Monday, March 10, 2014

Striped Coconut Shortbread Jamprints

My days have been especially rich lately- full of friends visiting, showing them the sights and the craziness of life in Tangier, cooking, brainstorming for new projects, and as always, dancing through the mornings, evenings, and sometimes late into the night. Dance has consumed my life recently, in the most wonderful way. If my body doesn't move in some sort of creative or challenging fashion for more than 24 hours, I get all restless and antsy. 

The thing is, though, I don't do it for the performance. I dance and choreograph for the process. I love creating something original and watching it unfold and meld before your eyes. You feel the push and pull of it, and sometimes feel the push more than the pull when things aren't going so well, but it's amazing how things always come together when you least expect them too.

I think this fascination with process ties in with my love of cooking and baking. The quiet processes of rolling out dough, melting chocolate, folding batter, each one adds to the anticipation and surprise found in the final result. These cookies especially, in the way the dough only begins to stick together after repeated kneadings and squishings. The outcome is a crumbly shortbread cookie, lightly flavored with coconut oil and sweetened by chocolate and jam. Trust the process, relish the cookie. I made these for my dear dancers and they were a happy success. 

Striped Coconut Shortbread Jamprints
vegan & gluten-free 
adapted from Redpath Sugar

makes 1 1/2 dozen cookies

50g rice flour
100g gluten-free oat flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
60g powdered sugar (we made it homemade)
3-4 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla soy or almond milk
50g dark chocolate
mixed fruit jam

Preheat your oven to 350º (175º C). Combine the flours, cornstarch, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Using your fingers, mix in 3 tbsp of coconut oil and the soy milk, kneading until it comes together in a sticky ball. If the dough is too crumbly, add the extra tbsp of coconut oil. It will take about 3-5 minutes of working it through your fingers for it to start sticking, so you know, don't lose hope. Form the dough into little balls and set them on a baking sheet, pressing down the centers with your thumb. Bake for about 10 minutes or until just slightly golden brown on the edges. 

While the cookies cool completely, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Generously drizzle the chocolate over the cookies, let it harden for a a couple minutes, and finish up with a little scoop of fruit jelly plopped into each thumbprint center. 

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