My point is I couldn’t think of any recipe that I wanted to make a healthy vegan version of. So I improvised. I planned to make raw cookies with whipped coconut cream and berries; inspired by the fact that I DO have great memories of summer barbecues when the dessert would be whipped cream with vanilla, sugar and berries. Not quite on track but I thought hey, close enough. Then fate stepped in! Or not fate, whatever. I don’t know how the universe functions. But anyways, here’s what happened: I started making the cookies and decided to use almonds for the base because that’s what was in the cupboard. I didn’t have any dates or raisins – what I usually use as the wet ingredient for my raw vegan cookie doughs – so instead I used coconut oil and agave syrup (not as nutritious as dried fruit but damn so decadent). I ground the almonds into flour, stirred in the coco oil and syrup, and let the dough harden up in the fridge. When I took it out a couple hours later and was nibbling around the edges, I realized that I had accidentally accomplished the goal of this Family Favourites series. The cookie dough tasted just like cookies my mum used to make around Christmas. She would make the dough, roll it into a log and then keep it in the freezer until she wanted to bake some, then she’d just cut off a few slices of the log and put them in the oven. She called them Grandma Cookies. Probably because she got the recipe from Grandma. They were your basic cookie: white flour, sugar, eggs and lots of butter. But somehow they had their own special flavour and place in my heart. I think it was a texture thing; I loved to eat slices of raw dough off the log (the risk of salmonella was worth it to my younger, non-vegan, cookie dough-obsessed self).
ALMOND COOKIES with SPICED APPLE SLICES
1 cup thinly sliced apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almonds
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
To prepare the apples: toss them with the spices and maple syrup. Put them in your oven at a very low temperature, or in a dehydrator, for an hour or until they have softened. Check often to make sure they don’t dry out or burn – you want them warm, soft and gooey.
To make the cookies: grind the almonds into flour in a food processor or blender. Throw the almond flour into a bowl and stir in the maple syrup and coconut oil until you get a sticky, crumbly mixture. If it’s not sticking together, add some more maple syrup. If it’s too wet, add some ground flax seeds or more almond flour. Spread this the cookie dough evenly onto a cookie sheet, about 1/2 inch thick, and put in the fridge or freezer until solid, an hour or two. Cut into cookies.
Spoon some warm apple slices onto your cookies and dig in!
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