Trying Entomophagy – One Sweet Bite at a Time

October 1 is National Homemade Cookie Day and, if there’s just one national food day or month I can get fully behind, this is the one. I have nothing against store-bought, cream-filled sandwich cookies, but there something special about being able to pack treats I’ve made myself into my family’s lunches.

There’s even something more special about these cookies. That’s because these cookies contain cricket flour. You read that right. Cricket flour is made by milling crickets. This super fine powder is combined with flour and results in a product that’s higher in protein, nutrients and amino acids than your run-of-the-mill flour. The half-cup of cricket flour used in this recipe, adds 12 grams of protein to the cookies. By contrast, a half cup of all-purpose flour contains just 6 grams of protein.

The first time I baked a batch of these cookies, they were still cooling when my teenage son rushed into the house and grabbed a handful for his tennis teammates. I thought about saying something, but I didn’t. Later that night, when I asked if his friends liked the treat, he said, “They were awesome. Everybody loved them – as usual.”

It’s thought that more than 2 billion people in 113 countries are incorporating insects into their everyday diets. Eating cookies made with a bit of cricket flour isn’t going to change the way Americans think about munching on meal worms or dining on dung bugs – at least not overnight. But, it may be the sort of thing it takes to get folks to take a bite and open their minds to entomophagy … one cookie at a time.

 Chocolate Chirpers

1 cup butter softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup cricket flour

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla, soda and salt and continue to mix. Gradually add both the cricket and all-purpose flour. When dough is well mixed, stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoon onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire baking rack. Makes about two dozen medium-sized cookies. Enjoy!