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Always be prepared: Shannon's 'Better than Girl Scout cookies'

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This was something I learned years ago in Girl Scouts (yes, I wore the green sash and sold those deliciously addictive cookies), and it still applies today. So, after a productive weekend in the kitchen, I’m prepared with a freezer full of raw versions of those familiar cookie favorites for whenever a craving may arise (like right now; hold on a sec … okay, I’m back … munch, munch, munch).

Speaking of cravings (sorry, didn’t mean to be typing with a mouth full of cookies; jealous are you?), I’d been dreaming about these seasonal treats for quite some time now. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t actually tasted a Girl Scout cookie in years. But, all that changed just a couple days ago.

With a little creativity and some patience (until the end of my ambitious task, where I found myself short on time; I’ll explain later), I concocted some unbaked versions of the five best-sellers: Thin Mints (25%), Samoas®/Caramel deLites™  (19%), Peanut Butter Patties®/Tagalongs® (13%), Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos™ (11%), and Shortbread/Trefoils (9%), according to the Girl Scouts website (the cookies even have their own MySpace page).

Now, although I said I’d been thinking about them for a while, I didn’t exactly take the time to formulate the best game plan (but what else is new?). In true Shannon form, I just went straight to my kitchen laboratory to start the experimentation.

I tossed a little of this, a touch of that and whatever else I had on hand into my mini food processor (a nearly antique appliance that I inherited from my Nanny; oh how I miss her sometimes) to form the dough (It’s rare that I actually follow a recipe or think my own through first; this is how I roll … the dough, in this case).

Then, I formed the dough into cookies, first rolling it into a sheet and then cutting out the desired shapes. I “baked” them in my dehydrator (I have two old-school models, which proves you don’t have to have the top-of-the-line appliances to have fun in the kitchen) until crisp, topped some of them with my own version of their usual fillings and then added the chocolate coatings and drizzles (I make it sound so easy).

The first few steps were a breeze, until my lack of time management nearly destroyed the end result. But, as you’ve heard me say on my blog before, sometimes you gotta “make it work” (I learned that line from Tim Gunn of “Project Runway;” love that show).

So my offering for you this week consists of three of the five recipes (you guessed it; I’m taking about the three cookies that are not coated in chocolate. You’ll have to visit my blog later for the rest of the story and the other two recipes). Drumroll, please …

Ladies and gents, I give you the “rawified” Trefoil, Do-si-do and Samoa (my personal fav) ....

Trawfoils

Chewy Trawfoils

This is a chewy more flavorful take on the original crisp shortbread. However, it does maintain its trademark golden color, and, if you have the time, can be decorated with its highly recognizable design.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes, ground into a powder
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, ground into a powder
  • ¼ cup golden flax, ground
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 soft pitted dates
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of sea salt

Directions

In a food processor, grind cashews, coconut, sesame and flax until it reaches a flour-like consistency. Add agave, dates, vanilla and sea salt, and process into a ball of dough.

Flatten the dough as though you were making traditional cut-out cookies. Then, it is all up to you. Cut the dough into circles or squares; you can make whatever shape you want (these are your cookies; who am I to judge what they look like?).

I cut mine similar to the actual Trefoil shape, and since I do not have the luxury of owning an official Girl Scout stamp, I sketched the design on the cookies using a cake tester (I had to use it for something).

Then, the cookies are ready to “bake.” I put mine in my dehydrator for at least 24 hours to make them nearly crisp, but still a little chewy (I always preferred the Chewy Chips Ahoy over the original). You can decide when you think your cookies are done enough for you (sometimes they don’t make it past the dough stage; you know who you are).
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Dosiraws_2

Do-si-raws

I was never really a fan of this sandwich cookie, until I made these.

For the cookie …

  • ½ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, ground into a powder
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 soft pitted dates
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • dash of sea salt
  • ½ cup oats, divided (Alissa Cohen sells raw oats on her website)

For the filling …

  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp. lucuma
  • 1 Tbsp. mesquite
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • dash of sea salt

Directions

In a food processor, grind cashews, sesame and almond meal (I use finely ground almonds and sometimes combine them with dehydrated leftover strained nut milk pulp) until it reaches a flour-like consistency. Add agave, dates, vanilla and sea salt, and process until smooth.

Add ¼ cup oats to the mixture and pulse to combine. Then, fold in the other ¼ cup of oats by hand.

Flatten the dough into a sheet and cut out cookie-sized circles. I also poked out a small hole in the center of each circle to make them look more like the original.

“Bake” them in the dehydrator overnight or until crisp (again, this is your cookie, so feel free to make your own decisions as to when it is right for you).

Now, they are ready for the filling. Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl, and make whatever substitutions you deem necessary (if you don’t like tahini, use more almond butter). Taste as you go. When you like the flavor, use the finished combination as the glue to hold two cookies together like a little sandwich. Eat as is, or chill for a firmer center.

You will probably have a lot of filling left, so either use it as a spread or make Rawgalongs with it (that’s what I did).
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Samoraw

Samoraws

After making a copycat version of the famous raw mallomars from Pure Food and Wine, this cookie was a no-brainer. My youngest sister actually thought she caught me eating a real one.


For the cookie …

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes, ground into a powder
  • 2 Tbsp. grade B maple syrup
  • 2 soft pitted dates
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • dash of sea salt

For the topping …

  • 1 ½ cup soft pitted dates, soaked briefly
  • soaking liquid from dates
  • 1 Tbsp. grade B maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. raw almond butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut flakes, divided

*Your raw chocolate recipe of choice

Directions

Combine almond meal and coconut in a food processor. Add maple syrup, dates, vanilla and sea salt, and process until it forms a ball of dough.

Flatten the dough into a sheet and cut out cookie-sized circles. To maintain authenticity, you can also cut a smaller circle out of the middle to make its familiar donut-like shape (donuts? Yum! I have such a sweet-tooth. Now, I’m getting off topic).

“Bake” the cookies in the dehydrator, flipping once, until crisp (I left mine in there for almost 24 hours).

For the topping, puree dates in a food processor, adding soaking liquid as needed, to create a paste. Add maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla and sea salt, and process until smooth. Add ½ cup coconut, and process to combine. Mix the other ½ cup coconut in by hand.

Top the “baked” cookies with the coconut date mixture, and put them back in the dehydrator for an hour or two to set. Then, pipe three stripes of your favorite raw chocolate recipe across the tops. Enjoy.

Now, I left the chocolate part up to you, since I ran into a bit of a “chocotastrophy” (my hubby and I came up with that term, which best describes what happened). I could have just used this recipe on the American Yogini site or the chocolate ganache recipe from “Raw Food Real World,” but for some reason I decided to spontaneously concoct my own amateur version.

To find out what happened (and to get the other two cookie recipes), check out today’s Rawdorable post.

[ Discuss Shannon's wonderful recipes on GI2MR ]

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