Holidays can be so inconveniently spaced! I’m doing a no-sugar cleanse right now to balance my body from the little indulgences of the holidays, and it’s just really bad timing because, by golly, I’d really like to enjoy a truffle or two on Valentine’s Day. Ok I might still decide to enjoy a truffle or two, but you didn’t hear that from me! (Some secrets must be maintained!)
Umm right. The point of that little outburst above, is that it occurred to me; we don’t have a lot of healthier options when it comes to candy. Candy is pretty basically sugar and flavoring. However, I do have a little something up my sleeve and thought I’d share it with you all. It just might help us keep our sanity when that Russel Stover punk starts to look a little too inviting! We’ll stand strong and nibble on this!
This recipe is from my cookbook, Recipes for a Renaissance Life. It’s named Amaretto Affections and is a raw cookie in it’s original form. I think you’ll find it a fun and easy-to-make-treat that you won’t feel bad indulging in!
These are gluten-free, vegan, & raw. Yup, that’s right…
1.5 cups almond flour
1.5 cups oat flour
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 of a dark chocolate bar, broken to pieces (optional)
A handful unsweetened, dried cranberries (Heads up! The unsweetened kind can be a little difficult to find but it’s worth it to avoid being sabotaged by a boat-load of refined sugar! H-E-B and Whole Foods carries them or at least should have the apple juice-sweetened kind.)
Combine almond and oat flour in bowl. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the agave and almond extract to the coconut oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix with a fork until dough forms. Stir in chocolate bits (optional).
Now here’s where you can make ‘em into raw cookies OR have some fun and make these babies into festive candies! Now, if you were to ask me which I’d do, I would probably have a hard time choosing. I don’t consider myself an indecisive gal in most things but when it comes to food, I need clearly defined choices… and then? Don’t rush me. If you’re not sure what to do, then great! You’re probably one of those sophisticated persons who truly cares about the culinary arts like I! No worries. Careful deliberations are in order!
Here, I’ve listed the two options to make things clearer for you:
1. Drop from a tablespoon onto parchment paper and use a small rubber spatula to form the dough balls into round, flat cookies. (Rather boring but altogether conventional and appropriate.)
2. Grab small clumps of the dough and shape them into hearts, diamonds, round balls, squares – or whatever! Take a dried cranberry and place on the top of each. (A little bit more adventurous and exciting, although you may risk upsetting the conventional cookie makers.)
It’s totally up to you. No pressure.
Let sit in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden and then devour!
Or…(sorry, yes you feel another decision coming on!) place on an attractive plate (something funky and different – Pier 1 and World Market have really fun and unique dishes) and bring to the party you’re going to. Or (to complicate your life even further) if there isn’t a party happening you can just make one happen! Throw a Stop-Supporting-Hallmark gathering and share this yummy treat with the lucky peeps who come. You’ll be such a hit; they’ll announce you the coolest person ever to provide party foodage. Everyone will love you! You’ll be instantly popular and receive a plethora of friend requests! (Just kidding! Well maybe not. I don’t know!)
(Ok back on track…!) Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer or refrigerator. Makes about 20, 2-inch cookies and who knows how many funky shaped candies!
Of course, Valentine’s Day isn’t only about candies and chocolates, it’s about appreciating the people in your life and telling them so. Yes, people can have the brilliant capacity to be pretty annoying, for one thing they’re everywhere, but just imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t have those special ones in your life. I know I would go crazy. In no uncertain terms. Take for instance, you guys. The loyal ones who read my ramblings! THANK YOU!!!!! It warms my heart to know that these posts may be encouraging and helpful to you. Of course it’s one thing to just say thank you. I’d like to do something!
Be My Valentine!
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