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I don’t feel all that great right now (too many cookies), but I’m so thrilled with the outcome that I didn’t want to put off writing this post. I’ve been chain-eating the best gluten-free, mesquite, duck egg, chocolate-chip, pecan cookies ever made. Granted, there’s probably no one in the universe who’s ever made these before, but seriously — these cookies are prize winners. Maybe not Food Network winners, but they aren’t losers and that’s something to celebrate in the world of gluten-free baking. Actually, I take that back. These are Food Network winners, worthy of the James Beard Best Eccentric Cookie Award. Nigella Lawson would swoon over these.

Ugh, but I haven’t eaten any cookies in ages and I kept testing them (over and over) just to make sure I wasn’t experiencing some sort of gustatory hallucination.

Either the gluten-free god has a crush on me, I’m in a good karma phase, or it’s the duck eggs. Remember the post I did about the Grant Family Farm Bird Spa? If you missed it, you must read it as these duck eggs are wonderful, especially for gluten-free baking. Seriously, I’m in love with them, head-over-heels in love. They add texture and “depth” to gluten-free baking. It’s that gluten-imparting quality that you can’t really describe, but you know when it’s missing. I’ve made muffins, cookies, and breakfast bread using duck eggs and each time I was thrilled with the outcome. Duck eggs rock!

Adding to the eccentricity of these cookies is mesquite flour. You can’t believe how wonderful this stuff is. I wish I had a scratch and sniff blog, you’d be delirious with one whiff. I’d have you hooked and coming back for more in no time.

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Mesquite has a sweet, chocolatey, coffee, cinnamony taste. Or something like that. I can’t quite pin-point it, but it smells absolutely divine. It gives baked goods a nice cinnamon color — it’s beautiful flour. Plus, mesquite is high in fiber and protein (especially lysine, but I’ll spare you the details) and is a good source of calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium. It also helps balance blood sugar levels. (Of course, that whole balancing your blood sugar thing doesn’t work as well when you add a bunch of sugar to the recipe. There’s only so much this little pod can do.) Ground mesquite pods were a staple for Native Americans and indigenous people of the southwest.

It’s not necessary to have duck eggs and mesquite flour on hand to make these cookies, but I’m thinking that’s a good part of what made them sooo good.

Melissa’s gluten-free mesquite chocolate chip duck egg cookies

*This recipe makes about 5 or 6 dozen cookies depending on how big you make them. Store in refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for a couple of months. Gluten-free baked goods don’t last as long.

1 cup Earth Balance Butter (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar (organic cane sugar)
1/3 cup brown sugar (organic brown sugar)
2 duck eggs (or 2 large chicken eggs, room temperature and whisked well)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups multi-purpose flour blend *
1/4 cup mesquite flour (please seen my comments on mesquite below) *
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 365 to 375 degrees (depending on the “hotness” of your oven). Place rack in center of oven. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
2. In medium-sized bowl – add both flours, baking soda, and salt and whisk to mix (whisking also aerates the dry ingredients). Set aside.
3. Beat shortening and both sugars on medium speed. Add vanilla and whisked eggs and beat until well-mixed and fluffy.
4. Add flour and mix on medium speed until well blended.
5. Add chocolate chips and nuts and hand-stir to blend.
6. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet a couple of inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes (it could take any where from 8 to 12 minutes depending on your oven, so watch carefully). Cookies should be golden brown color. Cool and store in airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.

* I used to make up my own basic flour blend back in my early days of GF baking, but there are so many good options available now that I no longer bother. I used Authentic Foods Multi Blend Flour, which is similar to the foundation blend I used to make myself. It’s made up mainly of brown rice and sweet rice flours. It does contain a little corn starch, so if you have issues with corn, you might want to try something different.

* The mesquite flour I use is an organic version from Casa de Fruta. It’s an expensive treat, but luckily you don’t need much. A little goes a long way and it stores well (I keep all my flour in the refrigerator). They suggest adding 2 tablespoons to each cup of regular flour, but I find that to be just a touch too much. I like a very subtle mesquite taste — it can quickly become overpowering. I measured out 3 tablespoons of mesquite into my 1/4th cup measuring cup and topped it off with the basic flour blend, making it 3 T in my 2 & 1/4th cup total. Does that make sense?

When using gluten-free flour (or any flour, I suppose), make sure you measure correctly. Rather than ramble on about this, I’m going to send you over to Carol Fenster’s website for detailed instructions on measuring. Carol lives here in Denver, is a sweetheart of a cookbook writer, and is the queen of gluten-free baking. Take it from her, she knows what she’s talking about.

Go forth and create!
Melissa

18 Responses to “g-f mesquite chocolate chip duck egg cookies”

  1. Your cookies look amazing Melissa! They are making me so hungry as I sit here and wait for my veggies to roast in the oven. I haven’t tried Mesquite flour yet, but it’s certainly on my list – good to know it works well in sweet goods :)

  2. Miles says:

    Melissa,
    Don’t come across mesquite much here in the UK. I remember reading about it in one of Charlie Trotter’s cookbooks and wondering what it was. Now I know!
    The cookies look great-scratch and sniff blog? That would be something :)

    Miles

  3. Melissa says:

    Lauren,

    Yes, I have to admit, these cookies are — uhh, were — amazing. If it’s any consolation, I imagine you felt much better eating your roasted veggies. I totally overindulged on the cookies — I’ll blame it on the economy!

    :-)

  4. Melissa says:

    Miles,

    If (when) I come to have dinner with Cid and Elsie, I’ll bring you a bag of mesquite. It grows wild in the southwest US. I have a friend who grew up on a ranch in Texas and he said they couldn’t get rid of the stuff. Now it’s being sold as an exotic flour. Life is interesting!

  5. Mesquite flour … yet another one I need to try. (I see it mentioned when the Ruby Range folks post on the celiac listserv.) I wish I could try one of your cookies!! Both for the amazing taste and the fact I really need to check my reactions to things before I purchase a lot. I’ve been perplexed when I’ve purchased some flours and couldn’t eat them after all–buckwheat and Montina, for example. (My GF friends get a lot of freebies from me!) Mesquite sounds wonderful though.

    I had just read Carol Fenster’s advice in her latest newsletter. When I first started GF baking years go, I did not stir my flour before spooning into measuring cups. It does make a huge difference. I got my advice from some bakers at a GIG conference, but Carol covers measuring of all ingredients on her site. :-)

    Start working on that scratch and sniff capability … you’ll be bigger than Google or Microsoft if you succeed!!

    Shirley

  6. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    when I come to have dinner with Cid and Elsie … I just can’t wait. The very thought of it is keeping my spirits high. If it’s any consolation I’m not feeling great at the moment either so perhaps this recipe is called for. Meantime I’m going to look up Mesquite and see what I can find.

    I do hope you are feeling better very soon.

    Cid

  7. Melissa says:

    Shirley,

    Yes, these cookies are wonderful, but I totally overdid it with my nibbling on them. That was actually 2 days ago and I haven’t had any since. I’m feeling much better and when I do that, it always reinforces my commitment to eating well and not “bingeing” on sweets (that is my weakness). I really could care less about not having regular bread, even warm sourdough or Italian bread. That doesn’t bother me, it’s the sweets that are my downfall. I’m definitely going to do my spring cleanse soon and I’ll post about it.

    Yes, Carol’s the true GF Baking Queen and her website has lots of good tips and information on baking with GF flours.

    Seriously, Shirley, you may need to go easy on the grains, or skip them altogether for awhile. Some people don’t do well with them.

    Plus, be careful with buckwheat. It is naturally GF, but sometimes it gets contaminated, so make sure your choice is guaranteed GF. Some aren’t — including Bob’s Red Mill.

  8. Melissa says:

    Cid,

    I suppose I shouldn’t have started this post with, “I don’t feel well” because I’ve had several good wishes, including a few emails. I actually meant that I was feeling yucky from eating too many cookies.

    :-)

    As I said to Shirley, sweets are my downfall.

    Why aren’t you feeling well? The “blues” seem to be going around. Maybe a walk in the woods with Ray Mears will cheer you up?

    Take care all…

  9. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    I would love a walk in the woods with Ray Mears, whether he would feel quite the same is debatable :)

    I’ve been feeling low because I think I’m going to be made redundant at work, alas like so many other people right now. However if it turns out to be so, perhaps it’s time to go back to college like some of my friends have…. or take up a new interest which might lead to work. I could volunteer my services as chauffeur to Mr Collins but no doubt he’d worry because I’m a woman and obviously can’t reverse into a parking space and silly things like that :)

    Cid

  10. Cheryl says:

    gosh, I LOVE mesquite. when I’m baking always eat a pinch, and then keep sneaking back for more…it has such great flavor! I made Macadamia chip mesquite cookies a while back and they were so good I had a tummy ache, too.

  11. Melissa – Your cookie recipe sounds wonderful! I used to eat duck eggs a lot when I lived in Montana, now I don’t really eat any type of eggs anymore.

    I have yet to bake with mesquite flour but sice you provided a link I think I may need to order some!

    Thanks, Ali :)

  12. Melissa says:

    Hi Cheryl! I love mesquite as well and you’re right, the flavor is so engaging. I’ll have to search your blog for that macadamia nut cookie recipe. I love macadamia nuts, too!

  13. Melissa says:

    Ali,

    Where did you live in Montana? I’ve spent lots of time there. Be aware that mesquite is expensive and the link I provided is a good one, but they charge a lot for shipping. I like their product, but it is an indulgence and now with the economy the way it is, I’ll have to back off spending on exotic stuff like this. One good thing though, mesquite lasts a long time and you don’t have to use much at all. In fact, you shouldn’t use much as it quickly overpowers your recipe.

  14. Elsie Nean says:

    Melissa,
    Pass the cookies to go with my tea I am about to brew :) .
    I have made many a cookie with hazelnuts and chocolate chips based on an american recipe provided by an american friend who lived in our avenue for 3 years. I was still a novice at baking then and continue to use many of here recipes today, including banana nut bread.
    Unfortunately, many ingredients are not available here and your mesquite flour sound superb. I shall have to look out for some.
    Elsie

  15. Melissa says:

    Elsie,

    If I make it over to the UK to have dinner with you and Cid, I’ll bring a duffle bag full of goodies (all my exotic flours). Hazelnuts are a favorite of mine, but I always forget about them. Hmmm? Your cookie recipe sounds delightful, too.

    Melissa

  16. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    We look forward to meeting you and your duffle bag :) I think hazelnuts could be ground and used in macaron instead of almonds by the way.

    I did find a Mesquite online dealer in the UK so it is possible to get. Have you eaten all those cookies yet? I’m sticking to a cookie/chocolate free lent… Easter is looking more attractive day by day :)

    Cid

  17. Elsie Nean says:

    Melissa,
    By the time Cid and I have placed our orders (incl. those yummy looking Lindt chocies) you will neither be able to carry your bag, be let through customs your end or ours and need a loan to pay for it all :(
    Elsie

  18. Melissa says:

    Cid and Elsie,

    I have some hazelnut meal and love it for baking. I’ll try it with your macaroon recipe, Cid. I would guess the mesquite dealer in the UK would charge a lot for the stuff over there. Here it’s growing all over the southwest, much to many rancher’s annoyance. And Elsie, I always travel with food and haven’t had a problem so far. It’s a “health” condition for me. By doctor’s order, I need my gluten-free ingredients. I’ll bring flour and Levi’s.

    :-)

    Melissa

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