Happiness Is…

October 25th, 2013

Fall daydreaming. Best performed on a carpet of crunchy leaves, listening to the squirrels and taking deep breaths while the sun shines down and warms your fur face. Have a lovely weekend, everybody!

Fall daydreaming

Cashew butter cookies


Today’s groundhog-like emergence from blog hibernation is for one very important reason: cookies!

Said hibernation was disappointingly due to chronic illness – when health issues become too big to handle, I need to re-prioritize, and social media fun therefore comes to a halt. Things are slowly on the upswing so hopefully I’ll be popping in here a bit more often from now on. But, I digress – this post is not about illness, it’s about cookies. Delightful, scrumptious, stuff-your-face cookies. When you’ve eaten nothing more than a few plain meats and even less vegetables for months on end, the possibility of cookies is truly glorious.

These aren’t “ordinary” cookies in the sense that they are grain free, gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for a sweet treat, I know, but you’d be surprised what deliciousness can come from restrictions – in fact, one could argue that when challenged by a swarm of “can’ts”, the most triumphant kind of yumminess can result. I can safely eat a small mountain of these and not feel ill for days afterwards, so these are the best cookies in the whole world, currently.

You can make these cookies with other nut butters. Cashew butter is quite expensive; it’s just what I seem to be able to handle best right now, and it’s reeeeally delicious, so that’s what I use. I tried two different brands of cashew butter, and got two very different results:

Cashew butter cookies

My first (and favourite) batches were made with this cashew butter. It’s a raw cashew butter with no other added ingredients – it is soooo yummy. The resulting cookies are sweet and chewy with an almost caramel-like flavour. They have a slight crust to them when they are fresh from the oven, but over time become almost Dali-clock-like in their pliability. I think that if one were to use sugar instead of honey as sweetener it would help with this, but since that’s not an option for me at the moment I will just enjoy my Dali clocks and twirl my imaginary moustache.

The second cashew butter I tried contains dry-roasted cashews and sunflower oil, and resulted in a very different cookie. They didn’t spread out as much while baking, the texture was more dense and the flavour was completely different: tasty, but less sweet and totally missing the caramel-ish flavour. I suspect it’s the dry-roasting that’s responsible. And, they were a little bit greasy on the fingers. I actually wanted to like these ones better because this cashew butter retails for almost half the price of the first one – but when it’s one of the only things you can eat, I guess you just gotta splurge sometimes.

The recipe I’m including below uses the first kind of cashew butter and is inspired by this recipe. These cookies are also Paleo and SCD-friendly. Flourless nut butter cookies are infinitely Google-able so I encourage you to experiment – I think these would taste amazing with chocolate chunks or diced dried fruit, but I can’t eat either of those things just yet. Which is pretty tragic, yes. But don’t worry. I have cookies.

Cashew butter cookies

Cashew Butter Cookies

makes: approximately 30

1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 shakes of cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
1 cup cashew butter (or, one 227 g/8 oz jar of Artisana Raw Cashew Butter)
slivered blanched almonds or other (chocolate chunks, dried fruit, chopped nuts)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line 1-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper (I use 2 cookie sheets and just rotate them so I don’t use up too much parchment paper). Combine first six ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together. Add cashew butter and mix well. Using a small cookie scoop (a bit less than a tablespoon per cookie) drop them onto the cookie sheet, about 9 per sheet. Sprinkle slivered almonds on top. Bake them one tray at a time on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden. They brown quickly at the end so keep an eye on them. Allow to cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes. Eat one. Grin with delight. Make a pot of tea and have some more. And don’t forget to share :)