Raw Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies

Happy Monday, all! So happy you liked the sunflower seed butter recipe. A few of you have already tried it and given it positive reviews, so thanks for checking back to tell me how it went.

As you may have gathered from my incessant re-purposing of vegetable juice pulp in crackers and breads, or my recent use of cashew pulp in raw beet balls, I’m a big fan of reusing and recycling the byproducts of my recipes. Making homemade juice and nut milk is tremendously rewarding, but it does leave one with a heap of food–either juice pulp or almond pulp–that might easily go to waste. To me, raw foodism is all about creativity and innovation, and so I savor the chance to put these seemingly expendable ingredients to good use. Today’s recipe is a perfect example of how a recipe castoff can be delightfully reborn.

A few weeks ago, I shared my recipe for homemade vanilla cashew milk:

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which is a lot like my homemade almond milk (a CR classic!). This week, I made the usual almond milk recipe, and as usual, I found myself wondering what to do with the pulp. It was then that I remembered what I had stolen from my Mom over the holidays:

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A good, old-fashioned sugar cookie press. Amazing! If you’ve never seen one of these before, they’re little presses that push dough out through various stencil-like disks, to create perfectly even and artful looking cookies. Why my mother owns this, I don’t know: I cannot remember a single time in my childhood when I witnessed my mother baking a cookie. She is the least baking-oriented woman I know, which is part of why it’s so fun for me to bake for her. But in any case, this cookie press is from some secret past life of hers in which sugar cookies were a regular project.

I didn’t make sugar cookies with this press, of course. I made vanilla cookies—light and sweet and delicious—using leftover almond pulp, soaked dates, fresh vanilla bean, and a little bit of coconut flour. And although they were not quite as buttery-sweet as the sugar cookies we all have known and loved at some point in our lives, they were pretty darn tasty, and all with minimally processed, organic, and mostly raw ingredients.

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Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies (mostly raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Makes 18-22 cookies

1 1/4 cups almond milk pulp
6-8 soaked and pitted medjool dates (adjust to suit your own sweetness preference; 6 was fine for me)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp almond or coconut flour
1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
Dash sea salt

1) Mix all ingredients together in a food processor until the “dough” is the same texture and consistency of sugar cookie dough. You may need to add a little more flour, but start with the given amount.

2) Work dough into the cookie press canister, select a cookie shape, and seal the press. Onto a Teflex-lined dehydrator sheet, press as many cookies as the dough will make; I had about 20.

3) Dehydrate the cookies at 115 degrees for 8 hours, flipping once through (if you dehydrate these overnight and don’t flip, it’s also fine).

Oven option: Preheat oven to 350 degrees before you get started. Bake cookies for 18 minutes, or until golden brown, and allow to cool before digging in!

Take a moment to observe how sweet they are:

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Raw Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies

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And make a point of enjoying them with a delicious glass of cold almond milk:

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…so that you can pay homage to both the cookies, and the almond milk that gave them to you in the first place.

No cookie press? No problem. Simply shape the cookies by hand, or you can even try a rolling pin and cookie cutters. Even if you simply drop this by the tablespoon onto a sheet and flatten them, they’ll still be a tasty, healthy, and unique dessert.

I love when random leftovers turn into something special. Hope you all enjoy these treats as much as I have!

xo

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