I told you I had something better (weirder?) than Black Bean Brownies up my sleeve. I’m sharing my best Chocolate Chirp Cookie recipe. No, that’s not a typo; chocolate chirp. Which is to say, cricket flour cookies with chocolate chips.
Allow me to introduce you to entomophagy, or eating insects. Sound gross? Well, then you were probably raised in North America or Europe. Eating insects is actually quite common in the rest of the world. Also, my recipe relies heavily on traditional flour, mixed with just a bit of cricket powder (cricket flour) so you won’t get a mouthful of chirpers.
I was intrigued by the concept of entomophagy when I learned about it while coaching a middle school Science Olympiad entomology team a couple of years ago. As we delved into the study of creepy crawling bugs–which is seriously fascinating, albeit sometimes skeevy, stuff–I was turned on the concept of what an eco-friendly source of protein bugs can provide.
I ordered up a few food-grade insects for my small team to sample.
Am I hooked on eating insects? Do they indeed taste like chicken?
Absolutely not on both counts!
Still, it doesn’t hurt to dabble. If your interest is piqued, a great way to dip your toes, or your taste buds, in is with cricket powder (affiliate link). You can add it to smoothies, oatmeal, and, of course, chocolate helps, too. Chances are, you can even find energy bars containing cricket powder at your local supermarket.
These cookies are my favorite way to introduce people to cricket powder. Okay, it’s the only thing I’ve attempted to include cricket powder in. Baking with cricket powder (yes, it really is ground up crickets) doesn’t require a large quantity, which is good because production has not yet scaled enough to bring the cost down. You simply sub in about 1/4 of 1/3 of a cup cricket powder per cup for your regular flour.
The chocolate chirp cookies don’t have a buggy taste, but they do have a hint of an earthiness or mustiness and an unusual kind of sweetness. You could pass these around without anyone suspecting, but because there’s a chance that people with shellfish allergies could be allergic, I always warn people. Shellfish and crickets are distant cousins, yo.
However, once you tell people about the crickets, you’ll hear crickets. Or, at least, get weird looks and several “No thanks” or I’ll pass.” Or maybe your friends and family are more adventurous than mine.
In the next decade, we’ll be hearing more about entomophagy, especially cricket powder. I think it will take longer than that for insects to be embraced on a large-scale here in the U.S., but who doesn’t like to be a trendsetter?
Try these and let me know what you think!
Cricket Flour Chocolate Chirp Cookie Recipe
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups white flour
1 1/4 cups oatmeal (preferably ground in blender)
½ cup cricket powder (affiliate link. I’ve used JR Unique Foods and Cricket brands)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
About 10 ounces chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar.
Beat eggs and vanilla slightly and add to butter-sugar mixture.
Pre-mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the moist mixture.
Add chocolate chips and mix.
Place 1 inch balls on cookie sheet.
Bake at 365 for 10-12 minutes or until done.
Enjoy! They’re like regular chocolate chip cookies, with a thing of musty-earthiness. A gentle way to incorporate insects and a bit of extra protein into a tasty treat!
Makes roughly 65 cookies.