If there’s any holiday I can get excited about in winter, it’s the one reminding me that winter, with all it’s darkness and erratic weather, will end. On the solstice, I am all too eager to celebrate, helping push the pendulum towards longer days, and the spring to come.
This recipe attempts to honor everything about this time of year, when the body craves density and creaminess, and the soul craves color and light. The interweb is bloated with holiday cookie recipes that involve rolling, cutting, sprinkling, or glopping with icing, so I see this as a simple healthy alternative that can save you time but still satisfy the sweet tooth. These guys are dairy, grain, and nut-free (not an easy feat for a cookie), so they can make a nutritious homemade treat packed in a school lunch, or to take to parties in which there may be nut, gluten, and/or dairy allergies. Plus, there’s no messy icing, meaning they can travel or ship without congealing into a disastrously UNfestive mess more unwelcome than a fruitcake. There are people out there I am lucky enough to still call friends who have been in the receiving end of such messes. P.S. I am so sorry guys. I know it was, like, 10 years ago, but I should have known better.
Not only does the sunbutter make the cookie exteriors glossy (the refrain to REM’s ‘Shiny Happy People’) has been running through my head ever since I took them out of the oven), but the little crunch of cacao nibs is like a little surprise inside! If you prefer dried fruits or actual dark chocolate chips inside, swap out the nibs in their favor. Enjoy!
- 1 cup sunflower seed butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup local honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup cacao nibs
- 3/4 cup chopped dried dark cherries (optional)
- Coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of your ingredients except the chocolate chunks until they come together and mixed thoroughly.
- Once the batter comes together, fold in your cacao nibs and optional dried cherries.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and scoop your batter onto the baking sheet to form 12-14 cookies.
- If you're in the mood, arrange a few nibs and/or dried cherries on top to make a smiley face.
- If you like a little sea salt on the top of your cookies, sprinkle a little onto each cookie before putting it in the oven.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- Here is a good resource on making your own sunflower seed butter:http://www.tessadomesticdiva.com/2012/09/homemade-sunflower-seed-butter-extra-creamy.html.
- Also, my title is a mouthful (I have a weakness for alliteration), so feel free to change it. Shiny Happy Cookies works, too.