Monday, October 24, 2011

All Thumb(print)s

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What kind of kid were you when it came to school lunches? Were you a baloney and mayo, like my old best friend? A Thermos stuffed with lukewarm mac n' cheese or pizza pockets like my sister? Or maybe you were like me, who adored a good PB & J? Maybe you were even lucky enough to be able to break out the nut butters in your lunchroom - up till grade 9, where I went to school nuts (or legumes, in the case of peanuts) of any kind were ixnayed due to allergies, so if I wanted my favourite nosh it had to be on the weekends or during the holidays.

It wasn't all that bad for me, considering that while I could enjoy spoonfuls of Kraft creamy right out of the jar, one of my friends and classmates wasn't so lucky. He taught me what an Epi-Pen actually was (my 7 year old self thought it was a newfangled marker) and made me realize that allergies weren't just something "everyone" gets when Spring comes around. Thankfully I never witnessed one of his reactions, but I'm fairly sure that's what got me into a "find out everything I can about everything" mindset when it came to medical things. I schooled myself with everything I had (we still have medicine books of mine in the basement) and always wanted to know why. Why do people get allergies, diseases, freckles, red hair, sunburns?

Well, I still don't have the answers to everything, but I do know some methods to bring back the love of life, especially in the kitchen. I was playing around with a fairly popular peanut butter cookie recipe (trying to use the last of the almond butter we had) and decided to try out a version of my old favourite sandwich in cookie form. I went all out on the almond flavour, with the almond butter, almond milk, almond extract and tossing in some ground almonds for kicks. The dough turned into a gluten-free and vegan gem, but I wanted to make it a bit more... moreish. So I dug into some of my homemade grape jam and turned the criss-crosses into thumbprints. Rather violently thumbed thumbprints, mind you. I had to laugh at myself - it had been years since I had made the last batch and apparently my thumbs are a bit bigger!
AB & J Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 40
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup warmed almond milk
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
1/2 tsp stevia extract powder
5 oz (2/3 cup) shortening
4 oz (2/3 cup) stirred almond butter
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup ground almonds
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp tapoica starch
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup jam or preserves of your choice (I used homemade Concord grape)
  1. Heat oven to 375 F and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone.
  2. In a small dish, whisk together flaxseed and almond milk. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together brown sugar, agave, stevia, shortening and almond butter.
  4. Add flax mixture and the extracts, beating well.
  5. Whisk together ground almonds, flours, starch, guar gum, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
  6. Add to the creamed mixture and stir in well.
  7. Shape into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Press your thumb or fingertip into the centre of each cookie and fill with jam
  9. Bake 10 minutes, then cool 10-15minutes on the sheets before carefully transferring to a cooling rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 118.4
Total Fat: 6.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 4.7 mg
Total Carbs: 15.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 1.5 g


1 comment :

  1. Yum! We've been meaning to make some thumbprint cookies ... and will get around to it at some point. :)


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