Chocolate Coconut Almond Meal Cookies

23 12 2012

Well it’s here and gone, the winter solstice and we all survived the Mayan’s end of the world prediction. Phew ;-). I hope this post finds you well and settled in for a break during the holidays. The winter solstice, being the shortest day of the year, is a turning point, the first official day of winter and now the days slowly gain more light. It is a time of reflection and as a dear friend said to me recently I hope you “are able to step back, rest and reconnect with the deeper voices of life this solstice season.”

This time of year is a cookie occasion. Filling tins and gift bags with baking to share with family and friends. I didn’t imagine myself to be a cookie maker, but alas here I am, blocking my calendar for a ‘bake day’ in early December. This included cracking open wine in the afternoon, maybe unique to me, no? I bet that’s why there are ‘bake days’ ;-). I started the day off early making Walnut Kifli with grandma Anne. These cookies get lots of hits on my blog this time of year, so I know there are other Hungarians out there enjoying this traditional recipe, that’s fantastic.

photo 3

Once the kifli were done, it was home to the test kitchen. I wanted to make a ‘not so bad for you cookie’ and use up a bunch of almond meal from the Almond Milk I make weekly. I found a recipe on Naked Chef, but was not convinced by it. Once I got the cookie dough made, it was quite wet, a bit bland and I had to bake them longer to set. I tried two kinds, regular and chocolate. The regular didn’t turn out but the chocolate were okay. I added coconut to the chocolate ones and dipped them in ganache with a sprinkle of sea salt, much better.  I wasn’t convinced at first, but B liked them and then mom liked them. So here they are. I will definitely make them again, and experiment with flavours.

To make vegan: grind up 2 tbsp flax seeds and add to 1/3 cup water. Mix together and let sit while you prep the rest. This is an excellent egg substitute and is really good for you.

Flax meal

To make gluten-free: experiment with your wheat free flour. I think this recipe could be gluten-free, but haven’t tried. Let me know if you do.

Chocolate Coconut Almond Meal Cookies (adapted from The Naked Chef)

  • 2 tbsp Ground Flax Seed soaked in 1/3 cup Water
  • 2 cups raw Almond Meal (remember you can keep almond meal in the freezer to use later)
  • 2 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt + a few grains for garnish
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup Honey
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 cup grated and unsweetened Shredded Coconut

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the almond meal, flour, baking soda, salt, coconut sugar, cocoa powder and shredded coconut together. Add the ground flax mixture, coconut oil, honey and vanilla, mix together. Roll into balls using about 2 tbsp of dough. They do puff up a bit so they should be kept on the small side. Bigger and they stay raw inside (as per my experience). Bake 15-25 min. Test one batch in your oven to make sure they are cooked in the middle. I had to bake for 23 min,  depends on the size of the cookie balls you roll. Let cool.

I melted 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler and added a few tablespoons of almond milk, stir well. Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate and sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt. They save well in the fridge or freezer. The recipe is supposed to make 36 cookies, but by the time I got this all figured out I didn’t have a lot to offer folks…oh well, next time.

Chocolate Coconut Almond cookies

Enjoy the holidays and happy solstice!

Eat well, Be well, Nat





Recipe Share: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

12 09 2011

I finally did it, I made a pie :). Well, I cheated though. I was over at grandmas the other day and after a tour of the tomato garden, raspberries and talk of slugs eating the soska (sorrel) we started talking pie. She makes pie all year round by making and freezing pie shells, tops included. She’s made round pie top holders out of cardboard and covered with tin foil, smart lady. In the summer she just adds fresh fruit and in the winter adds frozen. She is a bit sugar savvy and doesn’t like to use a lot of sugar although in recent years she started using Splenda…whadda gonna do? Oh well. However, I notice she will always give you the full recipe (sugar and all) so you can adjust it yourself. She knows you need to know and understand the basics before experimenting, so she never filters a recipe before giving it to you.

I have said before I am not a pastry chef, but she felt that I should make a pie with all the wonderful rhubarb I have. She is not happy with her own and can be caught now and then snatching some from my garden…and doing a general inspection of my gardening skills in which she gives me a report the next time I see her (rave reviews the last time :)). So, to facilitate this pie making she sent me home with a frozen shell and top. A boost of confidence, she trusted me with a pie crust!

In a previous post, I told you about the recipe journal I got at my wedding shower, with recipes from all the ladies pasted inside. Well grandma shared Strawberry Rhubarb Pie of course. I love how my friend kept the pin in the paper. So with recipe in hand (and a few other pointers that were left out) I gave it a go on Sunday.

Honestly, I only had to call her once when the pie filling was bubbling over in a couple of spots which I placed little pieces of tin foil to catch the dribble. Here is the recipe and instructions in its entirety and my adjustments:

  • 3 cups chopped Rhubarb, 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup sliced Strawberries
  • 3 tbsp Tapioca flour (if using honey, up the tapioca to 4-5 tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar (I used 1/3 cup Honey instead)
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 9″ Pie Shell, with a top
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Egg for egg wash or water

Mix the fruit with the tapioca, sugar/honey, nutmeg and salt. Let sit for 20 min. Dust the bottom of the pie crust with the cornstarch. Add the fruit to the pie shell. Brush the edge of the pie shell with an egg wash or water, put the top on, press the edges together lightly with a fork and trim excess (some people do fancy edges, grandmas way is faster and easier). Cut 8-10 openings in the top and brush with egg wash or water. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour or until golden brown on top. Use pieces of tin foil to catch any dripping fruit. Don’t put a pan or big piece of tin foil under the pie or you disrupt the heat.

Well, it turned out pretty good. I learned I need more tapioca with the honey and I could have used a bit more honey. I have green rhubarb so it is a bit more tart. T liked it and that’s all that mattered, ah. Now, to learn to make my own crusts….

What is your favorite fruit pie?

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





KFM: Southwest Coleslaw

24 04 2011

Well spring is finally starting to bloom in Calgary, although we have about 2 feet of snow piled up in our back yard that still has to melt. Not sure how the gardening is gonna go this year, although I have my sights on a greenhouse this year, hope to share that with ya’ll.

What to make for dinner this week? How about coleslaw. It sits well in the fridge for a day or two and is a bright and healthy addition to any meal. We love cabbage and have been buying some great red and green cabbage from the KF Market lately. I found a few recipes on-line, the best one was from Vegetarian Times, but I thought it was a bit bland so I spiced it up (do I ever follow a recipe?).

I used Piri Piri sauce in this recipe. Piri Piri is a Portuguese chili. They are very flavourful and some hotter than others. I have been cooking with piri piri a long time with our family travels to Portugal. I bought whole peppers this last time and put them into some Portuguese olive oil to flavour the oil. I saw this a lot over there. Piri Piri is becoming more popular here, I have bumped into once in a while, if you see it, try it out. If you don’t, use Tabasco or Franks Hot or any other tangy chili sauce you like. You could use fresh grated horseradish in this recipe instead of the piri piri, would be delicious. That’s an idea from my bro, who was over for dinner last night.

  • 4 cups Shredded Green Cabbage (I used half red and half green)
  • 1 cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Red Pepper, sliced thin

Dressing

  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise (use what you prefer, I buy Organic Spectrum brands, use a vegan version if you like)
  • 1 tbsp Light Sour Creme or Plain Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 tsp Piri Piri Sauce, Tabasco, Horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp Dill (dry is fine)
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Shred the cabbage and carrots using a food processor if you have it, so easy. If not a mandoline works. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Add to the salad and mix well. Chill in the fridge at least an hour before serving (or not, and dig in). The chilling will allow the flavours to set, and a bit of the cabbage to soften a little as it releases water, adding to the dressing. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed the long weekend…did you know it was Earth Day on April 22? Might have been overshadowed by all those Easter Bunnies running around (remember last year, click here).
Eat well, Be well,
Nat