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Vegan Nutella stuffed cookies

Beginning of January I had the pleasure to collaborate with NIKE Woman again – this time for the Fashion Week Berlin.
It was a two day event with the presentation of the new womens workout collection by Johanna Schneider including some hardcore workouts with the fantastic Nike Trainer Alex Hipwell.

My job was to provide healthy & delicious snacks and smoothies for the press, the dancers, models, visitors and the fabulous NIKE team.

I made a variation of green, purple and yellow smoothies based on a mix of fruits, vegetables, greens, herbs and plant milks.
I also prepared a light but filling breakfast for the hungry ladies including chia pudding, little lebanese wraps and tartines with different spreads and toppings.
As a little snack or if you wanna call it “dessert” (it doesn’t really get any healthier than that) I made raw apple “doughnuts” with a peanut butter – coconut “frosting” and raw cacao nib & almond sprinkles.
A perfect pre-workout snack that is full of energy-providing carbohydrates from the apple, protein from the peanut butter and healthy fats from the coconut oil.
The addition of cacao nibs added an extra boost and crunch to it.

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It was such a great experience and I – once again – realised how much I love to work in an environment that represents my lifestyle in form of exercise, fashion (sport clothes :-) ) and food.

Well…now that I had such a great start and welcome into the new year I decided to stay in Berlin and focus on my work here.
I have a really great community in this city (chefs, foodies, yogis, movement masters, artists or just simply great people) and really…this is what makes any place “paradise” for me!

A friend of mine and me organised – what first started off as the idea of a small get-together with close friends – a burger party at his place but it soon turned out to be an “Invite only – 10€ donation – Meat vs. Veggie Burger Battle” and over 20 people signed up for it.
It’s funny how those things you really just do for pleasure and without any other intentions than making food for good friends becomes an event where people want to participate and join in.
Maybe that was a good way to start off cause we really couldn’t care less who’s gonna win this battle.
But still, we were both determined to make great food of course.
So besides my humble job to create the “best vegan burger in Berlin” I used the event for just another good reason to bring something sweet.
I know its so wrong but each time I am invited somewhere I take it as an opportunity to attempt a new recipe that I have never tried before and maybe wouldn’t if I didnt know that someone (else) is gonna eat it :-)

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I must admit, I am not really crazy about cookies and baked stuff as such but somehow I ended up at the “best food blog award 2014” page from Saveur Magazine the other day and I immediately fell in love with the winner of last years nominations.
And funny enough the first thing that attracted my attention was this cookie recipe.
Now guess what … 3 weeks and many batches of chocolate chip cookies later, I finally ended up with a solid base of a great vegan and gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe but couldn’t help it and stuff it with even more goodness.
Let me just call this…THE BEST COOKIE (I ever made)…

 

“Nutella” stuffed chocolate chip cookies

(vegan, gluten free)
makes around 25 – 30 cookies

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2 Tbsp chia seeds, ground into fine flour
8 Tbsp warm water or nut milk
250 g vegan butter, room-temperature
100 g raw cane sugar
220 g mascobado or coconut sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
470 g gluten-free flour (I used a mix of finely ground oats and hazelnuts, rice flour, buckwheat flour and 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder)
1.5 tsp baking soda
300 g chocolate chips
pinch of flaked sea salt
200 g vegan chocolate – hazelnut spread

Soak the chia seed flour in the warm liquid for about 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Cream the soft butter with the sugar for about 7 minutes until pale.
Add the chia gel and vanilla extract and mix again to incorporate.
Sift together the different flours and baking soda and combine with the butter mix.
Fold in the chocolate chips (or roughly chopped chocolate bar), cover with cling film and let chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
With an ice cream scoop portion the cookie dough and place on a tray lined with parchment paper.
Press one cookie dough ball with your hand into a flat disk, put 1 tsp of the hazelnut spread in the middle and then carefully close all the edges so the “nutella” is locked in.
Gently press it down so its almost flat again.
Put no more than 6 cookies on the baking sheet and bake for about 12 – 14 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes and eat while still warm :-)

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