Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ask and you shall receive

Since you asked so nicely, I thought I would share these "rough draft" recipes for the cookies I left for Santa. I use the term "rough draft," since I made them up as I went along and never actually wrote them down. I apologize if my memory has failed me and the cookies do not live up to your expectations. But enough excuses, here they are:

I started with a raw version of ginger creams, a recipe that reminds me of my late great-grandmother. My recipe was a mix between this Raw Inspiration cookie and Karen Knowler's gingerbread. Just like how my family makes them, I topped the cookies off with a creamy vanilla icing.

Raw Ginger Creams
1 cup pecans
1 cup dried coconut, ground into flour
1/2 cup flaxseed, ground
1 cup dates, soaked briefly
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (I didn't have any fresh)
dash of sea salt
pumpkin pie spice, to taste (also has ginger in it, but I still added it)
*1/2 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses (optional, but really makes it taste like the real deal)
*raw icing

Put pecans, coconut flour and ground flax in a food processor, and process until combined and pecans are finely ground. Add dates, vanilla, ginger, sea salt, pumpkin pie spice and molasses, and process until a ball of dough forms.

Mold dough into cookie shapes, like little mounds. Dehydrate for a couple hours to firm up the outsides, and then chill in the fridge. Top with raw icing (the one I talked about in this post).

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Next up was raw snickerdoodles, a fairly simple recipe my mom makes to satisfy cookie cravings in a hurry. Hers actually contain cake mix. They've become a favorite in the household, as well as with my youngest sister's dance company (she's its president).

Raw Snickerdoodles
2 cups cashews
1 cup dates, soaked briefly
1-2 Tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash of sea salt
sprinkling of cinnamon
*a little cream of tartar (optional, but in the baked version)
*lucuma powder and more cinnamon for rolling

Grind cashews finely in a food processor. Add dates, agave, vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon and cream of tartar, and process until a smooth dough forms.

Shape dough into balls, roll them in a mixture of lucuma powder and cinnamon (the original recipe uses cinnamon sugar), and flatten them into round cookie shapes.

Dehydrate just long enough to absorb some of the powder on the outside (like when the sugar granules melt in the oven). Eat fresh from the dehydrator (sometimes I can't wait) or chill them in the refrigerator.

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When I was done with the Snickerdoodles, I still lacked confidence in my Russian Tea Cake (my favorite holiday cookie) idea, so I kept my creative juices flowing with a not-so-traditional (although we seem to make something similar every year) chocolate with white chocolate chunk cookie.

Now I learned some lessons with this one. For instance, I first poured the cocoa butter chunks directly into the dough after removing it from the food processor and before forming the dough into cookies. Do not try this at home; the heat from your hands combined with the warm dough will melt the "chips" into odd shapes, which explains the "moldy-looking" effect.

Also, do not try to dehydrate these once the chunks are in the cookies; it will just make the situation worse.

Next time, I'll add the chunks to the cookies after they are formed, and I'll make sure to send them straight into the refrigerator.

Chocolate with White Chocolate Chunks
1 cup mixed raw nuts (I had a bag of mixed ones; use whatever you want)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup prunes and dates, soaked briefly (the prunes seem to produce a richer chocolate)
1-2 Tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
dash of sea salt
cayenne pepper and cinnamon, to taste (sounds weird, but it enhances the chocolate flavor)
chopped raw cocoa butter

Grind nuts finely with cocoa powder in a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the cocoa butter, and process until a dough forms.

Shape dough into round cookies and press cocoa butter chunks into the tops. Chill until firm.

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Last, but not least, I tackled my favorite cookie, the Russian Tea Cake (also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes). I haven't perfected it yet (this was only my first unplanned attempt), but it worked for me this year.

The traditional cookies could be compared to a dense wedding cake, a little donut-like, but nowhere near similar to the usual chewy raw bars/cookies. So, the basic raw cookie recipe would not do.

Instead, I tried to lighten the cashew base (I wanted a light color and subtle flavor) with coconut flour, oats and powdered sweeteners like mesquite and lucuma (the originals are sweetened with powdered sugar). Feel free to play around with the measurements since I am not positive as to what I used in mine.

Russian Raw Cakes
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup coconut, ground into flour
1/4 cup oats, ground into flour (not raw, but nobody's perfect)
1 Tbsp. lucuma powder
1 Tbsp. mesquite powder
1/2 cup dates, soaked briefly
agave nectar, to taste (I'm not really sure if I added it or not)
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of sea salt
*chopped walnuts
*a mixture of lucuma powder and coconut flour for rolling

Put cashews, coconut flour, ground oats, lucuma and mesquite in a food processor, and process until combined and cashews are finely ground. Add dates, agave, vanilla and sea salt, and process until dough forms.

Shape dough into balls, while placing a few chopped walnuts on the inside of each ball (the traditional ones always had some walnut chunks). Roll in lucuma/coconut mixture (instead of powdered sugar; next time I'll use just lucuma and/or mesquite) and chill in the fridge.


All these recipes are made out of what I had in my kitchen at the time. Have fun experimenting with your own ingredients :-)

*****

*On another note, I just joined Give It To Me Raw last night (it's about time; I'm #685). If you haven't become a member yet, you should definitely consider signing up. At the moment, I am still the new girl on the block. Just like in school, I have a small window to increase my popularity. I currently have one friend on the site (thanks Raw B, not to be confused with Rawbin). Anyone else want to be my friend?

11 comments:

RawBin said...

My favorite one was... nope... I couldn't decide.
I liked the way the ginger cream was a gentle explosion of flavor in my mouth with a creamy "melt in your mouth" sensation.
The snickerdoodle was a familiar yet different flavor. I couldn't quite place the buttery taste, not too sweet, but yummy! I could definitely go back for seconds.
The Russian Tea cake was a nice complement to the sour granny smith apple I was working on at the time. The cookie had a sweet powdered outside and a surprise walnut in the middle. It really tasted baked!
The last one (white chocolate chip) I took home with me, but as it rode in the car with me, it called out to be tested. The next thing I knew, it too was gone.
Thanks for the recipes. They look simple enough that an amateur like me could try them out!

shannonmarie said...

You're welcome. Thanks for the compliments as usual. It's nice to have someone to share with :-)

Charissa said...

Ummm, that all looks so good! You're so creative.

Charissa said...

Shannonmarie, I hope you don't mind I put your blog link on my new raw foodie blog. Let me know if that's alright. It's www.rawroyalty.blogspot.com

Love your blog!!!

Kristen's Raw said...

You're amazing! Please move to Arizona and open a Raw bakery!

RawBin said...

No! You can't have her. She's mine!

But we did think about going to Arizona for next years Raw Spirit Week next year in Arizona as volunteer workers...

shannonmarie said...

Charissa, of course I don't mind if you add my link. If you haven't noticed, I'm constantly adding other people's links to mine. I think it is the best way to show others what they might be missing.

Thanks Kristen; you're the one that's amazing. I've been dying to check out your raw e-books. I just don't know which one to choose.

Rawbin and I hope to get out your way. If we do, we should meet up.

frenchmade said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!! I'm going right now to make them all!! Have a wonderful New Year.

shannonmarie said...

You're welcome, You're welcome, You're welcome. I hope you enjoy them.

My, you have been doing a lot of reading. I wish you luck finishing them all.

Happy New Year!

Carmella said...

Hey Shannonmarie,
I've posted your Chocolate chunk cookie recipe on my forum (Raw Freedom Community) and lots of folks are excited to try it. However, some were wondering whether you are calling for 1/2 cup of prunes and dates total or of each.

When I made them, I used 1/4 cup of prunes, 1/4 cup dates and it worked really well. BTW, have you seen my latest post, raving about your yummy treats? ;-)

shannonmarie said...

Hey Carmella. I read your post. I feel so honored to have been talked about on your blog, as you can tell by how much I've mentioned you on mine. Thanks.

As for the measurement, I used a total of 1/2 cup between the two (prunes and dates), although I'm not too sure about the ratio.

I was hesitant to post the recipes at first since they were a little spontaneous. But, due to an overwhelming number of requests, I did my best to try and remember what I did.

It seems like you uncook like me, by using up whatever you have on hand at the time. I just toss a little of this here and a touch of that there and hope for the best. I need to start writing more down.

Also, you answered my question about the Russian Raw Cakes. I thought I added some agave :-)