Sunday, October 14, 2012

Carrot Breakfast Cookies

This morning, while wearing pink rain boots and a bright orange and black knit hat (warmth trumps fashion, always), I pulled the last carrots from the cold earth and, being the last of this season's produce, cleaned up the garden.

It's always bittersweet to end another season of gardening. The anticipation of winter turns into the hopefulness of spring, which leads to the labors of summer, which finally ends in the reflection of autumn. In the golden hours of a chilly autumn morning, I check out the bare raspberry bushes, reminding myself to trim them back so they can grow and be fruitful next summer. I see a couple old, now softened cucumbers in the dirt, telling myself that next year I'll do a better job of harvesting so I don't miss any. I do my best to stack the old wire tomato cages, already planning to plant more 'maters next year so I can finally have enough to make homemade salsa. 

But this year's different. As I knelt in the dirt pulling carrots, I'll admit I got a little emotional. We're moving to a new house soon, and although we are excited for new beginnings (and more yard space for a bigger garden), I realized at that moment that I wouldn't be digging in this garden again. I have so many fond memories in this tiny, weedy patch of earth; of Ben "helping" me pick raspberries by eating them as fast as we could pick them; of harvesting sour cherries with my niece and making pie; of sharing garden bounties with neighbors, handing the gift over the fence; of picking cucumbers and canning my first ever batch of pickles. It's in this patch of dirt that I learned that shelling beans can be as soothing as meditation, that one of the most beautiful things in the world is a healthy pile of compost, and that a sure path to peace is dirt under the fingernails. 

Fortunately, I get to carry those lessons with me to the new place, and who knows, maybe the next family in this humble little abode will learn from this same little patch of earth as well. I'm already feeling nostalgic for this home sweet home. But don't worry - I'm splitting the rhubarb. She's coming with.

As I'm expecting to be busy these next couple of weeks as we prepare for the move, I used some carrots to make these lovely grab-and-go breakfast cookies. If you haven't yet entered the world of vegan baking, this is a great introduction adapted from Joy the Baker. Instead of your usual cookie, think of them like soft little granola bites.  The dough can be sticky, and they don't rise and spread nor will they really brown much, but bite into one and you feel nourished - something we all need more of. 

Carrot Breakfast Cookies

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1 heaping cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, millet, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, shredded carrots, dried cherries, and ginger. Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together until thoroughly incorporated.

Let dough stand for 5 minutes before spooning by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just slightly browned and cooked through. I like these cookies a bit underdone. Remove from the oven, allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Perfect breakfast cookies! We planted carrots this year for the first time. They were the palest carrots I'd ever seen and they didn't really have a carrot-y taste. Possibly missing something in the soil, or maybe it was the variety, but they were a disappointment. I don't envy your move... good luck :)