May 07, 2011

Pumpkin, almond and mandarin cookies


In most countries people are celebrating mums this Sunday. I have to think about this day well in advance so I can send parcels to my mum and granny along with birthday presents for both mum and dad - yes, it's a busy month! I have a very close relationship with my parents despite the physical distance. During these special days like Mother's/Father's Day and holidays I can't help but feel a little 'left out'. It's just not the same without my immediate family near by.

I made these cookies for my partner's mum as a thank you for everything she has done for me during the years. It's a little token to say how much I appreciate her efforts. If I could, I would send these to my mum as well, for all the love and support she has given me, despite the fact that I decided to move on the other side of the world.


You would probably have by now realised I don't bake cookies very often. This is probably due to the fact that most recipes start with "200g butter", followed by "100g sugar" and I don't really crave those traditional cookies. These cookies, however, are not like that. They are gluten-free (if you use uncontaminated oats), dairy-free, sugar-free and egg-free - yet they taste delicious. They are wholesome, fragrant with spices and completely guilt-free. 

Once again I've used besan flour (sometimes also called chickpea flour, but these two can also be slightly different in taste) which, I've been told, can sometimes have a very distinct fragrance and flavour. If you are unsure about using besan flour, you could substitute with wholewheat flour (in which case, obviously, they will not be gluten-free) or any other gluten-free flour you may fancy - quinoa, brown rice, teff - or a mixture of different flours. A word of warning for any cookie-fanatics out there - these will be quite soft so don't expect crunchy and crumbly. Nonetheless they are lovely with a cup of tea.


Pumpkin, almond and mandarin cookies
(makes 15-20)
(recipe inspired by Wholefoods)

2 cups raw almonds, roasted and cooled
1/2 cup rolled (uncontaminated) oats
1 cup besan flour (chickpea flour)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup roasted pumpkin puree
1 cup pitted dates
zest of 3-4 mandarins
3/4 cup mandarin juice (from about 4 mandarins)
drop or two of bitter almond extract (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line two cookie trays with baking paper.

2. Place the roasted almonds and oats into a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the flour, salt, baking soda and spices and blitz until everything is combined. Empty the mixture into a large mixing bowl.

3. Place the dates, pumpkin puree, mandarin zest and juice along with a drop of bitter almond extract into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. 

4. Take large spoonfuls of dough and place onto the cookie tray. Using your fingers, shape the cookies into round disks. 

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, then leave to cool on a wire rack.


Rakkaalle äidille, hyvää äitienpäivää!

44 comments:

  1. Wonderful cookies! I love the ingredients used and the flavors you chose.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Maria these sound delightful! All those spices and the mandarin with pumpkin sound like a wonderful combination. May have to give these a go with some very cute little pumpkins I have. And what pretty cabbage flowers :)

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  3. wonderful blend of flavors! nice pics !

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  4. This recipe sounds great! Love the cabbage flowers!!

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  5. What a wonderful combination of flavours. Delicious!

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  6. Maria, I don't bake cookie or desserts too often either. My family never eats much of it. I am always cutting back on the sugar and I use raw organic sugar or honey when I do. I also have been using coconut oil in place of butter in some of my baking...I think we would love these cookies. I am going to try them, I have some chickpea flour already that I might try with it. They look right up my ally!

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  7. Your mom is in for a real treat when she receives these delicious cookies!

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  8. What a lovely gesture these cookies are and of course you can never beat a homemade gift in my eyes. A beautiful combination of flavours also. Wishing you a nice day tomorrow and hope that you get an opportunity to have a chat to your mum.

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  9. WOW love these cookies with a wonderful array of ingredients. You rock.

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  10. Me too! It scares me when I read recipes that uses large amount of butter and sugar. These cookies certainly look wholesome and delightful. I like how you use different types of spices here. I haven't had the chance to try chickpea flour yet. I think I have too many different types of gluten-free flours at the moment - brown rice,white rice, quinoa, buckwheat, gf flour mix. I'd probably try chickpea flour once I'm low on my gluten free flours!

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  11. These look scrumptious! And I'm sure your mum and grandma will be delighted to read here how much they mean to you :)

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  12. The pumpkin, the roasted almonds, mandarin and cinnamon all really sound like a fantastic combination. I can just imagine the rich earthy flavors in these cookies!

    P.S. Did you happen to get the e-mail that I sent to you? It was about writing for Honest Cooking?

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  13. YUMMY! pumpkin and almond yes but the mandarin adds such a sweet and juicy touch. one of my favorite fruits. Oh I wish I could taste them now! I love that they mean so much to you- I know you mom and grandmother would love to hear that

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  14. These cookies look amazing! I am with you, baking needs to suit the way I like to eat - healthy & unrefined. Chickpea flour has become one of my favorites to use too! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  15. I bought some chickpea flour and was wondering what I was going to do with it! These cookies are the answer! Love the addition of dates, as I eat dates on a daily basis! These cookies sound perfect to have for breakfast actually.

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  16. Those cookies sound so healthy, delicious and unique!

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  17. I am drooling over those delicious flavours in those cookies, how yummy!!!
    *kisses* HH

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  18. What a weird combination of flavors. That's exactly what I like!

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  19. Wow the cabbage flowers are gorgeous! And good for you for baking healthy cookies. Wish I didn't crave the less healthy o nes likes u ;p

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  20. These look beautiful! And such a lovely thought! I've 'baked' my mum a raw, vegan cake because she's on a health kick at the moment...I'm very scared to try it and now I wish I had baked these gorgeous and healthy cookies instead!

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  21. These look great...I love dates in desserts.I am bookmarking this to make this coming fall! Yummy! :)

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  22. I would never have thought to pair pumpkin and mandarin together but it sounds like a wonderful pairing. I also like that these are soft and chewy, perfect with a cup of tea. The cabbage flowers look beautiful too, hopefully you can use them in a wedding bouquet soon ;-)

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  23. Could you recommend a substitute for the chickpea flour? I have some buckwheat flour made from raw groats (not the packaged, roasted kind) that I'd like to try. Do you think think the flavors would work well?

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  24. Wooow what a combination od flavours in a cookie :-) I'm more than willing to bake them :-)

    BTW, what a great place you have created here. I love your blog, your photos and your recipes and I'll keep visiting :-)

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  25. Looks pretty crunchy and I'm sure your mum will be delighted! :)

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  26. Such unusual and wonderful cookies! Pumpkin puree, oats, almonds..what more could I ask for n my healthy cookies. Lovely recipe, Maria.

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  27. Wow, these sound incredible! I love the mandarin zest in them - such a nice change from the usual lemon or orange zest. I'm sure your partner's mom was delighted to receive such a wonderful treat. Speaking of which, your cabbage rolls from the previous post look fantastic with the cranberry sauce!

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  28. These look absolutely delish! I should probably start weening myself off of the '200g butter, 100g sugar' kind of cookies - they are so evil!

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  29. Maria, I'm sure your mom and granny will be grateful for some lovely treats on Mother's Day.

    These look perfect and I prefer soft cookies with tea rather than crunchy any day. Beautiful!

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  30. i am sure your partner's mom totally enjoyed these cookies! Plus they are so healthy!

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  31. Thank you all!

    Rebecca, you could probably try buckwheat flour or a mix of that and another gluten-free flour (like rice flour, for instance).

    Maria
    x

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  32. That first shot is stunning, as are these beautiful little cookies

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  33. The citrus-sweet juice and zest of the mandarin must have given that right balance to the cookies!

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  34. Amazing pictures as usual and I really enjoy reading your writing as well! :-)

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  35. I love that these are free of refined flours and sugars AND vegan! Yum! These will definitely go on my list of cookies to bake. :)

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  36. Oh lovely. I specially love the third picture. Yum~

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  37. Gorgeous as usual Maria. Your photos inspire me so much and I love it that your recipes are healthy and delicious. What a lovely gift to give! My husband's family live far away too, it's not easy for him, but because of it he's bonded with my family who love him so much.
    Happy week!
    xo

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  38. I wonder if your readers would benefit from a good resource for cookie dough fundraising ideas? There are tons of different cookie dough fundraisers to consider. But not all cookie dough fundraising programs are the same.

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  39. I can't wait to try these. They will be perfect as a hiking snack for my gluten-free family. Lovely recipe as usual!

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  40. these look absolutley delicious! I've just located some (reasonably priced) gluten free oats down the road at the Prahran Markets (happy dance - they're hard to find) so I can't wait to make these!

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  41. These are amazing! At first I wasn't used to the (lack of) sweetness (it IS a cookie after all!) but now I'm totally addicted. I swapped the besan flour for quinoa flour and the oats for quinoa flakes. I think next time I'll bake these at a lower temperature - they came out quite burnt!

    Also, not sure if this would be helpful to others, but I froze these quite successfully :) Which is lovely as anytime I want a cookie, I can either defrost or re-heat in the microwave for 30 seconds for a delicious, healthy treat. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you! That's great to hear Annette and thank you for your tips!
      Every oven is a bit different so it might indeed be a good idea to lower the temperature accordingly. I've adjusted the recipe to accommodate that.

      Thanks!

      Maria
      x

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