My little granddaughter
Came to visit me,
And all for a taste
Of my almond cook-kie.
Last week, I talked about my almond tree, and all the benefits you get when you include almonds in your meal plan. I also gave you some ideas to do just that. This week brings some recipe ideas.
Last week at lunch we had the grilled pineapple dish with almonds I pictured in my last post. It was just as good as I remembered. This time, I drizzled some liqueur over the pineapple (which I sliced really really thin and spread across the dinner plate in a single layer). Then I nuked the plate for 1 minute in the micro… it’s -20 degrees C outside, far too cold to barbecue. Finally, I topped the pineapple with Greek yogurt sweetened with stevia, then with lots of chopped nuts dressed with candied ginger and cinnamon. It tasted like Paris. OO-la-la!
I have another treat, too, an easy recipe, so you can make some cookies with the kids, using almond-butter. My friend Esther sent along the idea. She says, “These are tasty, just sweet enough, very nutty, and a touch chewy, as long as they are taken out of the oven when just done (no darkness on the bottom).”
I liked that there were only a few ingredients, no special tools needed except a hand-mixer, and no temperamental mixing instructions. These cookies are perfect for your family to try… especially because they taste like a treat straight out of a candy box :). Yet, they’re packed with good nutrition. Yay Esther!
A few notes:
- When I opened the jar of almond-butter, all the oil had settled at the top. I had to pour the oil into the mixing bowl, scrape out the nut solids, and mix vigorously with a big spoon to incorporate the oil again. Thinking things over, this may have been because I used almond/hazelnut butter, because that was what I had in the cupboard. Hazelnuts are considerably more oily than almonds.
- I halfed the sugar in Esther’s recipe, using a scant half cup. I wanted each cookie to have an acceptable level of sugar (the guide is 5 grams a serving). My cookies clocked in at 7 grams each. They taste plenty sweet.
- I added a third of a cup of quinoa flakes to the mix. The cookies didn’t hold together well without it. The quinoa absorbed the oil that seemed to leak all over everything without it. If you don’t have quinoa flakes, use oat flour… or even whole wheat flour if you aren’t allergic to gluten. Five ingredients make for an easy recipe kids can whip up themselves.
- I buy quinoa flakes at the health food store. The beauty of quinoa is that it has no flavor of its own, unlike whole wheat. The cookies with quinoa flakes taste identical to the cookies without it – they just handle better. Plus they have a bit more protein and fiber.
Vinny’s no-flour, no-butter almond cookies
with thanks to Esther and PBS Parents for their inspiration
Makes 16 cookies
- 1 cup natural almond butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup quinoa flakes (available at health food stores)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- almond slivers to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a hand mixer, mix all the ingredients together on low speed.
- Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough 1 1/2-inches apart onto the baking sheet. I used my hands to make nicely shaped round balls.
- Flatten the dough balls (gently) with a fork, making a cross pattern on the cookies.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Watch them the last few minutes and take them out once they start leaking too much oil and before the bottoms darken. Mine were done at 9 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the counter in the pan for 2 or 3 minutes so that they have time to set before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Nutrition per cookie made from Vinny’s recipe:
150 calories, 10 grams fat (of which 9 grams is monounsaturated), 13 grams carbohydrates (of which 7 grams is sugar), 3.5 grams protein.