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You know when we started the bakery (Great Harvest Bread Co.) 19 years ago this June, we were just kids. We were playing “Grown Ups”, because really, at 22 and 24, you don’t have a whole lot of life experiences under your belt. But we had a new baby, a new bakery, a new college degree, and a new town to call home all within 15 days time. We gained a lot of experience really quick! But the greatest moments of owning a bakery are the employees that we’ve employed over the last 19 years. They have touched our lives in so many ways. We have worked with a lot of cousins, nieces and nephews, and lots of college students we now think of as dear friends. At Christmas time I get loads of Christmas Cards from these old bakers and kneaders. They’re doing the family thing now. Beautiful kids, and spouses, vacations, real jobs, and great lives are what we get a glimpse of each Dec. Getting those cards each year is always a highlight of our Christmas Season.
It was a month or two ago that we met up with one of our first employees from Pocatello. She was beautiful then, and 15 years later she’s still amazing. We were able to catch up on 15 years without missing a beat. Our family was on vacation in Sun Valley and that’s where this friend calls home now. (How great is that!) We met for dinner one night. The kids ran around the restaurant and we big people talked for HOURS! So fun!! As we were leaving A., our old employee sent us home with a bag of her homemade cookies. And the recipe too if I may add!! I love it when someone just knows you’re going to be wanting to make more of something because it’s THAT delicious. The cookies are her favorite, and I can honestly say they are now some of my favorite too!! I wouldn’t actually put these cookies in the same category as say a chocolate chip cookie, but maybe a perfect”Biscuit”. Kind of how I would categorize a Biscoff Cookie They’re fantastic. Not too sweet at all, but the nutty taste is awesome!!! Homemade raspberry jam on the top is the crowning moment, but any flavor of jam would work. I’m actually going to try these cookies with some different ingredients, and turn them into granola bars. I think they’d be so fantastic!! I’ll let you know how that turns out.
The recipe is from the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center Cookbook. It’s a Buddhist monastery and retreat near San Francisco. The original recipe is vegan, but I don’t particularly like Maple Syrup. (I know!! Blasphemy!) I LOVE honey though, so that’s what I used. You can actually make these cookies wheat free (that’s if you aren’t “Rootin’ for Gluten!” like I am.) by substituting more blended oats in place of the flour. Thanks again my dear A. for sharing the night with us, as well as a favorite new recipe! I love your guts!!
1 cup unbleached flour
2 cups almonds, ground (I measured 2c. whole almonds and then buzzed them to powder.)
4 cups baby rolled oats (I used Quick Instant Oats)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup maple syrup (I used Honey)
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup jam, thinned with water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, almonds, oats, and salt.
2. In another bowl, mix together the syrup and oil. Add to the dry ingredients using your hands to mix well. Let dough stand for 15 minutes before using.
3. Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place close together on baking sheets. Make a little dent in the top of each ball and fill them with 1/2 teaspoon (or less) of the jam. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly brown. Do not over bake. Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe made approx. 40 good sized cookies for my family. The original recipe yeilds 5 doz. I guess it's all in you dough ball size:)