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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Peanut Butter and Chia Jelly Thumbprint Cookies for One



These treats sound like they’d be sturdy and rustic, but they’re delicate treats, like the kind you’d serve to the Queen at a posh tea party. Making your own jam means that it will come out exactly how you want it, too.

For the Chia Jelly:
½ cup raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, or other fruit (fresh is best)
½ TBLSP maple syrup
1 teaspoon chia seeds
Splash of vanilla extract

For the Cookie:
½ TBLSP flax seed meal
1 ½ TBLSP water
¾ cup coconut or almond flour
Pinch of baking soda
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1/3 cup peanut butter
¼ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
Large splash of vanilla extract

You can do this step after the 10-minute wait in Step 2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal and water. Stir it up well, and then leave it alone to become a gloppy mess.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine fruit, syrup, chia seeds and vanilla, heating it on medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the fruit breaks down and the jam begins to thicken. When it’s done, put it in the refrigerator or freezer to cool while you prepare the cookies.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In another small bowl, combine the peanut butter, syrup, flax glop, and vanilla. Add the flour into the peanut butter mixture and combine until it forms a soft dough.You might need more moisture, in which case, add non-dairy milk by dribbles. The dough should just barely hold together, but it needs to be moist enough not to crumble when you put the divot into it and leave it on the baking sheet. 
  5. Roll TBLSPs of the dough into balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet about an inch and a half apart. You should get six or eight cookies. Using your thumb, a finger, or the back of a spoon, make an indentation for the jelly.
  6. Fill the indentation with a healthy glop of jelly.
  7. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Let them cool on the baking sheet—if you move them too soon, they’ll crumble into a crumbly gooey mess. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Almond Thumbprint Cookies for One



Despite all the classy ingredients, this is really a pretty rustic cookie. For that reason, my favorite way to fill them is with a bit of almond butter in the bottom of the indentation and some apricot jam on top of it. Such a lovely surprise when you bite into it!

7 TBLSP raw almonds
4 teaspoons coconut flour (or other gluten-free flour)
12 teaspoons ground flax seed
Pinch of salt
Pinch of baking powder
2 ½ TBLSP almond butter
3 ½ TBLSP maple syrup (or agave nectar)
Splash of almond extract
2 TBLSP shredded coconut
2 (or so) TBLSP jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with non-stick oil.
  1. Grind the almonds into a meal in a food processor or blender. A few chunks are all right.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the almond meal, flour, flax seed meal, salt, and baking powder. Break up any clumps of almond meal.
  3. In another small bowl, combine the almond butter, syrup, and almond extract. Once it’s well combined, mix it with the dry ingredients until it’s thoroughly mixed. If the dough is very sticky, let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before proceeding.
  4. Put the coconut in a small bowl. I like to use one for dipping sushi into. Roll 1 TBLSP or so of the dough into a 1-inch ball and then roll it in the coconut to coat. Set it on the prepared baking sheet and press a divot into the center with your thumb, a finger, or the back of a spoon. Smoosh it together if the edges split. Repeat with the rest of the dough. You should get 5 or 6 cookies.
  5. Fill the indentation with jam. I like to use a variety, so each cookie tastes a little different from the last.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Watch them carefully after about 9 minutes because they will suddenly burn. The coconut should be golden and the cookie should be a little firm to the touch. They will firm up more as they cool.

Let them cool on the baking sheet or they will crumble into small pieces that will elude any effort you make to snarfle them up. It will be delicious, but Miss Manners will have a chat with you.

Variations:
  • Roll the finished cookies in ground nuts instead of coconut.
  • Use another kind of nut and its related butter, like peanuts and peanut butter or cashews and cashew butter. Nuts vary wildly in fat content, so you might have to add oil or a dab of non-dairy milk to get the right texture in the dough.
  • Fill the depressions with chocolate chips, raisins, nut chips, nut butter, apple butter, or cranberry sauce. There’s no reason to confine yourself to traditional jam. Go wild! 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Whole Wheat and Almond Thumbprint Cookies for One



Everyone who’s ever made a thumbprint cookie knows that it’s fun to play around with the filling. Did you know that it’s also fun to play around with the cookie? I wanted a more wholesome cookie, and this is what I came up with. (Shh. Don’t tell my metabolism about the syrup or the jam.)

½ cup whole wheat flour
6 TBLSP whole raw almonds, ground in a food processor
Pinch of salt
Shake or two of ground cinnamon
2 TBLSP coconut oil, melted
2 TBLSP maple syrup or agave
Jam or chocolate chips
  
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. Combine the flour, ground almonds, salt, cinnamon, oil, and syrup in a small bowl.
  2. Take a TBLSP of the dough and shape it into a ball and continue until the dough is gone, about 5 or 6 cookies. Set the balls on the parchment paper.
  3. Using your finger or thumb, or the back of a teaspoon or melon baller, make a dent in the center of each cookie.
  4. Fill each depression with a small amount of jam (half a teaspoon, perhaps) or five or six chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned.

Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes or they will crumble.


In the picture, you’ll see raspberry jam, apricot jam, and white fig jam, chocolate chips (it took about 5 to fill the depression), and apricot/chocolate and raspberry chocolate, because that’s just how I roll. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Oat and Coconut Thumbprint Cookies for One



I was surprised how good these little guys were because I’d been making thumbprint cookies all week. Some of the others were cute, all of them were tasty, but this cookie offered a rich maturity that you just don’t find in a cute cookie.

1/3 cup rolled oats
¼ cup coconut (unsweetened, preferably)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ TBLSP vegan butter
2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave nectar
Pinch teaspoon baking soda
1 TBLSP (or less) water, boiling
2 TBLSP (or so) of jam (strawberry, raspberry, fig, whatever)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. In a small bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, and coconut.
  2. In a second bowl, place the butter and syrup in a microwave for long enough to melt the butter. (You can also do it on the stove.)
  3. In an itty bitty third bowl, combine the baking soda with the boiling water. 
  4. Add the baking soda mixture to the butter mixture, and then add that gloppy mess to the oat mixture. Combine well. Add a little more water if it seems too dry.
  5. Make 1-inch balls out of about a TBLSP of the dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet. It will make between 5 and 6 cookies, and they will spread considerably, so give them plenty of room, maybe two inches between each ball. Flatten them slightly, and make a nice depression in the top with your thumb, a finger, or the back of a spoon. Add a dollop of jam to the depression. Sprinkle with coconut to garnish, if desired.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, checking periodically. These cookies suddenly go brown, so you’ll have to keep an eyeball on them.


Variation:
I had some chocolate sauce left over from making these DarkChocolate Thumbprint Cookies, and so I swozzled it all over the tops of a few of them (and some strawberries). Mmmmm.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Multi-Nut Thumbprint Cookies for One



These cookies are crunchy little nuggets of protein. Their pleasant nutty flavor nicely compliments the sweetness of the jam, and their size encourages popping them in your mouth and making them go away! Oh, and they’re gluten-free, just for the fun of it!

½ cup coconut flour
2 ½ TBLSP walnuts, finely crushed or processed in a food processor
1 TBLSP sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
5 teaspoons maple syrup (1 2/3 TBLSP)
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
Splash of vanilla extract
4 teaspoons coconut oil, melted (1 1/3 TBLSP)
1 TBLSP almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 TBLSP (or so) jam
2 ½ TBLSP pecans, crushed or processed in a food processor

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick mat.
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, crushed walnuts, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In another small bowl, combine the syrups, vanilla, coconut oil, and almond milk.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just barely combined.
  4. Roll the dough into five or six 1-inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Here’s the fun part. Put the crushed pecans into a small plate or bowl. Wet your hand slightly and pick up one ball at a time, getting it just wet enough for the pecan pieces to stick to it when you roll the ball in there. Repeat for all the balls.
  6. With your thumb, a finger, or the back of a spoon, make an indentation in each cookie. How big you make it controls how much jam you put in there, so go wild, or be conservative, as you wish. Fill each indentation with jam.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cookies are slightly firm to the touch.

Let them cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes, and then place them in the refrigerator to continue cooling.

Variations:
  • The original recipe used kamut flour instead of coconut flour and added almond extract too. I liked the flavor, but I found them too wet, and the small amount of almond extract in my smaller batch didn’t render enough flavor to make the added moisture seem like a good idea. Experiment with whatever gluten-free flour you have on hand.
  • You can use any kind of jam you like, obviously, but consider chocolate, pieces of some mushed up fruit (apple sauce, crushed pineapple, mashed banana, for instance), or even some sort of caramel.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Dark Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies for One


If you’re in the mood for some crunchy coconut and some fabulous chocolate, this is the cookie you’ve been waiting for. The recipe is easy, but the result is fancy—it’s too bad you’re not going to share these!

For the Cookies:
2 TBLSP bittersweet chocolate chips (at least 60% cocoa)
1 TBLSP coconut sugar (or fine granulated sugar)
1 TBLSP non-dairy milk (I like almond, but coconut would be very good)
Splash of vanilla extract
A pinch of sea salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
For the Chocolate Filling:
1 ½ TBLSP bittersweet chocolate chips (at least 60% cocoa)
¾ teaspoon coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Stir it constantly until it’s fully melted and combined. Don’t dump the pan in the sink, though, because you’re going to want it in a minute.
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the shredded coconut. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to gather all its coconutty goodness and to better facilitate holding together.
  3. Scoop up a very full TBLSP of the dough and roll it between your hands to form a 1-inch ball. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough, placing them about 1-inch apart. You should have three or four cookies.
  4. With your thumb, a finger, or the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the top of each doughball.
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating the pan 160 degrees about halfway through.
  6. Let them cool on the baking sheet, perhaps re-pressing the indentations to make sure they’re feeling receptive.
  7. While the cookies are baking, melt the filling ingredients together in the double boiler. Stir it well so that it’s very smooth and silky.
  8. When the cookies are cool, fill the indentations with the melted chocolate mixture. I use a small spoon, but maybe you’re an accurate pourer.
  9. Let them sit at room temperature until firm, or place in the refrigerator for a few minutes, if you really can’t stand the wait.


Variations:

  • Fill the bottoms of the indentations with chocolate, layer in a little apricot or raspberry jam, and put some more chocolate on the top. Mmmmm. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Almond and Oat Thumbprint Cookies for One



These tasty treats may seem simple, but the amount of flavor in these little guys packs a big wallop.

¼ cup whole raw almonds
½ cup old-fashioned oats
Pinch of salt
3 TBLSP all-purpose flour
1 ½ TBLSP coconut oil, melted (or canola oil)
1 ½ TBLSP maple syrup (or agave nectar)
Jam, apple butter, or marmalade of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can do these during Step 4, the “letting it sit” step.
  1. In a food processor, pulse the nuts until they are chopped fairly small. You don’t want them pulverized into flour, though. You’ll want the chunks. Move the chopped nuts to a small bowl.
  2. Now grind the oats and salt in the food processor. You can go pretty small on this one, if you want, or leave a few larger pieces for texture.
  3. Put the oats and salt into the bowl with the ground nuts along with the all-purpose flour, the oil and maple syrup. Give it all a good stir. This will make a very soft dough. If it seems too loose, like pancake batter, add a little more all-purpose flour.
  4. Let it sit on the counter for about 15 minutes. It will stiffen up a bit and be workable.
  5. Form the rested dough into balls about 1-inch across and place them on the parchment-covered baking sheet. You should get five or six balls. Give them some room, as they will spread.
  6. Use your thumb, a finger, or the back of a small spoon to make an indentation in the top of each cookie. Fill each indentation with jam.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies begin to brown slightly. Let them cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely (or devouring) or they will crumble into an unholy mess.


They don't have to all use the same filling. Why not shake things up? In the photo, they're filled with (clockwise from the top left) raspberry jam, raisins and sliced almond, chocolate chips and sliced almond, white fig jam, and apricot jam. 

Variations:
  • Use whole wheat instead of all-purpose flour for a more substantial cookie.
  • Stick 5 or 6 chocolate chips into the indentation instead of jam.
  • Use another sort of nut, like walnuts, pistachios, or pecans for a different flavor. Nuts have different amounts of fat in them, though, so be prepared for a Big Change (such as spreading more in the oven, a less crispy mouth-feel, and, of course, the taste).
  • Dot the tops with slivered almonds or raisins instead of using jam.
  • Toss a little coconut into the mixture.
  • Swozzle the tops with melted chocolate. Mmmm.