Posts Tagged With: cookies

Year Round Recipes: Chocolate, Avocado, and Pistachio Sandwich Cookies

While I typically like to keep my my ingredients local and seasonal, I do, for very special cases, go against my culinary conscience and indulge in the omnipresent agriculture of our modern world. This past week has been full of these special cases. With the weather finally breaking away from this year’s unusually frigid tendencies, I splurged and celebrated like only the Aztecs could, with a bitter chocolate drink imbued with the essence of Mexican chiles. And now, at the end of this most special of weeks, I couldn’t help but pull one last ingredient from the west coast of the North American continent: the great Californian avocado.

Avocados and Pistachios: two of the west coast's most delicious exports!

Avocados and Pistachios: two of the west coast’s most delicious exports!

Several months ago, two of the greatest people whom I’ve ever had the honor and pleasure of calling friends moved from this frigid clime to the ever-pleasant land of San Diego, California. And just as the clouds of winter finally broke (and are scheduled to return in the next few days), their absence from our Pennsylvanian lives was temporarily put on hold with a short visit this past week. So, in honor of our friends’ new home on the west coast, and for the light and warmth they’ve brought to us back east, I couldn’t help but try out a recipe that subtly features the avocado, the crop that many consider to be the epitome of Californian farming. Typically, when we think “avocado,” our minds immediately conjure up images of guacamole; and, while I adore guacamole in its season (preferably when local tomatoes and veggies are ripening here in the east), I was struck by a recipe by Kylie Held on immaeatthat.com. Instead of the traditionally savory uses for avocado, she presents a new way of viewing this creamy crop as a butter substitute in frosting. So, thoroughly fascinated, and aching for an innovative and inspiring avocado recipe, I couldn’t help but dig in!

Chocolate, Avocado, and Pistachio Sandwich Cookies

 

Sixteen cookies brimming with Californian flavor!

Sixteen cookies brimming with Californian flavor

Ingredients for the Frosting

  • 2 ripe California avocados
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/3 + 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Ingredients for Cookies

  • 1 cup almond flour (lacking almond flour, I used all-purpose, which produced a lighter, but no less tasty cookie)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup whole and halved pistachios + 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

  1. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados into a medium mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and almond extracts, and continue mixing until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the two flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 cup of whole/halved pistachios (set aside the chopped pistachios for now). Stir in the coconut oil, honey, egg, and almond extract to form a dough.
  4. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, place on an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten until each cookie is round and thin.
  5. Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 10 – 15 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. When your cookies are cool, spoon the chocolate avocado frosting onto 8 of the cookies, and top with the additional 8 cookies to make your sandwiches. Roll each cookie in the additional 1/4 cup of chopped pistachios so that they stick to the sides of each sandwich.
  7. Chill in the freezer for 4 hours or overnight, or until the frosting fully hardens.
  8. Enjoy with a glass of milk, tea, or coffee, and be sure to take a moment to appreciate the wonderful people on the west coast as you do!

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Categories: Baking, Dessert, Year Round Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Year Round Recipes: Jam Sandwich Cookies (Jammie Dodgers)

Butterflies and picking peaches are both distant memories in the frigid month of January

Butterflies and picking peaches are both distant memories in the frigid month of January

Here in the arctic heart of winter, our dreams of warmer weather can feel impossibly distant. With the vibrant green memories of spring and summer whitewashed by snow, slush, and dormant flora, it’s easy to slip into a mindset oppressed by thoughts of having to weather another month (or more) of polar winds and lifeless landscapes. But, thanks to the wisdom and knowledge passed down by our cooking ancestors, we are able to, in a small but powerful way, capture the sweet aromas, rich colors, and unmatched tastes of the warmer months through the art of preservation and canning. So, in an attempt to celebrate this practice and the joy it can bring, I thought we’d take the time to break open a few of the fruit preserves we set up this past summer and escape from the deep freeze of winter into the warmer embrace of summer harvests!

For today’s warm-weather treat, we’ll be emulating the style of the Jammie Dodger, a British shortbread biscuit that is traditionally filled with raspberry jam. If you, like me, don’t have raspberry jam on hand, any fruit preserve or filling will work for this recipe! With thoughts toward future warmth, and memories of the harvest, let’s dig into some jam sandwich cookies!

Jam Sandwich Cookies / Jammie Dodgers Recipe

A batch of shimmering summer flavors just waiting for a cup of tea!

A batch of shimmering summer flavors just waiting for a cup of tea!

Makes around 2 – 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Gourmet Photography

Ingredients

  • 250 grams (~ 1 cup) softened butter
  • 150 grams (~ 1 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • Jam or fruit preserve of your choice

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixture until combined and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  2. Beat in the flour until the mixture begins to clump and forms a crumbly dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and need for 1 – 3 minutes, until the crumbles meld into a smooth ball of dough.
  3. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. After the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 F / 175 C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or baking liners.
  5. Unwrap the dough and place back onto a floured surface. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin until rather thin (1 cm / 1/3 inch thick). Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible from the first ball of dough. Place the cookies on one of your lined baking sheets and set aside. Repeat this process with the second ball of dough, but with this batch, cut out a small “window” in the center of each cookie with a smaller cookie cutter or other kitchen implement you have on hand (I used a strawberry stem remover).
  6. Bake each tray of cookies in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cookies are firm and lightly brown (they will fully harden as they cool). After baking, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. When your cookies are finished cooling, spoon about 1 teaspoon of jam onto each of the solid cookie halves. Gently top with the “windowed” halves being careful not to crack the cookies.
  8. Sit back and enjoy a sweet reminder of summer’s warmth!

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As always, thanks for stopping by; I hope to see you again soon!

Stay warm and keep digging!
~Nate

Categories: Baking, Dessert, Year Round Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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