Acorn Flour Cookies

Okay.  So I finally did it!  I made some cookies with acorn flour!

It did take me a while to get this last batch of acorns to release their tannin.  I got the last batch of acorns from a different oak tree on our future homestead, and apparently the acorns from this tree were really, really full of tannin.  I will avoid that tree next year if there is an abundance elsewhere.

Nonetheless, after 12 days I finally got to the point where the acorn meal didn’t pucker my mouth anymore!  Let me tell you – that is a very unpleasant pucker!

acorn flour cookies

I found that putting the acorn meal next to the wood stove dried it out better than putting it into an oven!

In fact, I think I am figuring out a way to tell if most of the tannin has been removed by using our swimming pool water tester kit!  You see, tannin is acidic and it makes sense that when I get most of the tannin out, the pH level would rise – Right?  Anyway, I am testing the level of the acid with the freshly crushed acorns versus the acid level of those that have been leaching for 10-12 days to see if I can figure out an optimum level of pH. I sure hope this works.

So, on to the cookies.  Some of my fellow bloggers and commenters out there (thank you very much) suggested that I investigate some of the Italian and/or Mediterranean recipes that use chestnut flour!  Apparently chestnut flour and acorn flour are pretty much interchangeable.  So, I did some investigating at the library and on-line and found some cookie recipes using chestnut flour!  Actually, I found a lot of recipes using chestnut flour, but the majority of them used wheat flour also.  Don’t get me wrong – that’s perfectly okay – just not what I am trying to do!  I want to be able to use both acorn flour (which is free and in abundance on our future homestead) and/or almond flour (I already made a spice cake with almond flour – delicious!) and not have to rely on wheat flour.  Why?  Not really because of the gluten in wheat flour.  I am not gluten intolerant and I don’t have celiac disease. And it’s not really about the fact that some grains are GMO’s now, although I am completely and wholeheartedly against GMO’s. Wheat flour is relatively cheap and at this time GM wheat is not being sold commercially – that we know of.  However, Monsanto has developed a GM wheat, and it’s only a matter of time folks. No, for me it comes down to self-sufficiency.  I want to be able to use what I have outside of my front door for my food. Acorns are free.  They grow on huge trees that give us shade, house a myriad of critters, provide firewood and building material.  You don’t have to water the oak tree, fertilize it, prune it or spray pesticides on it.  The only thing you have to do is gather, remove the nuts, leach the nuts and then eat them. And they are good for you!

So, here we go!

The first recipe was a sort of shortbread cookie with chocolate chips in it.  I know, chocolate chips aren’t growing on trees outside my front door, but I am in the experimental phase of cooking with acorn flour and that’s what the recipe called for. I figure, if I like the recipe, I can always tweak it later!  Besides, who can resist chocolate chips!

Here is the recipe I came up with:

1 cup acorn (chestnut) flour

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

2-3 tablespoons strong coffee

Mix all ingredients together.  Knead for about 1-2 minutes, until all the flour is incorporated.

acorn flour cookies

The cookie batter was pretty crumbly, more than I think a shortbread cookie should be. But, it did hold in a clump when pressed together.

Roll into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.  Remove from refrigerator, slice roll into 1/4 inch slices and place on cookie sheet.  Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.

All went well with this recipe until I got to the part where you have to roll the log.  It was pretty crumbly, so I kneaded it for a little longer and that helped.  But, after it had chilled for 1/2 hour in the refrigerator, I tried to slice the log and found that this was impossible!  The whole thing just kept crumbling!  I let it warm up a bit, rolled it again and thought that maybe if it was a bit warmer it would slice easier.  Nope!  The chocolate chips were the problem!

acorn flour cookies

This cookie recipe was very crumbly, and the chocolate chips made it impossible to cut!

Now – who would have ever thought that chocolate would be a problem!

So, I decided these would have to be bar cookies.  I pressed the whole mess into a small baking pan, scored it (just in case the “cookies” turned out to be hard, like biscotti or concrete) and then cooked it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.   I let them cool down in the pan because I was afraid they would be really crumbly, but when I took them out of the pan they actually held together quite well.  Now it was the time for a taste test.

acorn flour cookies

My modified “shortbread” cookies made out of acorn flour!

Um – no

Well, let’s just say I won’t be making this recipe again!  It was dry and bitter!  🙁  Did you know that coffee has tannin in it?  Well it does.  So does chocolate, to a certain degree.  It seems that these two ingredients worked together to bring out the tannin flavor of the acorn flour!  I must say, the look on my hubby’s face was hilarious when he tried these.  I have been know to experiment with recipes before and I am quite famous for my sweet and sour chicken livers and my smoked salmon lasagna – and not for the right reason.  These were ghastly culinary failures in epic proportions.

I think this acorn bar cookie may have trumped my previous culinary infamy!

On to recipe #2.  I didn’t have much faith at this time in cooking with the acorn flour, but I had gone to the trouble to make the flour (and have 2 more batches waiting in the refrigerator), so I figured I wouldn’t give up just yet.  This one is more like a chocolate chip cookie recipe, yet again uses no wheat flour:

6 tbls of soft butter    1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla       1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt         1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg                           1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chestnut (acorn) flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

acorn flour cookies

Well – they look like cookies, they smell like cookies, they bake like cookies………..

Instructions: Cream the butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla together.  Drop in the egg and mix until the batter is lump free, about a minute. Add the flour and baking soda and mix just until the flour is completely moistened.  Add the chocolate chips.

Drop 2 inch balls onto cookie sheets with plenty of room for the cookies to spread out.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack after about 5 minutes.

Makes 1 dozen cookies

acorn flour cookies

Success! These cookies are really good. REALLY GOOD!

Don’t they look pretty!  All festive and such with the blue plate and pumpkins!  Hahaha – that’s my feeble attempt at staging the picture!  Anyway……  we gave these a taste test.

Heavens to Mergatroid!  Hallaleujah!  I think I actually heard a few angels singing in chorus somewhere.  These things were GOOD!   Wow!  Really GOOD!   🙂     🙂

Okay.  So you CAN eat acorns!   Yup.  There’s no stopping me now!   I have a few cake and bread recipes I want to try.  And I still haven’t given up on making acorn noodles.  I think I will also try adapting some of those almond flour recipes and see if they will work with acorn flour!  Once I figure out some good recipes using acorn flour, I want to start trying them with the stevia syrup I made (see instructions how to do that here) or honey, instead of the cane sugar.  Wish me luck!  I will let you know how it goes!

Thanks for reading!  Now I have to go and do the dishes!

 

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55 thoughts on “Acorn Flour Cookies

    • Thank you so much, Joy! Hmmm…. a cookbook! I have a long way to go before I can entertain that idea, but it sure would be fun! Thanks for your kind comment!

  1. Ah! Another one your posts that made me laugh out loud and scare the cat! Those cookies *do* look tasty… and I just love how you are working with your very own acorns to turn them into food!

    (It is tragic, though about the first recipe! Who ever would have thought that coffee and chocolate would make something *less* delicious!)

    • I know, right? – who wouldn’t have thought that in this universe a combo of coffee and chocolate would not be good? Go figure! But onward and upward I must go to achieve acorn nirvana – someday! Thank you for reading, Christine, and leaving your wonderful comments!

  2. I am loving reading about your persistent efforts to be self-sufficient. Instead of chocolate chips, I bet you could use home-made jam to sweeten those cookies, now that you know how to get the flour right. Yaaaaay! Thanks for letting us share the journey!

    • You are so right! I’m thinking next about trying applesauce cookies with walnut pieces! I can use a few drops of my homemade stevia syrup to sweeten it up just a bit, although I’ll bet the applesauce will sweeten it just fine! Then, I also thought I could put in some dried apricots or cherries in another batch instead of the chocolate chips! MMMMmmmmm…… my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Thanks, Carol. I always love your comments!

  3. HOORAY!!! Grand news, indeed. Sadly, when we moved we left behind two acorn trees. But now we have pears and apples so at least we could cook with those if need be (tho the apple is a wee bit tart). Then again, maybe our next move will take us back to acorn trees and I’ll give this a try. Thanks for an intriguing series. 🙂

    • Pears and apples are mighty fine trees! I would tell you to plant an oak tree so you can have all three – but it takes about 20 years for an oak tree to make acorns! Most people don’t live in the same house for more than 10 years, so this probably isn’t the best solution. 🙂 However, look around! I live near a river that has a beautiful park just full of oak trees – and acorns!

    • Good morning, Linda! Good to hear from you! Yes, I know, lots of butter is always a good thing! Isn’t it great that butter isn’t so bad for you afterall! 🙂

  4. Hi Vickie,

    I couldn’t reply to your email because it is set to noreply. Yes the armillary is a clock. You can see the front of it here: http://www.greenwillowpond.com/2013/11/its-been-long-time-since-i-posted.html. I haven’t actually displayed the Christmas basket yet. I too refuse to decorate the house for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I do have it ready to go the day or two after. Thank you for participating in the party. I would never have thought of acorn flour. Sounds really interesting. I stopped eating wheat about a month ago, but we have no source of acorns nearby. I’m doing some experimenting with different flours too.

    • You should try almond flour, if you haven’t already! I have an almond tree in my back yard and was experimenting a month or so ago with making my own almond milk, and then making the almond milk into ice cream. That was delicious. But then I was left with all the almond pulp. So, I dried the pulp, wizzed it in my coffee grinder for about 20 seconds per 1/2 cup, and – voila – almond flour! Then, I made a spice cake with the almond flour and it was really good! I like to get the free books on Amazon for the kindle (you don’t need a kindle to get the books, you can have a “kindle for PC” account) and have three books on cooking with almond flour now! My next experiments will be with a combination of the two flours – almond and acorn. Haha – I should call it the AA flour! Thanks for replying to the blog post, Deborah. I just love your clock!

  5. Hooray! You did it girl. Finally figured out that you CAN eat acorns. Must confess that I probably won’t go to all of that work. But I am so impressed! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    • Thank you, such a nice thing to say! And thank you for sharing – it’s always appreciated! Besides, this is a mutual admiration society – you are pretty awesome also!

  6. What a unique a wonderful idea – making flour from acorns. You should try marketing this. Its such a healthy idea, and if you can normally get acorns free. Thanks for sharing your recipe and idea. Visiting from Real Food Fridays blog hop.

    • Actually, you can already buy acorn flour in many Asian (especially Korean) markets. Acorn flour and acorns have been a staple food in many cultures of our world, I am just trying to see if I can use an old world food in new world recipes! Thanks for stopping by, Marla, and for your comment!

  7. Honestly I’ve never even heard of acorn flour or knew that you could use it in anything let alone cookies. Thanks for sharing on the weekend re-Treat link party!

    Britni @ Play. Party. Pin.

    • You are welcome, Britni! I’m baking banana bread right now with acorn flour! We will see how it turns out and I will post the results – good or bad – sometime this next week!

  8. Acorn flour…
    Acorn flour…!??

    I had NO idea this existed. I mean, I never would have thought to make my own, let alone look for some in a specialty market. Brilliant!

    I am happy that you shared these with us last week on *Mostly* Homemade Mondays. I will be featuring these delish sounding cookies tomorrow morning. Feel free to stop by and share something else with us…you can grab a button, too, if you like.

    Thanks so much for this creative post,
    Jess
    http://www.scratchmommy.com

    • oh Jess! Thank you so much for the feature! I am honored and will be proud to display your button! Tomorrow my post will be a tutorial about how to make a hobby horse! I will let you know how my acorn flour banana bread turns out!

  9. Hmmm, this is a very interesting idea. I guess there are a few nut alternatives out there for flours but then once you’ve made the flour what do you do with it? Thanks for creating a recipe!

    • The sky is the limit as far as recipes! Unlike wheat flour, acorn flour is gluten free and with the interest in gluten free cooking, I have a lot of resources to find new recipes! I believe (and I am experimenting to find out) that I can substitute acorn flour for almond or chestnut flour. In Korea, acorn flour (Dotori means acorn) is used for many dishes. Apparently the Italians have cooked with chestnut flour for ages. Apparently the Germans have ingested acorns in one way or another – “Frank Coffee” was a well known hot beverage while the troops were in the trenches during World War II. So, I am only trying to adapt the acorns to other recipes, tweak it until it tastes good, and then enjoy knowing that I didn’t have to pay for it! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and for your comment, Jennifer – always appreciated!

  10. Great post.my mother-in-law’s home was recently blanketed in acorns and we were trying to come up with some good ideas of what to do with all of them – talk about turning lemons into lemonade! Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I hope you’ll join us this week and share more of your awesome posts.
    http://www.herbanmomma.com

    • Thanks, Kristin. Kind of like manna from heaven! Seriously, these are tree nuts – just like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc. – but have been forgotten by modern society! Yes, they do taste nasty before they are processed, but then, so do olives! Acorns are good for you and can be adapted into quite a few different recipes – which I am in the process of doing! See you tomorrow!

      • Congrats on being chosen as a featured post on this week’s Wildcrafting Wednesdays! Can’t wait to see what you have to share with us this week! And I’m looking forward to future acorn recipes – i’ll be better prepared next autumn 🙂

    • Thank you, Christine! The first ones were a major “fail”, but the second chocolate chips ones were actually pretty good! You could taste that the flour wasn’t as refined as the white flour you can buy at the grocery store, but they were good nonetheless! I am looking into getting myself a grain mill. They are pretty expensive, but making flour 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup at a time in my little coffee/spice grinder isn’t exactly fun – though it is do-able. I saw your post for roast chicken with brussels sprouts – two of my favorites! Yumm!

  11. Wow! I’ve never heard of acorn flour! Thank you for sharing this with us at the HomeAcre Hop! Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving. The hop will be live tomorrow and we’d love to have you back.

    • Banana nut bread – that’s my next invention! 😉 But I have family stuffed in every nook and cranny all over my house right now and getting out a new recipe (with pictures) is next to impossible! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment!

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  13. I love the way you write! I have to tell you that. So often I read blogs that are stiff and formal, but you are one of the gems that can write like you are having a conversation with a friend 😉
    Your bikkies look delicious! I am tickled you got your flour mojo working!

  14. Well as my husband always says, don’t be afraid to make big gray dog food. In other words experimenting is good, and believe me we do alot of that here, and sometimes make big gray dog food. Can’t wait to read about your next experience with acorn flour. Thanks for sharing once again on Real Food Fridays, come by later tonight.

    • Hahaha! I’ve made some big gray dog food with strange looking lumps! I’ll bet we could compete with our “epic fail” stories! But, as I have said, we aren’t dead yet! Thanks for stopping by, Joyce! I love your writing style – it makes me crack up!

        • Oh……… I will be perfectly honest with you. When you look up “epic fail” in the dictionary, you will see my picture in a kitchen! I am certainly not Betty Crocker nor Martha Stewart-ish, but you can’t say I don’t try! Thanks for coming along with me on my edible acorn journey – you never know what I might come up with next!

  15. Hi,

    This is the first time I’ve come upon your blogs. Great idea for these cookies! I can’t wait to try them.

    We used to pick up our acorns, usually on the VERY bountiful years. My friend made “corn” bread with hers. It was different, but good. When we picked up the acorns in the spring (even with a little growth on them), they weren’t nearly as bad with the tannic acid and, if you see growth….no worms! We also have put them in a pillow case and thrown them into the brook til spring but then forgot them. One of my girls is into the survival shows and THEY say to leave the acorns in the brook afew hours to overnight. Haven’t tried that yet, but my acorns also have a lot of tannic acid so I’m a little dubious.

    Bountiful Gardens in CA used to have a couple of books on eating acorns, even making cheesecake with them. They have a catalog I’m sure they must be online. You can also get a doo-hickey to make your own oil!

    Can’t wait to see what else you come up with!

    • I will have to look up Bountiful Gardens and see if I can still buy one of their cookbooks! Acorn Cheesecake? Yum!
      I have also read that if the acorn has sprouted the tannin is less prevalent, and I plan to experiment with sprouted acorns early in the spring. Thanks for your thoughts, Michelle!

  16. Thanks so much for doing the experimenting and posting a successful recipe! I did an adaptation (of your successful recipe) that worked great so I thought I’d share. My intent was to both showcase the acorn flour (which is why I really appreciated an all-acorn recipe), and to provide something bite-sized that could be topped with a dollop of our home-grown honey for easy sampling. Because we’d be topping it with honey, I cut the sugar back a bit and ended up using about 1/8 c granulated and 1/3 c brown. I omitted the chocolate chips (a sin, I know, but I didn’t want them competing with the honey!) and spread the batter into an 8 inch square baking pan coated with coconut oil. Then I baked at 350 for about 17 minutes, cooled on a wire rack, and cut into small squares (I got 36 squares out of it). Amazingly the squares held their shape beautifully and had a nice texture. And the flavor was perfect with the rich, floral raw honey! Cutting back the sugar kept the cookies/squares from being overly sweet when topped with the honey, and the slight bitterness of the acorns was balanced perfectly. I may have to add this to my Thanksgiving menu – it’s so easy! Thanks again!

    • Thank you, Erica, for letting me know about your successful experiment! Your recipe sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to try it! We also have beehives now, so the mixture of the slightly bitter acorn with the sweet from the honey sounds devine! If you do any more experiments with acorn, please let me know! Better yet – you could start your own blog all about cooking with acorns!

  17. You might try the first cookies again with one addition. You noticed you could test the removal of tannin by testing the Ph of the wash water. You can also fix a bitter cup of coffee with a pinch of baking soda. Your second cookie came out great but notice it called for baking soda. Tannin is an acid – baking soda is alkaline – they should neutralize each other. Also you can make your own Ph strips using purple cabage -simple – search it – it works.

    • Thanks, Richard! I have heard about the cabbage test and have added this to my “research” list! Thank you for stopping by with your wisdom and comment – much appreciated. I am sorry this comment took so long to get to you. If you read my most current blog post, you will understand why. Have a great day!

    • I am certainly not an expert with using acorn flour, but I can tell you that if you don’t leach out all the tannins, the flour can make anything taste mighty bitter! But, that being said, I have done some experiments with the acorn flour, chunky almond butter, egg whites, honey, amaranth and dried fruits! The egg whites seem to hold everything together and the honey sweetens it up. I didn’t really bake it, but instead dehydrated it. But, be sure to slice it up into bars, if that’s what you want, before it gets too hard, or it will just crumble. I am still experimenting a bit to get the ratios right, but you might try a similar combination. I used amaranth because of it’s high protein content, along with the egg whites, acorn flour and almond butter, because I was trying to develop a homemade protein bar that tasted good! Please let me know how everything turns out!

  18. Pingback: The Other Brown Flour (Part 2): Baking with Acorn Flour | Geek Off Grid

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