Almond, Date, Cranberry and Lime “No-Bake” Cookies

A Morsel of Almond Date Cranberry Lime Cookie

A Morsel of Almond Date Cranberry Lime Cookie

Almond, Date, Cranberry and Lime “No-Bake” Cookies are a real treat!

They are a “no-bake” cookie which puts them in the raw category; they are no sugar, eggs or butter so they also fall into the vegan category. With all natural ingredients so they also fall into the healthy foods and nutritious category.

Personally, my favorite category for  these morsels: Delicious!

Keep in mind some people might be put off thinking they are eating a raw cookie. So change the language and present these delicious morsels.

NOTE: Don’t fall prey to marketing ploys and think that because the label claims “healthy, all-natural or nutritious” does not mean low in calories! Learn to read a nutrition label and compare information.

Here’s the recipe for the cookies. It’s pretty much put it all in a food processor and pulse until a dough forms. Have fun!

Almond, Date, Cranberry and Lime “No-Bake” Cookies

  • 2/4 cup pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup crunchy almond butter
  • 1 generous Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice from 1 lime
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a dough forms. Leave some nuts chunky for a cookie that has some crunch.

Taste the dough and see if it need adjustment: a bit more salt? More vanilla or lime?

Form the dough into about 18 balls. Place the balls on a cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with a fork.

That’s it.

Flatten the dough balls with a fork; like you would peanut butter cookies

Flatten the dough balls with a fork; like you would peanut butter cookies

The texture is kinda like fudge but in a much better way. If you leave some nuts slightly chunky, your cookie can have a crunchy texture too, but if you want a smooth cookie, pulse until smooth.

You can choose to roll the cookies in coconut, chopped nuts or cocoa with a dash if cinnamon if desired. Use peanut butter, cashew or almond butter with cocoa in it. I guess in a pinch you could use Nutella but the point here is to avoid added sugar and processed foods in delicious ways.

(OK, so now I have to make another batch using the cocoa!!!)

Most people would never realize these are considered “raw food” but they are.

These certainly aren’t low in calories but the sure supply great nutrients: Potassium, fiber, iron, B-6 and magnesium and vitamin E.

Just a note, you can leave the coconut oil out but it adds so much, I would use it.

Oh, and don’t bake these beauties for any reason! If you try, all that will happen is the oils from the nuts will leak out and leave you with a rather unpleasant mess. So if you want  a baked cookie recipe, use another recipe, not this one.

Hopefully you make your own vanilla extract, if not, go get ya some vanilla beans and some 100 proof vodka and make some!

Click this link: Perpetual Vanilla Extract

Please make a batch of these and let me know how you like them and how they go over with friend and family.

Raw Almond Date Cranberry Cookies  Rather than "raw" let's call them "No Bake"

Raw Almond Date Cranberry Cookies
Rather than “raw” let’s call them “No Bake”

How to make Cranberry Sauce – easier than you think!

Dear Tyler:

Cranberry Sauce is easier than you think! Glad you asked. It is very exciting to be cooking your first Thanksgiving Feast! So here is the recipe you asked for:

How to make cranberry sauce

Forget the can. Grab a bag of fresh cranberries, sugar and some water, oranges and sherry (a fortified wine, like Marsala) and we can have an array of cranberry sauces to amaze everyone.

Here are 3 super easy and full of flavor cranberry sauces. The only one I don’t think you’ll try is the sherry one, but one day, perhaps you will enjoy the complexity of flavors of sherry and cranberry.

The first recipe is found on nearly every bag of fresh cranberries.

Easy Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 12-16 ounce bag of fresh cranberries or equivalent  of frozen berries.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt

Put it all in the pot and bring to a boil

Add all ingredients to a  deep sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer at an active simmer for 5 minutes.

Boil then actively simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Serve warm, room temperature or cold with roasted or grilled meats. Especially Thanksgiving Turkey!

Cranberry Orange Sauce

  • 1 orange, cut into quarters
  • 1 12-oz bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch salt

Remove the pithy core and seeds’ cut into quarters. Use a blender or food processor to puree.

Remove the seeds and the pithy core. Add the oranges, cranberries and sugar to a food processor or blender and puree until almost smooth. Thin with either cranberry or orange juice if needed.

Process until smooth

Place in a container and serve with just about whatever you want. I like turkey especially.

If you make this with frozen cranberries, you get a sorbet like consistency. Delicious!

Sherried Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 12-16 ounce bag of fresh cranberries or equivalent  of frozen berries.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
Cranberry Sauce 003

Cranberry Sauce 003 (Photo credit: MGF/Lady Disdain)

Add all ingredients to a  deep sauce pan, except the sherry. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer at an active simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the sherry. Blend until smooth if desired. Strain if you want a smooth sauce.

Serve warm, room temperature or cold with roasted or grilled meats.

These are the 3 most popular cranberry sauces our family uses.

So here you go. You can now carry on Turkey traditions!

3 Cranberry sauces from left to right: Orange Cranberry, Easy Cranberry Sauce and Sherried Cranberry Sauce

Tomorrow:

Since you are cooking your first turkey Thursday, I’ll write a post on:

How to Roast a Turkey

Love,

Mom

Cranberry Liqueur

I discovered this amazing flavored liqueur a few years ago. It needs to steep for about three weeks so if you want to make it for gifts this year, now is the time to get busy!

Bottles for liqueur

Gather those amazing bottles you have been collecting all year. If you decide you want to buy  bottles, visit

The Sunburst Bottle Company. They have an amazing selection of bottles, jars, tins etc. to choose from.

Be sure to also buy the stoppers of your choice. You can choose decorative stoppers or corks to close your finished bottles.

Another thing that is good to get are shrink bands. You can get 100 for a few dollars and this really makes a nice finishing touch to your bottles. I’ll show you later in this post what they look like and how to use them.

You can make labels on your computer or by hand. Be artistic and creative!

You will see the recipe calls for an American made vodka. This does not need to be premium vodka.  American made is specified is because American made vodka, by law, cannot have any flavor or color.

If you prefer to use high-end vodka, you can but it is not necessary. Just do not choose flavored vodka.

Ingredients for Cranberry Liqueur

To make this Cranberry Liqueur, you will need the following items:

1-12 ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups  American made vodka 100 proof
1 tablespoon grapefruit zest

Equipment:

1 half-gallon capacity glass jar  or a one gallon jar if you want to make a double batch.
A drip style coffee filter holder and paper filter (I use an old Melita filter holder and pot I have had for ages; drip the liqueur into the coffee pot and then pour it into the decorative bottle.)
A lid is nice but we can always cover the jar with something else if you can’t locate a lid for the jar.
Decorative bottles for the final product-sterilized in the dishwasher or with boiling water
A funnel
Bottle stoppers
Shrink bands to seal your bottles (optional, but really handy or you could dip the tops in melted wax)

Coarsely chop cranberries

Mix berries and sugar; let sit for an hour to melt

Add the vodka and water; let sit for 3 weeks

Take the cranberries and put them into a food processor. Pulse just to break them up. OR just coarsely chop them with a knife. You want to break the berries up so they can release all of the flavor and color. Do not puree the berries!

Place the berries in the jar, add the sugar and grapefruit zest. Mix it all together and let it sit for about an hour or so to begin melting the sugar.

Add the vodka and water and stir thoroughly so it gets all mixed up.

Notice the lovely color already!

Cover the jar with plastic wrap and then the lid. Place the jar in a dark spot for 3 weeks. Every now and then, take the jar out and shake or stir it to make sure the fruit is not clumping together.

The Melita filtering system

After 3 weeks set up your filtering system. I use an old Melita pot and filter because it is easy and works great for this project.

(NOTE: the pot and filter do not smell or have any coffee residue)

Using a strainer and large bowl, strain the solids from the liquids. Set the solids aside.

Now filter any residue or other remaining elements from the liquid by pouring the liqueur into the filter and allowing it to drip.

It will take its time dripping. Let it drip slowly. Do not rush or try to squeeze it through because you will end up with a cloudy product and the beauty of this liqueur is the lovely, clear  cranberry red color.

You will need to use several filters as they get “clogged” with residue as the liqueur drips through.

Once you have filtered the liqueur, pour it into your decorative bottles.

Use your judgement as to whether or not you will need to filter a second time.

Various stoppers and shrink bands

Clear shrink bands

Place the band over the neck of the bottle; hold in a stream of steam to shrink tight

Steam until the band fits tight

To use the shrink bands, fit a band over the neck of the bottle and the stopper.

Heat water in a kettle to boil.

Hold the bottle and shrink band in the steam coming from the kettle.

Rotate the bottle to shrink the band and seal the bottle.

Wipe the bottle dry and label.

This is our favorite drink to make with this liqueur

Cranberry Lime Cocktail

Over crushed ice, pour

1 oz Cranberry liqueur
Squeeze of fresh lime
Splash of club soda

Finished Cranberry Liqueur

You can serve this in champagne glasses with a cranberry floating in it at your holiday parties.

Or instead of  making Kir or a Mimosa, use cranberry liqueur.

Please be careful because even though this tastes really good, it was 100% proof vodka and now is between that and 80% proof after processing.

Remember lampshades do not look good on anyone.

Be a responsible host and ensure your guests do not drink and drive, ever.

Drink at home, have guests stay over, call a cab but do not let your friends, family or guests drive drunk.