Fennel and olive oil cookies - PROTEIN PACKED!
Protein cookies are ubiquitous. Usually peanut butter filled or dotted with delightful chocolate chips. Cute Americana treats but healthy and primed to help you with your plant based gains. My food heritage (from my childhood and my work as a chef) does not belong to America despite a very memorable visit to The Original Pancake House at age 4.....pancakes bigger than my head! Those hit-you-the-face flavour combos are a childhood delight but as a grown up I want more mature flavours that have an interplay that pushes and pulls you one way and then another.
Fennel and Olive oil are not a new combination....no great combination is EVER new I am sorry to tell all the budding vegan chefs out there. Tortas de aceite, a traditional Spanish biscuit, is very close to my version. But, of course, being vegan, gluten free and using protein powder there are clear differences.
The first bite is slightly bitter and flaky. Once in the mouth your body temperature warms the olive oil making the cookie melt in your mouth and your teeth sink into chewy, sweet and sticky dates. A burst of fennel punctuates the experience and lingers after you have eaten the cookie. A perfect accompaniment to that post workout strong black coffee.
100g dates (this is the weight after they have been pitted)(if your dates are very dry simply soak them in warm water for 30 minutes, remove from the water and drain, keep the water for a smoothie)
100ml extra virgin olive oil
50g soya protein powder
50g gram flour
1/2t fennel seeds (these are great for balancing the digestive effects of protein powder)
Set your oven to 170c.
Blend the dates with the oil using a hand blender or similar (note they may not gel together, that's totally fine).
Add the dates/oil and all other ingredients to a large bow and mix well.
Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to 1cm thick, do not roll any thinner.
Cut small rounds using a cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for around 10 minutes until slightly browned, they will firm up once they cool.