Tagged with almond meal

Flourless Almond Cookies with Cinnamon & Coconut

Cookies on Dark PlateThe flavor and texture of these simple cookies remind me of macaroons – helped along by the fact that these are coated in flaked coconut.  I can imagine easily devouring a plateful of these tiny cookies and you almost could since they contain no added oil or fat, have no eggs and the refined sugar has been whisked away from the original (Bon Appetit) recipe.  Perfect little treats to accompany afternoon tea.

Flourless Almond Cookies
~18 Cookies

Flaked Coconut2 cups slivered almonds
1/3 cup maple sugar
1/2 tsp. powdered stevia
4 tsp. grated lemon rind
dash of salt
1 tbsp. egg replacer + 3 tbsp. water (whisk together until frothy and set aside for a minute or two)
2 tbsp. unsweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon
36 or so slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 baking pans with parchment paper.  In a small bowl, combine the coconut and the cinnamon.  Set aside.

Place 2 cups almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the maple sugar, stevia, lemon zest, salt and egg replacer mixture.  Pulse about 10 times or until the dough comes together to form a ball.

Using wet hands, shape the dough into 18 balls and roll the balls in the coconut-cinnamon mixture.  Place 1″ apart on baking sheets.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.  Cool for a few minutes on the baking pans before transferring to wire racks.

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Whole Wheat & Almond Meal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Plate of Almond Meal Chocolate Chip CookiesI found the “mother” recipe for these cookies on a curious little website that appears to be some kind of homage to Trader Joe’s brand name products.  Nearly every item listed in the recipe (as well as others I saw) had a little asterisk next to them indicating that you could indeed find those items at your local Trader Joe’s.  Now that’s love.  Since I don’t have a Trader Joe’s in the state in which I live (hello, Trader Joe’s – Oklahoma is out here and we need you!), I had to make do with ingredients found at my big box store.  I don’t knock it, cuz it’s the only game in town (if I don’t feel like driving two hours one way to hit up the Whole Foods) – but I sure wish I had a funky, tree-huggerish, vegan-friendly store at which to spend my $$.

These tasty cookies are a great way to employ that almond meal you saved from when you made almond milk.  And the chocolate chips – well, they just make the world a better place.

Chocolate Chips and AlmondsWhole Wheat & Almond Meal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes ~18

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 tsp. powdered stevia
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
3/4 cup almond meal
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup prune puree (baby food works well)
1/2 cup or more soy milk
1/4 plain soy yogurt
2 tbsp. almonds, roasted and chopped (I used slivers)
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, maple sugar, stevia, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, flaxseed meal and almond meal in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract, prune puree, soy milk and soy yogurt.  Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.  If the mixture seems too dry, add a little bit more soy milk.  Fold in the chocolate chips and the almonds.

You can either drop by the tablespoonful onto baking sheets or, roll the dough into a log and cut into 18 slices.  Flatten slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are firm.  Transfer to a wire rack – - keeping in mind that these cookies taste best warm served with your favorite companion beverage.

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Pumpkin-Pecan Whole Wheat Waffles

Somewhere along the way my preference for pancakes was usurped by a deeper love for waffles.  Maybe it’s the crisp and crunchy crevices that handle with deft and aplomb the sweet, dusky goodness of real maple syrup or thick smears of peanut butter; or maybe it’s the soft, flavorful interior and the toasty aroma that arises as one cuts into it.  Whatever it is – or maybe it’s all of those things – waffles have earned my respect.  These low-fat and flavorful pumpkin waffles are especially welcome on a cool autumn morning.

Bowl of Waffle BatterPumpkin-Pecan Whole Wheat Waffles
Makes 4-5 8″ waffles

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. powdered stevia
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 cups soy “buttermilk” (1 tbsp. lemon juice + soy milk, stir and let sit for 15 minutes)
1 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat your oven to 175F and put your breakfast plates in there to warm up.  You’ll also be transferring cooked waffles onto an oven rack to stay crisp.  Preheat your waffle iron.

Sift together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, stevia, salt, baking soda, pecans and the spices.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, soy buttermilk and vanilla extract.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.

Ladle batter onto the preheated waffle iron that’s been lightly sprayed with cooking oil.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes or until you no longer see steam rising from the waffle iron.  Transfer waffle to oven to stay warm and crisp until ready to serve.  These freeze well.  Reheat in a toaster oven until crispy again on the outside.

Plain Pumpkin Waffle(The jumping off point for this recipe is the pumpkin waffle recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  I omitted the oil, used “buttermilk” instead of plain soy milk, substituted whole wheat pastry flour for AP flour, used a little bit of almond meal, added the pecans and used stevia instead of brown sugar. )

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Good Morning Muffins

Pile of MuffinsI came across this recipe last winter while living briefly in Bountiful, UT – without my comforting retinue of cookbooks to plunder for baked goodies.  Lo and behold, Whole Foods has a whole treasure trove of recipes on their site, some vegan, some not.  I did my usual alchemy here – replacing the eggs, nixing the oil entirely and banishing most of the sugar.  This would be an ideal “base” muffin recipe with which to explore other flavors.  Add smashed banana instead of the prune puree…use shredded zucchini, dried blueberries or slip a little crystallized ginger into the batter.

Muffin with Cup of TeaGood Morning Muffins
Makes 12

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp. powdered stevia
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. Bob’s Egg Replacer + 6 tbsp. water (whisk together until frothy and then let sit for a minute)
1/3 cup prune puree (or unsweetened applesauce)
1/3 cup plain soy yogurt
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins (or dried cherries or cranberries)
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 + 2 tbsp. dried flaked unsweetened coconut, divided

Preheat oven to 350F and either line 12-muffin tins with silicon or paper cups – or mist very lightly with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the whole wheat pastry flour, almond meal, baking powder, stevia, salt, cinnamon and maple sugar.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg replacer, vanilla, soy milk, prune puree and soy yogurt.  Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Stir in the apple, raisins, carrot, walnuts and 1/4 cup of the coconut.

Spoon batter into lined muffin tins and then sprinkle the tops with the remaining flaked coconut.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the muffins sit in the tins for a few minutes, then remove them from the pan and allow them to cool on wire racks.

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Almond Milk, Homestyle (and What to do with It)

Almonds Soaking in WaterThere are lots and lots of recipes out there on how to make your own nut milks, and thank goodness for that, but I include one here because it’s a fun thing to try and quite easy.  Why make your own?  Right off the bat I can think of two great reasons: the taste and the ingredients, as in: you control what goes into it.  Making almond milk is a simple and not too time-consuming process and the end result is well worth the energy expended.  It tastes nothing like what you get in the carton.  It’s velvety, rich, smooth and slightly sweet.  You kind of want to drink it all as soon as you’ve made a batch – which is fine – but save some for the Vanilla-Banana smoothie below.Almond Milk in GlassTo make almond milk:  Soak 1 cup of raw almonds (skin on or off) in water overnight. Drain and put almonds in a blender along with 1 cup water.  Blend until chunky, stirring if needed.  Add an additional cup of water and 1 tsp. of pure maple syrup (if desired).  Blend until nearly smooth, stirring as needed.  Line a strainer with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth and put strainer over a large bowl.  Pour almond mixture into the strainer and let drain, pressing down and stirring with a spoon to extract liquid.  After it stops dripping, gently squeeze cheesecloth to get those last precious drops of almond milk into the bowl.  (Don’t discard the crushed almond paste.  See below on what to do with it.)  Either use the almond milk right away, or store in the refrigerator.  Some folks add more sweetener or even cinnamon and vanilla extract to their almond milk, but I like mine with just a tiny hint of sweetness and no additional embellishments.

When your almond milk is finished and ready for drinking, consider making this Vanilla-Banana smoothie.  I’ve made it using both store-bought almond milk and homemade and there’s a huge difference in flavor and texture between the two.  The smoothie with the store-bought almond milk was tasty, but with homemade almond milk, you get the rich creaminess of a milkshake.

Vanilla-Banana Smoothie
Serves 2

2 cups frozen banana slices
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. vanilla paste
2 cups almond milk
1 pinch salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.

Almond Meal

What about all that stuff that’s left in the cheesecloth?  Fancy folks call that “almond meal” and they use it in baked goods.  Talk about reuse and recycle.  Once you’ve squeezed every last drop out of the cheesecloth, spread the almond meal in an even layer onto a baking sheet and slide into a 200F oven.  Bake it until it’s dry and crumbly – a couple of hours.  Check on it every now and again and give it a stir.  Let it cool on the counter before putting it into an air-tight container (run it through a food processor if it’s lumpy) and stashing it in your refrigerator or freezer until ready to add delicious flavor to pancakes, muffins or bread dough.  Just substitute a small portion of flour for almond meal.

Almond Meal on Baking Sheet

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