Although I recognize the fact that it's 90 degrees outside and slightly past the holiday cookie season, my love for cookies knows no such weather or time boundaries. And on a quest to rediscover the cookie as (while not exactly a health food) a healthier food, I turned to my trusty Nourishing Traditions cookbook to find such a recipe. This cookie is based on ground almonds and arrowroot flour – a nice, light, healthier twist on the wheat flour normally used.
What's arrowroot flour? You ask.
It's a flour made out of arrowroot. Ta-da!
Arrowroot flour is the dried and powdered root of a tropical American based plant. To quote Sally Fallon, “Arrowroot flour, the only starch with calcium ash, is a nutritious food…It is an easily digested food well fitted for infants and the convalescent. It resembles cornstarch in being white, fine, and powdery. When heated in water in certain portions, it thickens to form a jelly, an excellent thickening agent.” So there you have it! I also keep arrowroot powder on hand for thickening curries, sauces, making homemade deodorant, and now, baking.
I have to say – I am very pleased with the results of cookie trial #1! After Stuart ate three of them he said, “These are surprisingly delicious. Wow.” – So take that for what it's worth! This cookie is gluten-free and offers a variety of variations! Was that redundant? A variety of variations?
And frankly, even though it's past the season to decorate little cookies like snowmen, I am still enthusiastic about this wonderful cookie. It's light. Fragrant. Bright. Sweet. And would be perfect tucked into a picnic basket with a loaf of bread, chunk of aged cheese, and bottle of red wine. I'm just sayin'.
Strawberry Jam Cookies
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions
You will need:
– 1 1/2 cups almonds (remember to soak and dehydrate them!)
– 1/2 cup butter, softened or coconut oil
– 1 cup arrowroot
– 1/2 cup rapadura (whole cane sugar, unbleached and unrefined)
– 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
– Zest of one lemon
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
– Jam of your choice!
Step One: Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Try not to die of heat exhaustion because you don't have an air conditioned kitchen. Then, remember that you were super pregnant this time last year, and even when it's hot, it's not nearly as hot as it was then! (Hang in there, my super pregnant friend, Natali! You're almost there!)
Step Two: Using your food processor, grind the almonds into a fine meal. Then, add all the remaining ingredients and combine. Blend away!
Step Three: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place in the oven for 5 minutes.
After five minutes, remove the cookies. Using the back of a baby spoon (or whatever you have that works!) make a slight indentation in the middle of each cookie. Fill this with a teaspoon of jam!
Step Four: Put the cookies back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or so. Let them cool on on a rack before storing them in the refrigerator.
I whipped these out in about 10 minutes, minus the baking time. Super easy and super tasty AND pretty dang healthy for a sweet treat. They are slightly more crumbly than the average cookie that is held together with egg, but none-the-less, they are a lovely little morsel of love. Which taste really, really good with this glass of iced tea I am drinking.
We will be taking a picnic with some friends of ours Sunday afternoon and I have a feeling these cookies will be making their grand public appearance on the occasion. Although I may need to test them…make sure they taste good with bread, and cheese, and wine…for our friends sake of course…I would sure hate to take a cookie that didn't pair well with a wine…
Yep, I better make sure. Just in case. Sometimes, you just gotta take one for the team.
Happy Weekend, my friends!
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.