I’ve been holding out on you guys.
These “cookies” have been in the experimentation vault for a long time now. Before I’ve even started this blog, in fact. Perfection does not happen overnight. Apparently it takes years.
I say “cookies” with quotes because of the major lack of sweetener- it doesn’t need it, in my opinion. However, I think “cookie” may be misleading if you like super sweet treats. Scone, maybe? If anyone can think of a different name let me know!
I’ve always felt bad for beets. Nobody ever seems to give them a chance. Sure, they are ugly on the outside, but they have such a pretty color once sliced open. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s very much a metaphor. Kinda like an ugly duckling thing.
Anyway, I started experimenting with beets a few summers ago because my mom had gotten a bunch from her food co-op. When I went housesitting, I took a bunch with me to play around with. That weekend, two of my friends came over the house to keep me company. While hanging around in the kitchen, I made a few batches of these “cookies,” all with variations to them. Then I offered them up to my taste testers. Using what they liked/didn’t like, I continued to mess around with the recipe. Some changes were good, others were horrible. By the next day, we had eaten all the “cookies.”
Fast-forward to December. Being crazy with the holidays and school, I had not cooked/baked in forever, let alone think about beets. While studying for finals, my friend texted me that she really wanted a beet “cookie.”
Pretty much the most random thing ever at the time. So I lied and said I’d make her some for Christmas (hey- I was busy). So, for the next few months I’d get the “you said” speech from her from time to time.
Fast-forward to the next summer: my friend wanted the recipe. I started to try and perfect it cause I refuse to release a recipe until it’s to my satisfaction. At one point, I tried changing the baking powder to baking soda on a 1:1 ratio (originally, the recipe only contained baking powder). This was the result:
Yup, it turned them brown (anybody know why??? I’m guessing a chemical reaction between the baking soda and lemon juice?). But they tasted so good with the baking soda! Yet, there’s no point of making beet cookies without the color. So, I had to reduce the baking soda until the color reappeared. Some other tried and tested variations:
-Different flours: Can make with all spelt, whole wheat, or white. Or a combination of all three. Oat flour can be used, just don’t exceed 1/2 a cup.
-Do NOT leave uncooked batter sitting out for long. It makes the “cookies” take on a sour taste.
-Don’t try adding cacao/cocoa powder. It does nothing for the flavor. It only dulls the color.
-Use UNrefined coconut oil. It makes it taste better.
-Don’t worry about greasing pan before hand
-Using lime juice and anise extract, as my friend did, WILL give it a different flavor. I won’t say bad because she actually liked it (I did not though).
-Do NOT place hot “cookies” immediately onto paper napkins on a wooden table when they are done.
Why? The next day I saw that they left 2 dozen round, white stains on the table. To make matters worse, it was the table that belonged to the people I was housesitting for!
After a long google search, I tried everything to get the stains off. In case you are ever in this dilemma, turning the table around does not help. Blowing a hairdryer at the stains for 20 minutes does NOT work either! I had to rub toothpaste over the spots with a paper towel over and OVER again. And not a simple scrub. More like a hysterical, standing-up-and-putting-my-full-weight-into-it scrub.
I’ve never felt so exhausted from cleaning before. Even after this, the stains still shone faintly. I then rubbed on olive oil and let it sit for an hour. And presto! The stains disappeared. And the angels sang to me. I celebrated by eating a beet “cookie.”
Needless to say, these “cookies” have history to them.
Feel free to experiment. Just report the results please!!!
By the way, I apologize for my longest blog post ever. I’ll make it up with a recipe:
1/2 cup spelt flour (can sub in whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup oat flour (can sub in more spelt or whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons UNrefined coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp pure organic maple syrup
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup RAW beets, peeled and shredded*
Optional: add-ins such as chocolate chips, raisins, and/or nuts.
*To shred, pulse in food processor
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place flours, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Pulse in coconut oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add in beets and blend. To form dough ball, add 1/2 tbsp water at a time and give QUICK PULSES. Dough should be dry enough to work with without getting sticky hands. If its sticky, sprinkle in some flour or just work with the sticky dough (it won’t affect the finished product). Separate ball into 12 small balls and press down on baking pan (no need to grease) until desired shape. Press in add-ins. Bake for 8 minutes. Store in an air-tight container.