Fudgy Black Bean Nutella and Salted Caramel Cookies {better-for-you cookies that can be easily made vegan and gluten-free}

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There are many things in life I don’t quite understand.

Like why in the world someone ever thought it’d be a good idea to have a five day workweek and a two day weekend in the US, and not the reverse.

Or why money can’t just grow on trees.

And why has no one invented a money tree?

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I also don’t understand why flying cars have yet to be invented. If flying cars were invented there would be less traffic. Less traffic would then result in less stress. Less stress would result in less accidents. And less stress eating.

I also don’t understand why companies don’t pay their employees to go on vacation. More vacations would equal happier employees which would result in less stress resulting in more productivity resulting in higher revenue resulting in a lower turnover rate. Right? But then maybe that would put recruiters out of business…and then I wouldn’t have a job and I wouldn’t be able to live all because Albert Einstein forgot to invent a money tree.

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I could ponder these thoughts all day and still not have the answers. And it’s highly unlikely that I’ll become President any time soon, or an engineer, or a scientist. So until then, I’ll just stick with cooking and baking. However, I do have the answer to a healthier cookie that’s so easy to make and fairly good for you (and your heart)!  A better-for- you cookie that’s SO delicious? Maybe I am a scientist after all…

Fudgy Black Bean Nutella and Salted Caramel Cookies

Ingredients

1 can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed well

3 Tbsp Nutella (can substitute peanut butter if vegan)

2 Tbsp coconut oil

**2 Tbsp coconut flour (or whole wheat flour)

2 Tbsp almond milk

¼ cup cocoa powder

6 packets Stevia

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp agave (or maple syrup)

Dark chocolate chips

**Caramel squares (omit if vegan/GF)

Sea Salt

1 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips, sea salt and caramels in a food processor ( I used a ninja) and process until smooth and batter forms a mousse-like consistency.
  3. Place batter in fridge for 15 minutes.
  4. Spoon 10 dollops of  batter onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced. Place a caramel in the center of each dollop and cover the top of caramel with batter so the caramels are in the middle of the cookie. You can use a whole caramel square or a half in each cookie, depending on how much caramel you prefer. I made two batches, one with half a caramel in each cookie and one with a whole in each cookie, and enjoyed both just as much!
  5. Place 4 chocolate chips on top of each cookie (or more if you prefer more chocolate)
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Take out of oven and sprinkle the top of each cookie with sea salt. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Best when eaten warm.

*Cookies are best when stored in fridge. Microwave each cookie for about 10-12 seconds before eating and enjoy :).

Notes

This recipe can easily be made vegan and gluten- free (GF) if caramel is omitted and Nutella is replaced with peanut butter (look for ingredients with **)

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