Vanilla chestnut cookies with cranberries and candied pecans + a review of Twelve Years a Slave

Are you guys ready for the best cookies in all of the world? I am absolutely, utterly in love with these. I cannot count my blessings enough for having had the inspiration for this ingredient combination. I am just grateful they exist.

Now, chestnut flour is not your most common ingredient, but it is WORTH tracking it down because it’s gorgeous. And it is also naturally sweet and nutty. And another also…. chestnuts with cranberries and pecans are just like the sweetest cookie dream.

I have made these cookies many times. The only reason I make other cookies is because I love experimenting and discovering new, interesting flavors. Otherwise, these and only these would be on constant rotation.

On a different note, I want to post my review of Twelve Years a Slave because I read it, I loved it, and I think everyone should read it.

The book is a short memoir of Solomon Northup, born a free man and kidnapped in the mid 1800s, then sold into slavery where he spent 12 years of his life and was given a different name. Can you even imagine? 🤯

The narrative tries to be subjective and does not go too much into personal opinions and raw emotions, though it does describe the harsh conditions and inhumane cruelty one man can inflict on another.

Why do I think everyone should read this? First, because history and lessons are not taught/learned from bland dates. These actually never stick with me. Second, because while there’s power in numbers (and we should know about the millions of people in bondage across the planet & the thousands of hundreds in America), nothing compares to the first hand account of individual experience when trying to understand what those numbers actually mean. And while we will never actually KNOW what and how it happened and never actually truly understand the implications and the trauma that lingers to today, we can most definitely try. Third, because while this is a shameful part of history (and there’s many others across the world), humanity tends to repeat the same injustices if stories like this are not heard. There is an estimate 40 million people today in modern slavery – forced labor under threat, human trafficking, people still born into slavery (!), child slavery & child labor, forced early marriage of minors, to name a few.😥 If we understand how this infiltrates our (privileged) daily lives and the impact this actually has on other people in another part of the world, we will buy products differently, we will make daily choices based on different considerations, we might actually choose to refuse to support entire industries and products altogether, we might choose to travel differently, vote differently, or actually take a step further and support those who actively fight against it. Personally, I also consider that billions of animals are also exploited in conditions similar to slavery and torture, for the benefit of their owners, and it’s one of the reasons I’m vegan.🐮

Now let’s do some baking, shall we!

Vanilla chestnut cookies with cranberries and candied pecans
Makes 10-12 cookies

1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup chestnut flour
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup candied pecans
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla


Preheat the oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.
Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and stir to mix.
Add the wet ingredients and mix to make a dough.
Roll and press to make 10 or 12 cookies, depending on how big you want them.
Arrange the cookies in the tray and bake for 20 minutes in a fan forced oven (or 45 minutes in a regular oven).

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Author: RodsCoco