Mesquite Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

When the word “mesquite” appears in an article about food, the mind jumps immediately to the smoky flavors of the grill. But mesquite flour, made from the seedpods of the mesquite tree, tastes nothing like smoke. Unexpectedly, ground mesquite seedpods taste like an aromatic blend of cinnamon, chocolate, and coffee…

Mesquite flour was a staple food of Native Americans from Texas to California, partly because mesquite trees thrive in arid climates where other crops wither. Mesquite pods were one of the major (if not one of the most important) foods of the desert Apache, Pima, Cahuilla, Maricopa, Yuma, Mohave, and Hopi tribes. Like many other desert plants, the mesquite tree superconcentrates nutrients in its seeds to compensate for the harsh environment. Consequently, it is so nutritious that many consider it a “superfood.” Mesquite flour is very high in magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, fiber, and digestible proteins (including lysine).  It also acts as an antioxidant, and its glycemic index is low in spite of its sweet taste.  It can be used as either a gluten-free flour or a seasoning...”  Austin Chronicle

Adapted from a recipe by Heidi Swanson

1/2 cup organic mesquite flour
1/2 cup organic oat flour
1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch
1/4 heaping teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup organic non-refined sugar
2 medium organic pastured eggs
1/2 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup organic chopped hazelnuts
1 cup organic chocolate chips

paraphrasing Heidi’s instructions..

Preheat the oven to 375°F, position the racks in the upper half of the oven, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the sugar until of a consistency like thick frosting. Beat in the eggs one at a time, incorporating each fully before adding the next and scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Stir in the vanilla until evenly incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in 3 increments, stirring between each addition. At this point, you should have a moist, uniformly brown dough. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips by hand, mixing only until evenly distributed.

Drop 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart and bake for about 10 minutes, until golden on both top and bottom. Don’t over-bake these; if anything, underbake them. Cool on wire racks.

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