Divine Triple Chocolate Black Sesame Cookies (Gluten-Free) & a Giveaway


When Divine Chocolate asked me to review and bake with their chocolates, I immediately started brainstorming ideas. Their white chocolate with strawberries bar was calling out to me, and I also had a bag of freeze-dried strawberries to use up. You see where this is going. So, I tested a recipe using Divine's cocoa powder, the white chocolate bar, and threw in the freeze dried strawberries as well as some shredded coconut. The resulting cookie tasted great, but there were a lot of crunchy/gritty bits that I didn't care for. The seeds from the freeze-dried strawberries made the cookie kind of gritty at times. It was strange. It was a good concept, but not the best execution.

Being that I started back up on a gluten-free diet two weeks ago (more on that in a later post), I went back to the drawing board and wracked my brain on how I could use some naturally gluten-free flours to elevate the Divine chocolate. I remembered a black sesame brownie I made last year (which I didn't blog about), and lo and behold - these cookies were born! The nutty, fragrant black sesame pairs so well with the rich chocolate - I added a couple tablespoons of peanut butter to bring out the rich nutty flavor of the black sesame. These cookie will definitely keep you warm and toasty on a frigid winter day.


I must point out that I'm not usually a fan of milk chocolate, but Divine's milk chocolate has changed my mind  - the hubs and I fought over the red box and had to portion out the little heart nuggets. I may have sneaked a couple while he was at work. shh... I like the fact that the chocolates are not too sweet - that's what usually deters me from milk chocolate, as well as white chocolate. I was quite surprised with how mellow Divine's white chocolate was - I kind of wish I had not baked with it and enjoyed it as is.

Whether you like milk, dark, bittersweet, or white chocolate, Divine Chocolate has something for everyone. Rather than buy those sickeningly sweet boxes of chocolate from the drug store, why not gift your sweetie some Divine chocolate hearts and bars this Valentine's Day? What's even better is that when you purchase Divine Chocolate products for your loved ones, you will also be doing a good thing for the family farmers in Ghana, who hand-harvest the cocoa beans. You'll help ensure that they receive a fair deal for their cocoa beans as Divine is the only fair trade chocolate company which is 45% owned by the farmers.  

To learn more about Divine chocolate, the farmers who harvest the cocoa beans, and even what the symbols mean on their attractive packaging, visit their website at www.divinechocolateusa.com.

Divine Chocolate Valentine Giveaway
Divine Chocolate, the premium Fair Trade brand owned by cocoa farmers, is giving away three delicious Gift Packs to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Each Gift Pack contains the Baking Range (70% Bittersweet Chocolate and 38% Milk Chocolate Baking Bars and Cocoa Powder), elegant cathedral boxes of Dark and Milk Chocolate Hearts and decadent bars of 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries and White Chocolate with Strawberries.

To enter, please do the following: (comments do not work via mobile phones, sorry for the inconvenience!) GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. 

{Update: 2/4/13} The THREE lucky winners are: Heather, Andrea, and Donna! Congratulations! Please check your emails and reply within 24 hours with your mailing address. Thank you - and thanks to everyone who entered. 

*Mandatory entries*
  • Leave a comment on this post and let me know who you would share these Divine chocolates with if you win. 
  • Like Divine Chocolate USA on Facebook and leave the comment: "I’d love to win a Divine Chocolate Valentine Gift Pack. Sent by Sweets by Sillianah."
Extra entries (please leave a separate comment for each action letting me know you have done this):
  • Like Sweets by Sillianah on Facebook and leave the comment: "I’d love to win a Divine Chocolate Valentine Gift Pack."
  • Follow @sweetsillianah on Twitter and tweet: "I’d love to win a Divine Chocolate Valentine Gift Pack #DivineInNYC"
  • Follow @DivineChocUSA on Twitter and tweet: "I’d love to win a Divine Chocolate Valentine Gift Pack. Sent by @sweetsillianah #DivineInNYC" 
Giveaway ends 11:59pm, February 3rd. THREE Winners will be selected at random and notified on February 4, 2013. Divine Chocolate is responsible for delivery of the Gift Packs. This giveaway is open to US residents only. Good luck!

UPDATE: 1/26/13: The blog was experiencing some technical difficulties earlier with the commenting system. All comments were wiped out on the actual blog but please know that I was able to manually re-enter them in the order they were submitted. All entries have been accounted for and will continue to be counted - if you do not see your entry, please contact me at lillian at sweetsbysillianah.com and I will look into it.  Apologies for the inconvience and thanks for understanding. - LH

{Recipe below, after the jump}



Divine Triple Chocolate Black Sesame Cookies (Gluten-free*)
Ground black sesame, or sesame flour can usually be found in the tea & hot cereal aisle of a Chinese supermarket. If you are not gluten-free, feel free to substitute the black sesame, brown rice and whole grain flours with all-purpose flour (total of 4 1/4 oz), or leave in the black sesame and substitute the rest - that's the fun of gluten-free baking. As long as you use a kitchen scale, and replace with equal weights of flour, the cookies should come out fine. A note about chopping the chocolate - I would chop more finely next time since the big chunks made it harder for the dough to stay together and shape into round cookies. But if you don't care about aesthetics, leave them chunky. ;)

Yield: About 2 ½ dozen cookies

Ingredients:

scant ½ cup coconut oil, softened
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 oz ground black sesame
1 ¼ oz brown rice flour
1 oz King Arthur gluten free whole grain flour blend (or other gluten-free flour)
½ cup Divine cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 ½ oz Divine* milk chocolate (38%) baking bar, chopped into small chunks
3 ½ oz Divine* bittersweet chocolate (70%) baking bar, chopped into small chunks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, beat coconut oil, peanut butter and sugars in a large bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined. In a small bowl, whisk together ground black sesame, flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients into coconut oil mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Scoop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, mold into balls, place on baking sheet and press down dough with palm of your hand or bottom of a glass to flatten slightly. Bake until cookies puff slightly and crack on top, about 10-12 minutes. (Note: They will not spread much) Let cookies cool on sheet for 10 minutes. (Handling hot cookies will cause them to crumble.) Carefully transfer cookies to rack and cool completely.

*Divine chocolate does not contain gluten, but is produced in a factory that handles gluten so they are not certified gluten-free. Please substitute your favorite gluten-free chocolate if necessary.

Disclosure: In conjunction with their #DivineInNYC program, Divine Chocolate and BrandFly Marketing provided me with complimentary chocolate bars and cocoa powder to taste and bake with and offered gift packs for giveaway . All opinions expressed are my own.