Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Virtual Cookie Exchange 2017 Blog Hop

Carol (Just Let Me Quilt Blog) asked me to be a part of her Virtual Cookie Blog Hop this year. Carol said it will not only be a cookie (recipe) exchange, but also to share holiday traditions as well. The Hop runs from December 5-7 and there are giveaways too!!!



When my children were young I would bake a lot. Bread, cookies, cakes, pies; plus cooked meals too. But as the years passed and the kids left to be on their own, the baking stopped, except for an occasional birthday or Thanksgiving pie. Mr. P began cooking when I was still working and it became an enjoyable hobby for him to do the cooking. I wasn't complaining, as it left me more time to sew, quilt, knit and craft! He stills enjoys cooking and shopping for food, so I rarely am in the kitchen anymore, except that I do the dishes.

Anyhow back to the cookies, one of my favorite cookies that I made was Almond-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies. These delicious cookies are vegan too. We have been vegan for about 30 years now. In November, I wanted to make a little something for a friend's birthday, without making a big cake, so I decided to  bake these cookies. I had always made them with almonds (even though the recipe suggest that you can use pecans, hazelnuts too). So I thought I would experiment a little and used almonds and pecans both in the cookie. Mr. P cannot seem to tolerate most berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and the like, but blueberries he is okay with. So I swapped out the raspberry jam for blueberry jam. (I definitely prefer the raspberry jam!) The recipe also calls for using maple syrup (another thing Mr P cannot eat), so when I was shopping in the market, I saw there was an amber coconut syrup now that says right on the bottle it can be used in place of maple syrup. The coconut syrup is low on the glycemic scale too, better for Mr P. The syrup tasted good, but didn't have the maple flavor that I personally like, so I would use the maple syrup (I use 100% pure maple syrup, not the corn syrup flavored kind). I also used vanilla extract since I combined the nuts. When using only almonds I would use almond extract only and that gives the cookies a better flavor too. I did use nutmeg as usual for the spice. The recipe says you can use cardamom or other spices, but I have always used nutmeg.



So with all my substitutions this time, I found out that I prefer the almonds, maple syrup, raspberry jam, and almond extract that I had always used to make these cookies in the past. I would bake these and take them to holiday parties and they were always a hit. No one knew they were vegan! They are crisp, but if you put them into covered containers, they soften and aren't as good as when they are crisp. They have a great flavor and with the nuts and oats are healthier than some other cookies and full of fiber too.



Here is the recipe~

Almond-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

1-cup whole raw almonds
1 cup rolled oats
1-cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt
large pinch of ground nutmeg (or you can use cardamom, cinnamon or coriander instead if you like)
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup raspberry (or other berry) preserves

Grind almonds in a food processor with a metal blade until they become a course meal.  Transfer to a mixing bowl. 

Grind oats in the food processor until they become a course meal.  Add to the almond meal.  Stir in flour, baking soda and spice.

Combine maple syrup, oil, lemon juice and almond extract in a small bowl.  Add to dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon.  The dough should be soft and wet.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Using a tiny ice cream-style scoop or spoons, place a walnut-size scoop of dough onto a nonstick or lightly greased cookie sheet spacing about 2-inches apart.  With your thumb or index finger make a “thumbprint” into the center of each cookie.  Fill each indentation with about ½ teaspoon of preserves.

Bake cookies for about 20 minutes, until light and golden and fragrant.  The cookies should be lightly browned on the bottom.  Allow to cool thoroughly before eating.

Makes 36 cookies.

Variations:
Instead of almonds, substitute walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts.
Substitute rice syrup or honey for the maple syrup.
Substitute vanilla extract for the almond extract, or lemon or orange rind for the spices.

Substitute apricot, pineapple, or cherry preserves instead of raspberry.


Now as far as holiday traditions go, well that's something I never really grew up with. When my children were young and we lived in Washington state, we did start a tradition of going to a Christmas tree farm and choosing and cutting a tree. I love and miss that fresh tree smell! The first time we got a cut tree from a farm it cost us all of $5!!! Oh those were the days, huh? After a few years, we decided to choose a living tree each year so that we could plant it in the yard. We lived in several different homes in our 17 years of living in WA. Last year while we were there visiting, we drove by the house my son was born in and the tree we planted in the front yard, a Colorado Blue Spruce, was a lot taller than the single story home we had lived in! It was fun to see it was thriving and how tall that little tree had grown. My son is 31 year old now and we probably planted it when he was 2 or 3 years old.

Then once they were teenagers, we were living here in New Mexico and so we couldn't do that anymore. It's so dry here, but Mr P got a live tree for the kids the first year we were here, but the needles kept falling off and before long we had a Charlie Brown tree! So then came the artificial tree for a few years.

Well I am sure these other ladies on the blog hop have some interesting traditions to share with you, so please be sure to hop on over each day of the hop. There are giveaway prizes too.


I am giving away a little wall hanging (or can be a small table topper too). It says NOEL and was made using the Alphabet Pattern that I designed. The quilt will be given to a USA winner only. If a winner is chosen from another country, then I will email them a pdf of their choice from my Craftsy store. Winners will be chosen on December 8th.

This quilt was made using The Alphabet Quilt that I designed.



Good luck in the giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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34 comments:

  1. Looks like a great recipe. Love your little quilt. I love the fabric choices too. Pieces and scraps of so many of them appear in my Christmas stash.

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  2. Our tradition is decorating and putting up the tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Thanks for the cute giveaway.

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  3. Thank you Daryl for sharing such a wonderful vegan cookie recipe and also letting us know the experimenting you have done and how they tasted. Sounds good! Favorite tradition is spending time with family.

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  4. Hi Daryl,
    I am out visiting everyone's cookie post this morning! Your cookies look delicious. I've never made my own almond 'flour' before but it sure doesn't sound hard. I'm going to PIN your recipe so I can access it later. Happy Holidays to you and your family. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  5. Your cookies look yummy, I might have to try the pineapple, sounds good too. :)

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  6. I love cookies with oatmeal in them. Thanks for sharing. I truly have no tradition that I've stuck too with exception of buying an ornament every year for my two sons. They are 22 and 25 now...when should I stop??????? hahaha

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  7. We love to hang Christmas lights for the holidays. Love your raspberry topped cookie recipe. rozz01(at)cox(dot)net

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  8. your cookies were delicious and I only knew they were vegan because you brought them. thanks for sharing the cookies and the recipe.
    tara

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  9. Traditions have changed over the years. Like you, when the children were home, we would go to a Christmas farm and cut down our tree, singing Christmas carols on the way home. But after the children left, it wasn't as much fun for just the two of us, and it was hard for us to get the tree to the car and home. Then one year we got a diseased tree which was totally brown by Christmas Eve. That was the year we bought the artificial tree. We always invite International students at the university over to help us decorate the tree which makes it more fun. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

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  10. We just love to gather as a family.

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  11. This recipe looks like it would make a good breakfast cookie with my tea. I'm not much of a breakfast eater, but I love a quick cookie. Thanks for sharing the best way to make this for perfect yumminess! I've gone back to see trees that we've planted and it's fun to compare them to my kids growth. Thanks for playing along with us, Daryl, and sharing your great pattern giveaway.

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  12. We enjoy driving around town looking at light displays.

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  13. Great cookie recipe! I always love decorating the tree with my hubby and our two kids every year. It's always a blast, especially when our pup wants to pitch in. It can be pretty funny.

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  14. Great recipe and perfect for my vegan friends! Holiday traditions change as kids grow, but we now enjoy decorating the car pond and enjoying the lights. Have a blessed Christmas!

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  15. We love to look at the luminaries that are lit in several neighborhoods on Christmas Eve.

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  16. My family hosts a large family and friends dinner where we play games: bingo, trivia or pull numbers where everyone wins a gift. The children can hardly wait for this time. The gifts are usually $7 and under and often handmade. It is really a hit and everyone who attends takes something home.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  17. I have to try those cookies! You sound like me = I love cooking and experimenting with recipes. That table topper is darling!

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  18. Looks delicious and healthy! Thanks for the recipe. Our tradition is to make treats go caroling as we take them around to the neighbors. I did it with my family as a child - everyone would pile into the back of the old truck and drive around the neighborhood. We lived on a farm in Idaho and the nearest neighbors were half a mile away. We have done it with our own kids, and just walk around our block.

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  19. Isn't it funny as we get older the traditions change? I think mine is still baking lots of cookies.

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  20. Thank you for sharing such a healthy, yummy recipe we can really use all year long. Our traditions have changed immendsely since our kids are now grown and have families of their own (and don't live near) My husband and I now siimply plug in our little ceramic Christmas tree that sits on our breakfast table, put a few lights up in the windows, and enjoy the simplicity and joy of the holiday. We travel and spend Chrismtas at the kids!

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  21. Thanks for sharing such a sweet recipe. Looks yummy!

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  22. My favorite Christmas tradition is going to Christmas Eve services at church...especially when I come out to find beautiful snow falling here in eastern Washington!

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  23. I love raspberries! I always make peanut brittle at Christmas, to gift & of course munch on! Thank you for sharing, Susan

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  24. Delicious looking cookies and lovely quilt! Thank you for sharing ... :) Pat

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  25. Great looking cookies - will try them out on vegan buddies!!! mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. My favorite tradition is being with family and friends. It's easier - and harder - do over the holidays, so I appreciate every time I get to spend extra time with folks. These cookies sound great - thank you for sharing!

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  27. Traditions..they are wonderful especially at Christmas. I'm so glad your son's tree is still thriving. We don't do vegan but your cookies look delicious. I know eating healthier is a 2018 resolution. Thanks for the recipe.

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  28. I will have to try these for my vegan friend. Love your story of the tree. How cool to see it years later. THanks for the giveaway!

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  29. My favorite holiday tradition is the way we all gather together on Christmas morning and read the Christmas story in Luke 2 before opening our gifts. It is a precious time . . . . even the kids enjoy it!

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  30. Thanks for the recipe. I love baking and making the meal for my family, and making gifts.

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  31. We always takes drives out to see all the lights! So fun! Thank you for the recipe and lovely giveaway!

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  32. The cookies look quite yummy. We always go to the Wild Zoo Lights during Christmas time. Have only missed once in 19 years. Merry Christmas, Daryl.

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  33. Driving around to see all of the lights.cookie making is another tradition that opi love. Thank you for the cookie recipe.

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  34. What a versatile cookie recipe! I think that I'd also prefer the almond & raspberry version, but the blueberry ones look very interesting too. Merry Christmas!

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