Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Secret Ingredient Almost Sugar-Free Cut-Out Cookies

I think the story of these cookies begins with the secret ingredient: sprouted wheat berries. I like to make manna bread from sprouted grains; it makes a wonderfully filling snack between meals. However, I found that if you let the wheat berries sprout for too long, then the bread becomes mushy.  Last week I had started to sprout some wheat berries, and then we went out of town to Utah for my niece's baptism before I could use them. I placed the berries in the fridge while we were gone in order to slow their growth, but by the time we came back, they had sprouted so much that I knew they would make for soggy bread. What to do with them?  Then I had an idea: perhaps the extra moisture of the overly sprouted berries would work well in cookies, providing the moist texture that would normally come from oil or margarine/butter.  It worked!  Sweetened with dates, moistened with the wheat berries, these are apologetically healthy cookies.  And my kids love them. We made them into question mark shapes because in Joy School this week Sawyer and the other kids in our class are learning about curiosity. These coolies can be made totally sugar-free, but I couldn't resist a little sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar on top.

1/2 cup dry wheat berries
2/3 cup pitted dates
2 Tbsp. sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup dried, flaked coconut
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2-1 cup barley flour (could sub whole wheat pastry flour)

1 Tbsp. coconut oil +1 Tbsp evaporated cane juice + 1 tsp cinnamon, for sprinkling (optional)

1. Place the wheat berries in a glass jar with a lid, and add enough water to cover them plus fill the jar a few inches above the berries. Place the lid on, but do not screw it on. Soak the berries overnight, then drain them in the morning in a fine mesh sieve and rinse them with you faucet turned all the way up, to really blast those berries with the water. Shake them around to get the excess water off and then put the wheat berries back in the jar with the lid placed on top. Rinse them again at night, about 12 hours later. Continue to rinse them morning and night until they are sprouted and their tails are 2-3xs as long as the wheat berries. Be careful to catch them before they sprout leaves, as then it is too late to use them for baking.
2. Once your wheat berries are sprouted, place them in your food processor along with the dates, sunflower seed butter, coconut, salt, and cinnamon and pulse until you've made a uniform, thick paste.  If your dates are not very soft, cover them with water and microwave them for 2 minutes and then drain them before processing. Alternatively, you can just soak them in water overnight.
3.  On a clean work surface, sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour. Turn out the dough from the food processor and knead in the flour.  Add more flour a tablespoon at a time until your dough loses most of its stickiness and is firm enough to be rolled out.   
4. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Roll out your dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes as desired. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom. (The question marks took 9 mins; if you opt for a bigger shape, you may need longer.)
5. If you would like them a bit sweeter, then melt the coconut oil and brush the cookies with it. In a small bowl, mix the evaporated cane juice and cinnamon, and then sprinkle it on the tops of the cookies. I recommend storing these in the fridge because they are so moist and probably would not keep well if left out on the counter.

1 comment:

  1. What a delicious dessert ;D
    Thanks for stopping by the Potluck Party today! xo