Chocolate Almond Butter Healthier Hearts

Lately, my kitchen experiments have been focused on remaking recipes to be more healthy. However, in the name of Valentine's Day, I think it's acceptable to be slightly indulgent, even for those of us who spend our mornings doing some combination of swimming, biking and running.

I mean, let's have a cookie. A chocolate one.

The following recipe is one of my mother's favorites that I redesigned (you can read about the original here). I used mostly whole wheat flour, and not too much butter or sugar. The trick here is the cinnamon and nutmeg which make these cookies taste like hot chocolate. Cookies that taste like hot chocolate just seem like a good idea. Especially on Valentine's Day.

So, let's get to it: Chocolate Almond Butter Healthier Hearts

What You Need:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup almond butter

1 large egg

For the Chocolate tips:

8 oz semi sweet chocolate

What To Do:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.

Beat together the butter and brown sugar in either a food processor or a stand mixer.  Beat until well incorporated.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.  Add the egg.  Beat on medium speed until mixture is glossy and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the almond butter and mix to combine.

Stop mixer and add the dry ingredients all at once.  Mix on low speed until all of the flour is incorporated  Stop mixer and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula.  Spoon batter out onto a sheet of waxed paper, and form loosely into a log.  You can roll it up and chill it in the fridge for an hour to make it easier to handle.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Once the dough is chilled, divide it in half and place one half on a lightly floured counter surface. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Break out your cookie cutters, cut out cookies and place them on the prepared baking sheet. 

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven, allow to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

To give them fancy, chocolate tips, melt the semi sweet chocolate in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 15-20 seconds at a time, stirring between each heating. Once the chocolate is melted, dip the cooled cookies into the chocolate and place on parchment paper to dry.

Cookies will last, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to five days.

If chocolate isn't your thing, you can always go with pizza...yes, yes, I'm fairly predictable in my culinary selections. HOWEVER, your heart will love this pizza recipe: whole wheat crust topped with beet chips and spinach. Here's a glimpse below, and you can read the full recipe here.