Oat and almond Valentine cookies
Benefits of biscuits made with love
- Chocolate is commonly associated with love and Valentine’s Day, and this may have something to do with its benefits for the heart. Dark chocolate, with a high cocoa content, is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that are good for heart health. Not to mention its benefits for brain function, improved mood and, of course, the taste buds!
- With a well-balanced nutrient profile and full of fibre (with beta-glucans), oats are also good for cholesterol and the heart. They also help keep you regular!
- Almonds are highly nutritious and rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals; all beneficial for cholesterol balance and heart health, while also providing protein to help keep those blood sugar levels in check.
- Science has also shown that food made with love is good for the heart. It appears that the amount of time, love and care that goes into cooking makes the food taste better – and that just has to be better for you, doesn’t it?!
So, why not give a gift with lots of love and goodness for the heart (and stomach) of your Valentine on 14 February? Their body, mind and soul will thank you!
- 150 g almond meal
- 55 g potato starch
- 140 g oat flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
- 65 g coconut sugar
- 60 g cream cheese
- 170 g unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- Zest of 1 orange
- Jam or melted chocolate for filling
- Using a food processor, whiz together the dry ingredients briefly to mix – meal, starch, flour, salt, bicarb, sugar.
- Add in the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and orange zest, and process until the dough comes together into a ball around the blade.
- Wrap the dough tightly in a beeswax wrap or biodegradable cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight, to firm.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and pinch off a rounded tablespoon of the dough, around the size of a ping-pong ball. Roll into a ball and place on one of the baking sheets, allowing a few centimetres space between each ball.
- Gently press each ball of dough with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly then, using the side of your little finger, press down firmly in the centre of the cookie to make two indents that create a heart shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed and are golden brown on the bottom.
- Remove from the oven and, using the side of the end of the handle of a wooden spoon, gently press the heart indents down once again to create deeper, more defined heart shapes.
- Place the trays full of cookies on cooling racks. Once completely cool, fill each heart with either your favourite jam or melted chocolate. If using melted chocolate, allow to set fully before storing in an airtight container.
Makes about 10 cookies.