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Vanilla-Walnut "Shortbread" Cookies: A Tasty Raw Foods Treat

Posted Mar 17 2010 3:01am
I have been having fun experimenting with raw snacks and desserts lately. I like that they contain few ingredients that are minimally processed and can give me a sweet treat "fix" with some added healthy nutrients. These Vanilla-Walnut "Shortbread" Cookies are from a great little book called " Raw Energy: 124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies, and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your Body " by Stephanie Tourles. I haven't committed to buying a dehydrator yet, but this book has plenty of delicious-sounding recipes that don't require more than a food processor or blender.

I get a craving for a buttery shortbread cookie now and then and I liked the fact that with 5 simple ingredients, I could get a similar taste with these. Of course I had to tweak things a bit, and in addition to making part of the batch as the recipe was written, I dredged some in coconut for a different texture, and also made several "thumbprints" to fill with my mom's homemade strawberry jam and my sister's blackberry jam. Neither jam is raw nor sugar-free, but at about a 1/2 teaspoon of jam in each small cookie, it is a minor indulgence

Tourles says, "These goodies are ultra-rich with a melt-in-your-mouth velvety texture bursting with creamy vanilla flavor; they taste a bit like traditional shortbread. The dough would make a terrific crust for a raw pie."

Vanilla-Walnut "Shortbread" Cookies
"Raw Energy" by Stephanie Tourles
(Yield: About 22 cookies)

2 cups raw walnuts
1 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Blend the walnuts, coconut, honey, vanilla, and salt in a food processor until a granular, moist dough forms, about 60 seconds. It will not form a cohesive ball and will be very oily when handled.

Scrape the dough into a medium bowl. Pinch off pieces of the dough and gently squeeze, knead, and roll the pieces into balls about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Press each ball between your palms to slightly flatten into cookies.

Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe Health Notes: A good source of omega-3 fatty acids, plus B vitamins, calcium, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, natural sugars, protein and fiber--all of which provide for a constants flow of energy.

Notes/Results: Really good, they actually do taste buttery, although the texture is more moist and these raw cookies are a bit chewier than shortbread. The recipe is great as written but the jam filled ones were even better. They also taste great straight out of the freezer. These cookies are rich enough that one or two are very satisfying. I would make them again.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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