One young Catholic family on a Journey towards Intentional and Communal Sustainability. One Artist, one full time Mama and two babies, we'll tell you about all our successes, and failures, as we try to make it in our overly Consumeristic society on just the bare necessities.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cardamom makes me Chai-ldish!

I hate snow!

And this week we had 2 snow storms.  The first dumped a little more than this much:

And the second added another 4 inches.

Seriously?  YUCK!

(by the way, that frame in the foreground is the beginning of our chicken coop.  Our Chickens are coming on the 20th!  wohoo!)

So on the first snow day, Charlotte and I made cookies.  Delicious, whole wheat Chocolate-Chocolate Chip cookies that made the day so much more deal-able.

But by the 3rd day, we were out of eggs.  So on the day of the second snowstorm, when I wanted cookies so bad, we made bakeless, eggless cookies.

Now, this is just a variation on a recipe that has floated around the internet for awhile.  And I love it!  Every time I make it, I make it a little bit differently.  But this time took the cake- or cookie!

Chai-ldish Coconut Date Cookies

2 cups crispy walnuts
about 16 pitted dates
a scoop of coconut oil
5 cardamom pods, shelled and smashed.
Shredded coconut
a little pinch of salt (optional)

In your food processor, process the walnuts and the cardamom together until finely ground, but not so long that they start releasing their oils!  No walnut butter, please.  Actually, is that even possible?  I've never had that issue.

Remove the walnuts to a separate bowl.  Then process the dates, adding the coconut oil about half way through.  Wait until they dates start spinning around in a loose ball inside the processor. Then you're ready.

Add the walnuts back in and pulse a few times to mix.

Now, carefully remove the blade.  Do this now because I have seriously cut my finger before while making these cookies and had to scrap the rest of the batch that was-ahem- not fit for human consumption.  Using clean hands and a spoon, make small, tablespoon sized balls of the goo, and roll them in the shredded coconut.  Place them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper (or a silicone sheet, or really anything that will protect them from the aluminum)  They can touch, but you don't want them to be smashed together. When you've completed the cookie balls you can choose to sprinkle just a pinch of salt over them.

Now, here's the real trick.  Stick them in the freezer for 20 minutes or so.  Oh, sure, you can sample one before hand, or give your little helper a first bite, but seriously- don't skip this step.  After 20 or so minutes, remove and store in the fridge- if they last that long!  The cardamom adds that extra spiciness to make the cookies taste reminiscent of a chai latte.  Next time I think I'll try adding a little white pepper and cinnamon as well, but simple is always the best place to start.

Variations I've tried:
Chocolate and Pecan.  These were a HUGE hit with my friend who was 9 months pregnant at the time.  In fact, I delivered a batch to her the night she went into labor, and she was thrilled.  Basically the same recipe as above, except add about a tablespoon or less of cocoa powder in with the dates, and use crispy pecans AND walnuts (pecans are too expensive to use by themselves, I think).  We also added a little bit of cinnamon and salt to the batch with the nuts, and rolled them in powdered cinnamon instead of the coconut.  Top notch!

"Rum" balls.  Follow the above "chocolate" recipe, but add half an ounce of dark rum in with the dates.  You may need to up the nuts a little, or use less coconut oil to make sure they aren't too messy to work with.  Roll these in powdered sugar and cinnamon or powdered sugar and cocoa powder.  Great for holiday parties.

These have been a life saver for me lately.  I have been nursing a voracious 8 month old and my need for healthy fats is through the roof, but I've been craving sweets like crazy (probably because we've been using chocolate covered raisins as "potty treats" for our 2 year old!) and eating way too many carbs.  If I pop 1 or 2 of these in the afternoon I'm almost not hungry at all for dinner! (which is a problem in and of itself.  If I'm not hungry, I don't make enough food for everybody.  Oh well!)

Oh, and as an added bonus, they kinda look like little snow balls.


(I was late putting this recipe up, and funny enough, Dyno-mom must have had the same idea.  You can find her variations on the recipe over at her blog this week.  I'm going to try adding the apricots next time and I'll let you know how it goes!)

1 comment:

  1. My grandmother used to make Date Balls. I'm not a coconut fan so I use powered sugar to roll them. I plan on making a batch before winter ends.