Just over two weeks to an equinox so I thought I would share a cookie I sometimes make for Cakes and Ale or with a group of kids while we chat about the Earth and the meaning of equalibrium. There are several steps in this process so a little planning ahead is helpful. We will take this recipe in two parts. The first section is the cookie making portion.
You will need:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup almond flour
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavouring
A pinch of baking soda
This is actually a variation on my nana’s Scottish shortbread recipe. I wanted the finished cookies to be as light in colour as possible so the chocolate would stand out so I changed up a few things .
The equinox is about balance and if you are not part of a room full of chatty children, this is an opportunity for you to also be open to any thoughts about where your life would benefit from an adjustment.
Deep breath or two or three, clear your personal space and be present in the moment. A kitchen witch cooks for the health of the people she shares her “potions” with so take a moment to be here now.
Add both the all purpose and almond flour and the baking soda. Mix well.
The mixture will come together into a ball. Cover the bowl or wrap the ball and place it in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
This is a soft mixture and will quickly change texture as you work with it.
It might be helpful to roll in one direction and then turn over and roll in the opposite direction. A little extra flour in the dough will not hurt the mixture at all. I find that quicker and easier than trying to roll the entire ball at one time.
I inherited one from my nana that makes 3 inch cookies and I also cut out some smaller ones using a glass.
In total I got twelve 3 inch and sixteen 2 inch cookies from this recipe and you will need two cookies for each finished treat.
The intention is to bake the cookies and keep them from having dark edges so a few peaks in the oven are okay.
Remember that you can take the cookies out of the oven, leave them on the tray and they will continue to bake for a few minutes.
Let the cookies cool before filling or dipping. If you don’t, the remaining heat will have a softening/melting effect on the chocolate.
I used some homemade crab apple jelly with ginger root. I wanted something fiery (flame coloured with a bite) for the inside of the “earth”.
You can also try apricot jam with a little chopped crystalized ginger or a bright red strawberry or raspberry jelly ( no big chunks of fruit ) with a few drops of hot sauce if you are feeling adventurous. Spread the filling on half the cookies and top with the remaining circles of the same size.
Now the chocolate part. I learned to temper chocolate years ago and if you know how then I will leave you to it, melt and temper a really nice good quality cocoa butter filled dark chocolate to use for dipping. ( Tempering is the process of melting and rebuilding the chemical structure of the chocolate by controlled cooling so that it will not melt when you touch it. )
If that is not in your skill set ( yet ), then it is possible to do two other things. One is to buy a chocolate coating that has no cocoa butter in it. This is a chocolate flavoured product, like what you find on most chocolate bars these days. It has palm oil or something similar in place of the cocoa butter. It is melt and use, no tempering. Check out your local bulk foods store and see what options are available and talk to the staff.
The second option is to use a chocolate with cocoa butter, melt slowly in a bowl over water or in the microwave with short bursts as it is possible to over heat and hurt chocolate. If you get it about 2/3’s melted you can probably stir the rest of the pieces into liquid form. Stir well to mix the cocoa butter back in. When this version of the cookies cookies are finished they are better off in a cool place or eaten right away as the chocolate is not stable and any heat ( fingers and light ) will soften the coating.
When ready to dip, place some plastic wrap on the cookie tray. This will help you separate the chocolate on the cookie from the tray itself and is easy to peel off afterwards. Place the cookies on the tray starting from the outside and moving inward. This will make sure you are not dripping chocolate on the completed cookies (and pretend you are seeing things if there is a little drip on one of the cookies in the picture.)
You can put the chocolate dipped end of the cookie down first and then move it a little over any excess chocolate before putting down the undipped end. This can give you cleaner chocolate edges. Allow the cookies to cool and the chocolate to harden before taking them off the the tray and storing in an airtight container between layers of wax paper.
If the weather is cool these should harden at room temperature. If it is very warm ( I was doing this in 28 degree C weather) you might need a fridge to help out for a few minutes but I would not leave them in too long.
Finished up with six 3 inch cookies ( picture above ) and eight 2 inch cookies ( picture below ).
Equinox cookies are a great opportunity to create family recipes and share the turning of the wheel with others.
In my opinion anything that helps make our relationship with the planet a more personally conscious one has benefit and the kitchen is one way of sharing the message with the purchases made, the recipes used and the intentions of those working with the ingredients.
Equinox Cookies from My Kitchen Wand