Friday, February 15, 2008

no-sugar, no milk, no wheat, no eggs: Fruit-Nut Cookies

We just invented these to share with Taliesin's class, which includes a few other kids with allergies/food restrictions. We're quite happy with them! The delightful part is that all the fruits and nuts and spices (or not) are interchangeable, so really the variety is endless.

Taliesin's Fruit-Nut Cookies
  • Finely chop about 2-3 cups mixed dried fruits -- it's important to chop them, even if they're small, like currants or raisins, so that they soak up the liquid faster and become stickier.
  • Pour about 1-2 cups very warm fruit-juice over the fruit mixture and soak for 15 minutes.
  • Chop finely and mix in 1-2 cups sweet raw nuts. If you use 1/2 - 1 cup ground nuts you will need less rice flour, later.
  • Stir in about 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Optional: Add spices.
  • Add enough sweet white rice flour (glutinous rice flour) to make the mixture very heavy and sticky. It should form balls. This is usually about 1/2 - 1 cup, depending on the fruits.
  • Using a spoon, pack the mixture into balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper. They don't expand at all, so you can pack them pretty tightly onto the tray.
  • Bake at about 350 for 15-20 minutes, until the cookies bounce back when pressed (elastic as opposed to mushy).
Flavour combinations we've enjoyed:

dates, figs and fresh apples
prune juice for soaking
1 cup chopped pecans and 1 cup ground almonds (use less rice flour)
fresh grated ginger or (but it's cheating on the no sugar rule) chopped candied ginger

raisins, currants and dried apples
powdered cinnamon stirred into fruits
apple juice for soaking
pecans and hazelnuts

dried apricots, dates and fresh oranges, chopped
bit of nutmeg, stirred into fruits
press the juice out of the oranges for soaking
thinly sliced almonds, and ground almonds

apricots, figs, and dates
apple juice for soaking
fresh grated ginger and freshly-ground cardamon, soaked with the fruits

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