flirting with vegan sweets

Don't get me wrong, I love butter and eggs as much as the next girl, but when I saw this vegan recipe for almond jam thumbrints I couldn't help but be curious. I've been looking for a linzer-like cookie recipe for awhile (Jon? Are you listening? Where's that excellent xmas cookie recipe of your mom's you made?!! Still waiting! ;) and this one intrigued me.

Plus? They sound healthy! Bonus, no? No refined white sugar (you use apple juice and maple syrup), oat and barley or whole wheat flour, and chock full o' nuts.

This recipe was also dead easy. A two bowl-er and clean up was no sweat.

I ran out of raspberry so decided to make a full palette of delicious fruit flavors.

Not quite a 'thumbprint' per se but it gets the job done.

Aaaalmost ready. Best part is...the dough can be eaten worry free!

Almond Jam Thumbprint Cookies (originally posted on
- 2 1/2c. raw whole almonds
- 1 1/2c. oat flour
- 1 c. barley or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. fine sea salt
- 1 c. pure maple syrup
- 1/4 c. apple juice
- 1/4 c. canola oil
- 1 t. almond extract *
- fruit preserves of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 325F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whiz almonds in a food processor until fine, leave some chunky bits for texture.
3. Mix dry ingredients in medium large bowl
4. Whisk maple syrup, apple juice, oil and extract in a smaller bowl.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring to combine well.
6. Wet hands (as often as needed!) to roll dough into ping pong sized cookie balls.
7. Use the back of a wooden spoon to create a well for the jam, be careful not to poke thru the bottom.
8. Pipe jam into cookie wells. I used ziplock bags with the corners cut off.
9. Bake 25 minutes, remove cookie sheets to cookie rack, cool and enjoy!

WARNING!!! Do NOT nibble these until the jam has completely cooled or YOU WILL BE SORRY!!!! Don't say I didn't warn you ;)

* original recipe called for 2 tsps of extract but I don't like a heavily fake almond flavoring


You know it's summer when....

- Going outside is like stepping directly into a steam bath and you begin to 'glisten'
- Art shows and summer storms are inevitable (just got back from the Midsummer Festival for the Arts in Sheboygan WI)
- It's so hot you don't want to eat. Even ice cream makes you think twice
- Straws make everything better, ie - more festive
- Stone fruits are FINALLY in season!

I just whipped up a pitcher of roasted peach lemonade - aka - the lemonade so nice I had to make it twice (in the same week)!

I stumbled across this recipe a little while back and pinned it to go back to later. I am SO glad I did. The cousins loved it and that was made with some seriously unripe peaches. Fresh lemonade is always a treat but adding the rich buttery flavor of roasted peaches makes it truly something special. The lovely color, the fuzzy velvet jackets slipping off of the warm peach flesh, the complex scent and flavor. Hands down a winner. Right up there next to Madame Claudia's Strawberry Vanilla Lemonade.

As fuzzi-mom and I were leaving town my aunt tipped us off to a truck full of peaches. Seriously. There's a company (Tree Ripe) that trucks up fresh peaches and citrus directly from the South and sells them in various parking lots primarily in WI and IL. Milwaukee's Menards just happens to host such a truck. We split a 25lb box of peaches because...

1 - there was no more room in my car!

(packing for my show in sheboygan, not totally loaded yet, lucky decides he's going too!)

2 - it was soooo hot that we were worried the peaches might die before we got them home

They are amazing! The ones we've been getting at the grocery stores have been a little lackluster and tasteless this year. Kinda wishing we had bought a whole box. I've never made a peach pie but these little babies are inspiration enough! Or, it may be time to make a batch of Late Summer Cupcakes again....hmmmm...mmmmmmm.

Roasted Peach Lemonade
(original post here) - I've done a little tweaking to taste, as can you - we like our 'nectar-like'

4 lemons or ~ 1c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (and pulp!)
1/2 c. + 1 T. sugar
6 c. water (or water and ice if serving immediately)
4 peaches

- Preheat your oven to 400F
- Halve the peaches and remove stones
- Lie the peach halves skin side down on a baking sheet and sprinkle tops with 1T. sugar
- Roast peaches ~25 min., remove, then let cool.
- While peaches are roasting prepare your lemonade (squish lemons, mix with sugar and water)
- After your peaches have cooled a bit, peel the skin off and process in a blender with ~1c. of the lemonade.
- Mix lemonade and peach mixture together, add ice if desired, sip and enjoy!