on baking sheet. This recipe makes A LOT of dough. You can freeze some, like I did, or you may want to scale the recipe.


  1. Hmmm...divided opinions, maybe I will need to check out Wendy and Nancy before intrigued by this flour. They certainly look delicious.

  2. Bummer that you didn't like them but at least someone in your house will eat them! I've never even heard of mesquite flour but now I'm sort of intrigued. Though maybe I'll try other recipes and not this one - I definitely do not want my cookies to taste too healthy :)

  3. Oh, I hate it when time is spent and then you don't like the end results. Mesquite flour - I had never heard of it, but then, I 've never heard of a lot of the new ingredients I/we are using.

    At least hubs liked them so they won't go to waste.

    They look good.

  4. does this flour give the same flavor as when something is mesquite smoked?

  5. I've honestly never had anything that was mesquite smoked - life-long vegetarian - so I'm not sure. It probably has some of the same flavor minus the smokiness, but I can't say definitively.

  6. I loved this flour (to me it had a smoky quality) and I actually liked the cookies a lot, especially once I doctored the dough with a bit of lemon juice and nutmeg. They were a bit cakey for me (I used all 3 eggs) and aren't really competitors with a decadent CCC, but I still enjoyed them. Fun baking along, as always!


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