Cookie time! Raw no-bake cookies!
A gingerbread cookie, spiced with fresh ginger, cinnamon and cloves with a touch of mesquite with a base of almonds and caramel-like dates. Topped with a lucuma-maple frosting, not too sweet, just perfect. It was uncanny how it definitely had the flavour of gingerbread (hello fresh ginger!) without any molasses.
Usually a raw cookie means ridiculously easy but I went for the more ornate cookie + frosting option. I used the tops of Mason jars as my cookie cutter to keep things simple, but feel free to cut out all the crazy shapes you desire.
The cookie comes from a new cookbook, Raw Cookies by Julia Corbett. One might think it was all about raw cookies. True, all the cookies are raw. But not vegan (there is raw butter and honey in some of the recipes) but there is quite a variety of options. The cookies are broken down into coconut-based cookies (eg, Coconut Macadamia Shortbread, Lemon Poppyseed Coconut Cream Cookies), cacao-based cookies (eg, Pecan Fudge Caramel Bites, Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies and Chocolate-Topped Crunchy Peanut Cookie Bars), nut-based cookies (eg, Hazelnut Sugar Cookies, Salted Ginger Chewies and Jungle Buckeyes), seed-based cookies (eg, Ayurvedic Sesame Treats, Pumpkin Seed Spumoni), raw butter based cookies (eg, Raw Butter Snickerdoodles), Fruit-Based Cookies (eg, Wild Berry Jam Linzer Cookies) and Frostings (eg, White and Dark Chocolate Frostings).
I will admit, I was excited to try the cocoa-based cookies first but many recipes called for cacao paste. I have some cacao butter hiding in my pantry but not cacao paste. So until I locate the paste, I settled for trying the fun raw gingerbread cookies. I changed a few things, like adding in some dates to help it stick together. Although by the time the cookies had solidified, the cookies were very firm, so I may have added the dates too prematurely. I also used fresh ginger (and lots of it) because I only stock the good stuff. I find the flavours of fresh and ground ginger to be quite different, so definitely add to taste. Apparently I have a very high tolerance for ginger. Bring it on!
I also really liked the contrast with the luscious frosting. I didn’t add any ginger to it, to counter the cookie base, but it worked out well. Mine was slightly lumpy because I mixed it by hand but it only bothered me after taking the photos, not while eating it.
Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living anywhere in the world. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite holiday dessert. The winner will be selected at random on December 22, 2014. Good luck!
Raw Gingerbread Cookies
Reprinted, courtesy of Raw Cookies
1 cup almonds
1.5 cups coconut flakes, macaroon- cut or fine-cut
1/4 cup sun-dried cane juice crystals or coconut sugar
1–2 tablespoons raw honey (liquid or crystallized) or coconut nectar (Janet’s note: I used agave)
1 tablespoon mesquite pod meal
1 teaspoon ginger powder (Janet’s note: I used 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger)
1 teaspoon coconut oil, solid or liquid
Janet’s addition: 5-10 pitted dates, as needed to get dough to stick together
1/4 teaspoon clove powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha extract powder (Janet’s note: omitted)
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1. Using a high-power blender, grind the almonds and the coconut flakes into a fine flour.
2. Grind the sugar into a powder in a spice grinder or high-power blender.
3. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and mix until combined and a dough is forming, sticking together easily.
4. Form a ball, and press, by hand, onto a parchment- paper-lined cutting board. Roll with a straight-sided glass or a rolling pin, if necessary, until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick. Chill for 1 hour or longer.
5. Then cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, and carefully transfer to a plate. Set aside.
Lucuma-Maple Frosting aka Ginger Spice Frosting
1/4 cup coconut oil, solid
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons lucuma powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (Janet’s note: omitted)
few pinches of Himalayan salt
few pinches of cinnamon powder
few pinches of nutmeg
few pinches of anise powder (Janet’s note: omitted)
1. To make the Ginger Spice Frosting, be sure your coconut oil is solidified; chill if necessary.
2. Whip the coconut oil in a small bowl with a spoon until most of the lumps are gone. Mix in the maple syrup, and whip until creamed together.
3. Mix in all remaining ingredients, and whip until a smooth frosting consistency forms.
4. Frost Gingerbread Cookies with a butter knife or a spoon, or pipe on with a pastry bag.
5. Chill until ready to serve. Store chilled.
Makes about 16 1/4-inch-thick cookies