We’re takin’ a break from the blog this week.  I’m dreaming about spruce tops, am making bows in my sleep and glitter is my newest accessory.  And I just can’t get over how many branches my husband trimmed off of the bottom of our Christmas tree.  It looks like a shorn sheep.  Yikes.  Deep belly breaths!  In all seriousness, I love this season – especially the ribbon.  Planning for next year starts now!!

This week we want to hear from you — our biggest fans! 😉

What do you want to read about on the blog?  What are your burning gardening questions?  Would you like to read more about what’s going on in our community, cooking, our favorite things?

Do you like videos, photos, lots of words or not so many words?  Are you an expert in something or do you have a story to tell that is interesting/funny/garden related?  Do you want to be a guest blogger?

What events or workshops would be fun and informative to add to the schedule.  Would you rather attend an informational seminar or do a hands-on workshop?  Do you want to bring the whole family or have some time to yourself?

Share your ideas in the comments below or email us: hello@tonkadale.com

Here’s the angle.  In exchange for your great ideas, I’m sharing my favorite cookie recipe.  I know it’s not a Christmas cookie, but these tasty bites will fit right in on your cookie platter.  Great for those with food sensitivities and allergies too.  If this is your audience, keep them on a separate platter.

Not all winter season cookies have to be green and red and have a thumbprint in them.  These are an everyday cookie.  Remember, everyday items mixed in with a few seasonal elements is how we do it at Tonkadale!

Let me know if you like them.  I’ve already had two and I am not even done with this post!

Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients for Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients for Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

3 tablespoons water

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter

1/4 cup almond butter, peanut butter or other nut butter

1/2 cup sucanat sugar or brown sugar

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

(I love it when a recipe calls for the same measurements of baking soda and baking powder.  It makes life so much easier.)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Making oat flour in the Vitamix blender

The Vitamix in action. A blender works just fine too!

1 cup rolled oats, blended into flour (put 1 cup of oats in the Vitamix or a blender and turn it on)

1 cup almonds, blended into meal

(put 1 cup almonds in the Vitamix and turn it on)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks

(recipe calls for 1/4 cup, but that is clearly not enough)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  1. In a small bowl, mix together flaxseed and water; stir and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. With a mixer (I use a hand mixer. The KitchenAid mixer is just to0 heavy to drag out of the cupboard), beat together coconut oil and almond butter.  Add both sugars, flaxseed mixture and vanilla.
  3. One at a time (seriously — who has time for this?) add baking soda, baking powder, salt, oat flour and almond flour.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chip chunks.  Dough should be slightly sticky.
  5. Create 1-inch balls and arrange on your prepared baking sheets.  About 12 per sheet for a total of 24 cookies.
  6. Bake 12 minutes, until the bottoms and edges of the cookie are golden brown.
  7. Let cool.
  8. Enjoy!
Cookies cooling by the window

Looking through the window what do I see? I see my spruce tops looking at me!

I am giggling now, because the end of this recipe states that “if making an entire batch of these cookies is just too tempting to have around the house, freeze uncooked dough balls and save them for later”.  The next part is even better: “Whenever the cookie craving strikes, just thaw dough for 30 – 60 minutes on the counter and bake as usual.”

Where do I start?  Every time I have made these cookies, I automatically double the recipe because it is so yum.  And if a cookie craving strikes, there is no way I am going to dig through the freezer to find the frozen dough balls, wait 30-60 minutes plus 12 minutes of bake time to get a cookie fix.  By that time, I would be to the bottom of a bag of salt and vinegar chips and on to the next thing.

Looking forward to cookie #3 and hearing from all of you!

An addendum:

I want to give credit to the author of this wonderful recipe, but I can’t because I am taking it off of a photocopy of a cookbook I really need to get my hands on.  It’s on page 265 in the section titled Desserts if that helps at all.  So if you are out there, supreme cookie baker, thanks!