Fig Cocoa Almond Cookies aka "Fig Nudes" (Vegan, Gluten Free)
I’ve been setting aside Sundays for play. In the morning, I go to my 2 hour long led ashtanga yoga class. Or I practice at home in our spare room, watching cool morning light spread out onto the empty wood floor. Logan and I eat breakfast together. We might make a giant green juice. We chat and dance around and find things to make each other laugh (read: making weird faces, play-acting characters, and singing made-up songs together).
I try to play some music or work on some songs. And if that’s not really doing it for me I’ll get in the kitchen and whip something up with whatever unloved items are left in the cabinets. Totally improvised (my favorite). This past Sunday that ended up being a bunch of Turkish figs and almond meal. So, on a whim, I whipped up a batch of cookies sweetened only with figs and maple syrup. Did I know they would work? Nope. Did they end up being amazing? HELL YES.
And these almond cookies made a great pre-gig snack! Last Sunday I got to play with my band at Porchella — a local block party that Tom Tom Fest puts on in historic Belmont. About 15 groups played unplugged sets on volunteer porches set up as makeshift stages. Basically, I banged on snares and sang harmonies in a garden while onlookers sipped cider and ate peanuts in the street. The sun set during our gig and it was legitimately some sort of Euro-Virginian dream situation.
My bandmates and I were all pretty famished before our show. I'm so glad we had these chocolatey cookies around to grab before we left. They’re high in protein, calcium and good fats. So they gave us lots of vibey energy for a kick ass set!
This recipe is so easy. You make it completely in a food processor, roll the dough into little golf-ball sized rounds, flatten/indent each cookie with a swirl and then bake each cookie sheet for 12 minutes. I like to freeze these cookies and keep them around for an on-the-go snack or a post-dinner treat. Plus they travel well. Which means I’ll be eating these almond cookies at all sorts of festivals and events this Summer!
And a little note on the name: I lovelingly call them "fig nudes." My friend Anna b (my bandmate) came up with it! Because they're sort of like fig newtons without the outer cookie layer. They're bare and beautiful. :)
Oh, and here's a fun thing. I made these cookies LIVE on nom.com yesterday! Check out the recording of the live cast here.
Let me know if you make these nourishing little bites! And tag your Will Frolic for Food creations #willfrolicforfood on instagram so I can see! xo
Fig Cocoa Almond Cookies aka “Fig Nudes”
Created by Renee on April 21, 2016
These fig cocoa almond cookies are easy, delicious and perfect for snacking! Mildly chocolatey, chewy and moist on the inside. Eat them as-is or fancy them up with a drizzle of melted chocolate!
- Yield: 2 dozen
- 1/2 cup dried figs, packed
- hot water
- 1/2 cup room temp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 chia egg — 1 tablespoon chia, 3 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 cups almond meal, poured into your measure (not packed)
- pinch sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cut off the hard stems from the tops of your figs and place your figs in a medium bowl or in a glass measuring cup. Pour hot water over the figs, enough to cover the fruit. Then set aside to plump up for 10-15 minute. Note: Juicier dried figs need less time and dryer figs need more time. You want them to be pliable and moist. Once moist, drain the figs and discard the water.
- Make your chia egg: combine1 tablespoon of chia with 3 tablespoons of water. Set this aside for 10-15 minutes as well, until the chia egg is gelatinous.
- To the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S blade, add the soaked figs and coconut oil. Blend on high until the figs are broken down and jam-like. Add the maple syrup, chia egg and cocoa powder. Blitz again until the wet ingredients are incorporated.
- Add 1 cup of almond meal, the pinch of sea salt and baking powder. Blend again until you have a wet, brownie-batter-like dough. Add your 2nd cup of almond meal and blend again. The dough will be very sticky and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the blender and form a dough ball. Add the last cup of almond meal and blend until all of the almond meal is incorporated, about 15-30 seconds. The batter will form into a smooth ball of dough.
- To form your cookies, spoon out golf-ball sized amounts of dough and roll the dough between your hands to form balls. Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet. Continue until you’ve formed all of your dough into rounds. To flatten you’re cookies you can either simply use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten the cookies to 1/2 inch thickness. OR create pretty indentations in your cookies by using the bottom of a decorated cup, a cookie press or a stand-alone mini bundt pan. I used a mini, vintage aluminum jello mold to get my swirls. Press directly down on each cookie without twisting until each cookie is about 1/2 inch thick. Then peel each cookie gently away from the press. Tip: it helps to lightly coat your pressing implement with coconut oil!
- Bake each cookie sheet for 12 minutes on the center rack, rotating once half-way through. Once baked, let cool 5 minutes before digging in.
- Cookies can be stored at room temp in a sealed cookie jar (best eaten within 3 days) or can be stored frozen in ziplock baggies for up to 2 weeks.
- To fancy it up, drizzle them with melted chocolate!