Two thumbs down for waking up with a sore throat that feels like I’ve swallowed a ball of sandpaper.
Three thumbs UP for the cookies below.
Four thumbs up for Japanese sencha green tea + a spoonful of raw honey. My throat is already 100x better.
So, the cookies…
They are grain free!
They are sugar free!
Apricots are included.
Recently, Gena posted a how-to on making date paste, which can be used as a natural sweetener. Since apricots and dates have a similar texture and it’s National Apricot Day, I wanted to try out this dried fruit paste method with apricots. This is such a great alternative to sugar. It’s intensely sweet and loaded with fiber + nutrients.
It would definitely take some experimenting to figure out how to substitute this in for liquid sweeteners [like maple syrup and honey], but I think it can be done! Gena wrote a follow up post the following day, loaded with information on date paste. Definitely worth checking out!
Apricot Paste[adapted from Gena’s date paste]
- 1 cup apricots [unsulphured]
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- Heat 3/4 cup water until boiling.
- Pour into a bowl over the apricots, trying to make sure they’re all covered.
- Let sit for 1 hour, on the counter, stirring once 1/2 way through.
- Blend in a high powered blender, until desired consistency is met. If needed, add more water to thin out.
- Store in a sealed container, in the fridge, for up to a week [per Gena’s suggestion].
*I’m not sure how well a food processor will work for this task. I wanted some texture to the paste, so I stopped blending before 100% smooth.
Next up, let’s talk about the almond flour.
Almond meal + almond flour are two different things.
almond meal = ground, raw almonds
almond flour = ground, blanched + raw almonds [no skins!]
Almond flour has a lighter and smoother texture. I don’t think the two can be subbed 1:1 as they will have a different texture. Instead of buying blanched almond flour, which is pricey, I made my own at home.
Blanched Almond Flour
- blanched, raw almonds
- In a food processor or blender, blend almonds in small batches [not over 3/4 cup – 1 cup at a time] until flour like. No large pieces should be left. Be careful not to blend too long as you could end up with nut butter, or flour that has become warm + moist from the motor making it hot. I used my Vita-Mix and scraped the sides and bottom a few times to help move things along.
- Sift the flour to get rid of any clumping. You may need to use a spoon to help sift it through.
- If you’re left with any almond pieces or pieces that won’t sift through, add those to the blender again until flour like.
Sifting is important!
Melt in your mouth.
Hint of lemon.
And a dollop of apricot sweetness.
What’s great about these cookies are that you can eat them as an indulgent treat, as part of breakfast, or pop two in your mouth before or after a hard workout. They’re loaded with healthy fats, protein + fiber, but you would never know it.
Almond Apricot Butter Cookies [adapted from Peanut Butter and Jelly cookies]
yields 18 // gluten free, grain free
To me, this type of buttery rich cookie needs no added sugar in the actual cookie. The spoonful of apricot sweetness on top does the trick! I made two versions, one with more coconut oil + almond butter, but the version below was the best.
- 1 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons blanched almond flour, sifted
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons creamy almond butter
- 1 large egg
- 4-6 Tablespoons apricot paste
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt coconut oil on the stovetop or in the microwave and pour into a mixing bowl.
- Whisk together the coconut oil and almond butter until smooth.
- Whisk in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla extract + salt.
- With a spoon, stir in the almond flour, until a thick dough has formed. If the batter seems too oily and wet, add 1 Tablespoon more flour at a time. The dough should be fairly stiff.
- Measure tablespoon sized cookies and place one the cookie sheet 2” apart.
- Press into the middle of each cookie, gently, with your thumb.
- Add about 3/4 teaspoon – 1 tesapoon apricot paste on top of each indentation.
- Bake 10-14 minutes until light golden brown.
- Let cool for at least 10min, then transfer to a cooling rack.
tips/substitutions: If you don’t make apricot paste, feel free to use any no-sugar-added jelly or jam. If you want the almond flavor kicked up, add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Almond meal may work.
Time for tea + honey round 2!