We’re smack dab in the middle of winter and despite what you might think about this 48 hour warming trend, I assure you… it won’t last.
Ah February. The month of love, and usually snow for NYC, is upon us and it has me craving an ultimate snack that screams, and steams love…
It’s the snack my mother and I used to make every snow day when I was growing up, and it’s without a doubt my favorite part of any ski trip. That not so well deserved treat after a long, or in my case short, day on the slopes.
I first came to appreciate this post-ski indulgence while pre-mooning with my husband (then fiance) in Switzerland. And yes that’s “pre-mooning” as in pre-honeymooning; a ridiculous but wonderful pre-recession idea.
But since my every-days are not filled with rigorous alpine activities right now, I’ve found a way to satisfy my longing for this Swiss-born snack without threatening my waistline, in hopes of actually fitting into that dress I plan to wear on the 14th!
Asian Goji berries and nutty flax seeds dot these scone-like cookies that are so light they crumble like fresh powder on your skies when you bite into them. Organic almond milk is warmed with all the sweet spices and a touch of honey in the raw to make you forget all together about that calorie packed hot chocolate you once loved.
And since this is a snack synonymous with snow, snuggling, and all things starry-eyed consider it my Vegan 75 Valentine for you dear readers…
Goji Berry Cookies and Sweet Spice Steamers
Makes about 15 cookies and 4 steaming mugs or 2 very generous portions
Cookies adapted from a similar recipe by Pie Girl
1 cup dried goji berries
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 pinches of ground cinnamon
few gratings of whole nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
1/4 cup Grade A pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 one large egg
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1/8 cup of vegan cane sugar
Serve with Spiced Almond Milk Steamers (recipe bellow)
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place goji berries in a bowl covered in warm water and let soak while you make the batter.
2. Sift together flours, baking powder, salt, and spices in small bowl or on a sheet of parchment paper.
3. Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl: combining maple syrup, soft butter, orange juice and zest. Beat one egg separately and add about half of the egg to the ingredients.
4. Mix flour mixture in in 3 inclusions. After the second inclusion, drain the goji berries and add the goji berries and flaxseeds to the mixture, then add the last of the flower and fold everything together using a spatula. Do not overmix.
5. Using a tablespoon, roll tablespoon size balls of dough in your hands (wetting your hands and fingers with water will help the dough stick less). Dip each ball in the cane sugar and place them directly on a non stick baking sheet, no need to grease it.
6. Bake cookies for 12-13 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and serve or let cool completely on a wire rack and store in wax paper in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for 1 month.
Spiced Almond Milk Steamers
1 pint unsweetened organic Almond Milk
1 1/2 tablespoons unprocessed honey in the raw
1/4 tsp ground clves
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
few pinches fresh grated nutmeg (from a whole nutmeg)
1 vanilla pod, deseeded, pod reserved for infusing
1 star anise, cracked
1 cinnamon stick
Optional Cinnamon sticks for serving, stirring, and sometimes even sipping…
1. Place all ingredients in a sauce-pot and warm till milk is scalding and steaming, NOT boiling, stirring as it heats. Cover with a lid and let the flavors infuse for 10-15 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod, cinnamon stick and broken star anise.
2. Gently whisk and re-warm when ready to serve. Or bring to room temperature and store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
*A Note: This drink tastes wonderful when truly chilled, thrown in a blender with 2 ice cubes, and quickly whizzed up: a milk shake without the guilt… TRULY Vegan!