If you’ve ever wanted a cookie that tastes like a fig newton, this is it. You can eat it plain, stuff it with buttercream or jam, and change up the flavoring with almond extract for a new take. This is a great base cookie!
Every Saturday morning I wake up, have my celebratory weekend winter coffee and head over to my amazing local farmer’s market. It’s a thrilling reminder of the pleasure of life to smell all the freshly baked bread, the bunches of flowers in a rainbow of colors, and my favorite processed-free baked goods all waiting for me. Among my favorite baked goods is a Korean stand with pickled ginger, spring rolls, and Korean cookies.
So I started thinking, if beans are popular in baked goods, shouldn’t chestnuts join in the fun? Turns out that chestnut flour is pretty popular around the globe! Italy makes chestnut breads and ice cream, Japan uses it for rice, Korea makes sweet cakes and cookies, and America makes Thanksgiving stuffing. This winter is the perfect time to add some chestnuts to your diet for a fraction of the calories you would with flour cookies.
To me, these fig newton-like ginger cookies are perfect with a cup of tea. They’re similar to a Christmas scented sugar cookie, or more specifically, a sugar cookie with orange peel, ginger and cinnamon. I actually ate the whole batch the first time I made it and didn’t even feel guilty. Why would I? It’s basically just sugar and chestnuts. My perfect snack before a workout…and surprisingly filling.
But, I admit, I always hesitate when I have a recipe I love and my husband isn’t such a fan. Don’t get me wrong, these flourless chestnut ginger cookies are absolutely amazing! My friend thought these have a fig newton texture. But whenever you start cooking and baking with ingredients that aren’t mainstream, they aren’t going to be for everyone. So far I have yet to see him like an Asian cookie besides a fortune cookie…and I’m a foodie, so you know I ask him to taste a lot. But please give these a whirl. Then tell me what you think. Chestnuts for flour: You in or are you out?
Chestnuts are not for you if you have tree nut allergies, but if you are looking for a lower calorie, gluten-free solution for baked goods, chestnuts are great to consider. In fact, chestnuts are actually more like your starch family of sweet potatoes for texture and nutrition than a nut. Chestnuts are a very unusual nut since they do not have a lot of fat and instead provide folates, vitamin B, minerals and a surprising amount of vitamin C. They are also only 37 calories per ounce.
- 6.5 ounces of peeled, cooked chestnuts* (about 1 cup of loosely packed chestnuts)
- 1/2 cup Rapunzel sugar (or cane sugar)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp brown rice syrup or honey
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp orange peel
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp chickpea flour
- Brush on top:
- egg white
- Mix: 1 tbsp water 1 tbsp honey or brown rice syrup and brush on top
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees
- Mix all the ingredients, except the chickpea flour, in a blender or food processor
- Once completely pureed, transfer to a bowl and mix in the chickpea flour
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop onto a lined cookie sheet
- Mash each cookie and shape using a fork. These cookies will not spread.
- I put lines in it with a fork like peanut butter cookies.
- Brush cookies with egg white or sugar water
- Grate orange peel on top
- Bake for 20 minutes
*I got my chestnuts pre-packed at TJs
Reminder: Rapunzel sugar is still cane sugar, it is just a whole food because the molasses isn't separated out and bone ash isn't used to dye the color