Yesterday, in the spirit of all the cool recipes I plan to share in the tutorial, I whipped up a batch of a fall favorite here – spicy chaga-pumpkin cookies, with a little extra immune boosting kick thrown in as we head into the colder weather. These cookies, like most of my recipes, are pretty flexible – you can make a grainfree version, a sweeter version (I do that for the humans here)you can use sweet potato or even winter squash instead of pumpkin (or a blend!) and you can play with the herbs you use in the infusion. I’m busily getting ready for the Tutorial launch tomorrow, so I’ll share the basic recipe today and then some variations later next week.
1 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin, sweet potato or winter squash (I like turban and Hubbard, but you can use pretty much any variety)
1/3 cup melted unrefined coconut oil
2 whole large eggs
1/4 – 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey (I prefer the maple syrup, and always use the lower amount for the dog version)
1 1/2 cups flour of choice, I used brown rice, but you could use oat, spelt, chickpea or whole wheat, if your dogs do well with the occasional bit of gluten
1/2 cup coconut flour
(alternatively, use two whole cups of almond meal)
3 Tbsps powdered chaga (this is strong – you can just use two for a bit less medicinal strength and a little less of that slightly bitter aftertaste)
2 teaspoons powdered organic ginger
1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon powder
8 ounces strong herbal infusion – I used a blend of astragalus root, elderflower and organic orange peel with a few black peppercorns, but you can improvise here…
To start, peel and boil your pumpkin, squash or sweet potato, or get them baking at 350 for about a half hour, depending on size of the pieces. I bake my squash for about 30 minutes, after brushing lightly with butter and placing cut side down n a shallow baking dish. How ever you prepare it, once it’s done just scoop out the flesh/mash well and measure a well packed cup (all have different calorie counts, with sweet potato MUCH higher so check the calories and sugar count if you are watching such things)
Set the oven to 375 degrees, grease a cookie sheet or use parchment as a liner, and make the herbal infusion.
Because I like this very strong, I use more in my own mixture than I might for drinking. Yesterday I mixed up 2 Tbsps of dried astragalus root with one Tbsp of elderflower and 1 teaspoon orange peel, added about 6 black peppercorns (all of which I purchased from Mountainrose herbs this year). Then I took a Tbsp of THAT mixture and covered it with boiling water, infused a good hour. It tasted a bit horrible, but you never notice in the cookies.
Next – beat the 2 eggs with the melted oil and sweetener, your choice of type and amount. Stir the flour with the chaga, ginger and cinnamon. Once the tea is infused, cooled and strained, you are set to go. Add the dry mixture to the egg/oil/syrup mix in thirds, followed by a third of the tea. It’s a gooey batter, not firm enough to roll out, and benefits from an hour in the fridge for handling. I take scoops of about a Tbsp and roll into balls, then press with a fork. These cookies don’t spread greatly, so I got 12 on my sheet. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes – THEN – turn the oven off, open the door a crack and just leave them in there. This creates a much firmer cookie than just taking them out at 20 minutes. And both dogs and humans love that crunch!
My recipe made 36 cookies, with a slight aftertaste of the chaga, but nobody here seemed to mind. 🙂