Monday, August 12, 2013

Kashata-Inspired Raw Cookies

Hey friends!  Do you ever see a recipe online and you can't stop thinking about how delicious it would be?  This happens to me at least once a week.  I'm not talking about the standard, "Ooh, that looks good!"  I'm talking the kind of obsessive thinking where you can almost taste the flavors on your tongue, you imagine how those flavors combined would create magic for the palette.  You keep the tab open on your screen, and keep clicking back.  You go to the grocery store after work, before even going home, so you can pick up all the right ingredients.

That happened to me when I read the recipe for kashata over on Global Table Adventure.  Peanuts and coconut and cardamom, ohhhhhh my!  But you know what's funny?  I don't have cardamom.  And, as much as I love cooking, sometimes it's hard for me to justify buying a new spice.  Spending $5 (at least) on a little bottle, when I could use that kind of money on a couple clamshells of strawberries, or a few bags of rice, or a couple boxes of cereal, just sometimes seems too much.

But!  My birthday is coming up, and my family celebrated yesterday with a birthday dinner.  And when my sister asked me for gift suggestions, the first thing out of my mouth was, "cardamom!"  Yes, I'm that person.  I ask for kitchen supplies as gifts.  And my sister was kind enough to oblige.

All that being said, I don't particularly love brittles.  Cooking sugar is finicky, and I still don't have a candy thermometer.  And besides, biting into a hard chunk of sugar isn't typically my favorite thing.  So, I improvised!  My first plan was to make a kind of blondie with chopped peanuts and cardamom.  And then I decided a cookie might be more in order, so I could freeze half and not have to eat the entire pan of brownies (as you do).

And then I came across my pin for Shutterbean's raw walnut "shortbread" cookies.  It's the perfect recipe to riff off of.  Nuts and coconut were already the base!  Plus, I'm trying to eat healthy, and not having the extra sugar was a good idea by me.  So here's my recipe for a kashata-inspired peanut, coconut, and cardamom raw cookie!  (P.S. All that being said, if you don't have cardamom, cinnamon works perfectly, and is just as traditional in the original Ugandan recipe.)

Raw Kashata Cookie
Makes about 20 cookies
Inspired via here and here

2 cups peanuts
1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1 Tbs. molasses
3 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cardamom (or more, to taste)
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Pour the peanuts into a food processor, and give it a good few pulses to start the breakdown process (I didn't do this, but I think the texture would be smoother if you did.)  Add the coconut, and give another few pulses to breakdown.

Add the remaining ingredients, and switch your food processor on, and process for 30-60 seconds, until dough sticks together when pressed or pinched.  Use a spoon to scoop the dough into your hand, and press and shape into a ball.  (The dough will be oily--this is all the good nut fat we're told to consume!)  Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet (or not, if you don't have parchment) and repeat with the remaining dough.  Once all dough is balled on the cookie sheet, use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough into a cookie shape.

Place cookie sheet into the freezer for about 30 minutes, til dough is set.  Enjoy!  This would be great with a good vanilla and caramel ice cream, on the side with some herbal tea, or all by themselves!

Store in an air-tight container in the freezer.

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