Oh my goodness, September has been a month for me! I have been so busy, planning to run a kitchen for a women’s retreat weekend. Plus the weekend itself, which was awesome. Bible Study has started again. This weekend I am going to Nashville to celebrate my dear friend Chelsey who is getting married in a few weeks. And next month I will be volunteering in a kitchen for a prison ministry. So there has been a lot going on, especially on the weekends. My mother is AMAZING, because she has been doing my markets for me a lot. Praise God for her, she has been tremendous.
I made these cookies weeks ago, I just had so much going on I couldn’t post them until today. Last time I posted I shared my love of tea and how my neighbor at the market sells tea. I got some Earl Grey tea from him (the smell alone was heavenly) and whipped up these shortbreads. Once I posted the picture of them, multiple people at the market asked if I had them. Needless to say, I think I am going to put together a tin of assorted tea shortbreads.
These cookies were SO good. The tea gave it such a complex taste. I folded them so I got some glaze in each bite. My 8-year-old nephew Trenton kept going back to eat more and more of them. That is a testament to their tastiness, when a young kid loves them.
I am a lot like my momma (who is awesome and whom I love dearly). Growing up I mimicked her often. I was totally a picky eater like her. And I loved tea. I still love tea and I thank my momma for this.
About 10 years I was doing A LOT (as in hours a day) of food research, when I stumbled about matcha. Powdered green tea, with a dense amount of nutrients and goodness. Of course I live in the Midwest in a lovely Indiana town (and I mean that in all sincerity, I have tried to leave and always end up back here. But the older I get, the more my appreciate grows) and I couldn’t find any. Shoot when I started my market 5 years ago, I did a lot of explaining on what gluten-free meant. Now I hardly have anyone ask me what gluten-free is. I also couldn’t find a lot of flours or sugars that I needed. Recently it has gotten better. Still have to order cassava flour. Finally found a place with arrowroot. And one place with cacao butter. And maple sugar, although I bought all that, so now I ordered more online again. Now 10 years later I can find matcha powder.
So for a decade I have been eager. Eager to bake and experiment with matcha powder. To drink it (have you had a latte made with matcha? Waiting on my favorite coffee shop Java Haute to catch on to the matcha thing). And to bake with! Earlier this year I posted a recipe for a matcha ricotta tart, which I will actually be revisiting this week. I made some strawberry pies and needed a green crust for some stems and thought matcha would be a great natural way to obtain the color I needed. I drank some matcha I had the other day, which is paired with orange. It is lovely, I have had one with lemon as well, but I use orange less so I was more intrigued with that flavor combo. What if I made a matcha tart with an orange curd bottom. And then an orange ricotta filling? It got me exceedingly excited. Last winter, for Java I had made an orange ricotta pie which I absolutely loved. It had very subtle flavors and was not that sweet. So be prepared next week for that recipe.
Since I had matcha on hand, I thought I would tweak a recipe I saw for matcha swirled sugar cookies. I was geeked to say the least that I got a swirl. And the swirl kept through baking. I think if I made these again, I would dip them in white chocolate. I have found with matcha, it is about having the perfect amount. Too much can get a little bitter and not so good. Actually, thinking just now as I type, I would add some lemon zest to the regular sugar cookie dough and dip it all in white chocolate. Black sesame could be an interesting combo with the matcha too. It is on my list of things to try and I have seen it numerous times paired with matcha. Again, I do not live in a food-forward city, so first I have to find it. Some day………
I love lemon. I think I’ve shared that a few times on here. I especially love some lemon curd. I could just nibble on some lemon curd.
I had someone contact me to collaborate on some vegan cookies. Granted gluten-free is my focus, I started brain-storming on cookies that were gourmet, vegan, and gluten-free. My initial idea was lemon lavender with white chocolate. One I prefer white chocolate over chocolate and I have finally found a white chocolate recipe that works really well. Plus I have really liked baking with lavender the last ten years. If used properly, it’s a nice subtle surprise. You don’t want it to be too overpowering. No one like to feel like they’re eating flowers. However, the perfect amount, is just right to have people intrigued. What is that other flavor I’m picking up?
The cookies were soft, which is exactly how I like my cookies. However, in the baking business, especially wholesale, you have to take into consideration: packaging, handling, storage over time. And these cookies would have crumbled or not held up over-time.
Back to the drawing boards. I did not want to give up on the lemon. It’s refreshing to me. I tried a glazed cookie (click the link to get it). Delicious, but not able to withstand the wholesale world. I thought of thyme, that could be lovely. But likely only to attract foodies and not your average person. We wanted a cookie that could be kid-friendly as well.
Blueberry and lemon are also a beautiful pairing. Plus the blueberries would add a beautiful color. Something else to consider in baking is the aesthetic and visual appeal. I don’t want to offer 3 cookies that all look similar. You need some pop and color. The blueberry could add, some much needed color, especially in a sandwich cookie. I found a recipe inspiration that I could convert to be both gluten-free and vegan.
My favorite of all the gluten-free cookies (which was about 7 or so) I made. The flavors were heaven. The texture of the cookie was great. The ratio of filling to cookie, awesome. Half a cookie was good for me!
I have made no-bake cookies twice the last, finally I caved and made some gluten-free ones. I HAD too, especially after that many times. Growing up, those were Cliff (my brother) and I’s favorite cookies. We would make them with my momma. I love my mother dearly, but she was not the cook in our house growing up, so these were special moments for us. My dad is a bomb cook, so sorry mom.
Cliff and I loved these cookies, though. I can still playback videos in my mind of us on stools trying to mix and make them ourselves. And then totally stuffing ourselves and ruining our appetite for dinner.
A few years ago I made my first batch of gluten-free ones. After some different experiments, I discovered that coconut and nuts made the perfect combination. The crunch of the nuts makes them perfect. And then I played with honey and coconut oil and coconut sugar. Finally I really hit the sweet spot. And I made them for my markets. They were a top, prized seller. But chocolately food can be a hot mess in the summer heat.
And so I just sort of forgot about them. But making them for a friend and the frat boys last week, had me craving them majorly. Plus my nephew Trenton loves my no-bakes, he says they’re the best. And I don’t take the opinion of a 7 year-old lightly, they are brutally honest. If he didn’t like them or thought they were bad, he would tell it to me straight. My nephew Gavin has straight-up told me before that something I made was awful. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Cherry No-Bake Cookies”→
Yesterday I shared 10 of my favorite all-time recipes I have posted (click the link to check it). I have posted so many ->170<- so I couldn’t just pick 10! I have selected 29 of my favorites, plus one of my brand new favorites.
Today I will share with you 10 MORE of my favorites! I hope you enjoy and of course stayed tune later this week for even more.
This recipe actually fueled my fire to start my own business. I had had an awakening hike in Colorado, revealing my calling to have my own cooking business. A month later, I brought this pie to Thanksgiving. Everyone raved about it, “why are you training those kettlebells, you should have your own bakery?” This was the encouragement I needed. A nod to go for it. So I started posting recipes. Then I got into our local farmer’s market. I have been gradually building it ever since.
We ate a lot of potatoes growing up, but I haven’t eaten them in years. I do enjoy playing around with alternatives. I had never eaten or heard of a rutabaga before I started really experimenting and playing around with new foods and recipes. And to this day rutabaga make my favorite fries! Sometimes I’ll use my crinkle cutter and make them look legit.
I really loved the flavor of everything I made last week, but I also thought they were slightly monochromatic.
This week I wanted to add some colors and other flavors. Monday’s delicious cookies were Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (click the link to check them out).
Today’s are a beautiful little thumbprint. Although I will rat myself out and confess that I didn’t allow enough time for the dough to hang out and chill, so they lost there shape a little, they were hands down my favorite tasting cookie I have made the last two weeks. Especially when they were fresh and warm.
Cherries are my favorite food. As a child I was drawn to cherry flavored candies. As an adult I love the small window in the summer when cherries are in season. The window is very small though, I feel cherries have the smallest freaking season. Regardless I will confess to eating pounds of fresh cherries during this time.
So when I was deciding on cookies, I knew I had to do cherry cheesecake when I saw it pop up more than three times. I have been on a black forest/chocolate cherry combination kick though. I have a black forest galette planned for the market. So I decided to tweak the recipe and to make them chocolate cherry cheesecake. Plus I also thought back to growing up, when my mother loved some cherry cordial chocolates this time of year. I liked the combination.