We worked with kind of a nasty lady when we were registering for gifts at Sur la Table. Maybe she was just used to working with people who have no idea what they need for a kitchen. Maybe we were just bratty – I don’t know. We really didn’t want a gravy boat, a creamer, or a sugar dish. It just didn’t make sense for us. She got so snippy with us. “Well then what happens when your guests want cream or sugar with their drink??” she said. She even called my mom over, who happened to be with us, to tell her that we were making a huge mistake. My mom definitely did not care if we registered for a gravy boat, creamer, or a sugar dish.
Do I kind of wish we registered for that damn gravy boat? God, sometimes. But mostly for putting stewed cherries in it when I’m taking pretty pastry photos. Never have I missed having a gravy boat, a creamer, or a sugar dish when we are entertaining. Take that, lady at Sur la Table – we’re doin’ just fine without ‘em!
To walk past bing cherries when they’re in season and not buy some is a huge mistake. Especially when they are on sale. Even if you don’t know what to do with them, buy them. You never know what’s going to come up! I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I bought a ton (not actually 2,000 lbs. though).
I’m so tired of seeing cherry pies, you guys! So tired of it! That’s not the only festive thing you can do with them! Let’s get wild – let’s think outside the cherry box for once! Everywhere I turn right now, is another frickin’ damn cherry pie. I don’t really care how you cut the pie crust on the top or how many stars there are, it’s still a cherry pie. And, don’t get me wrong, I love the shit out of some cherry pie, but is this what we’ve come to?? I almost – ALMOST – gave in and made one, too, but I thought long and hard about it and found something even better. This, I think, is something that will blow the hats off your friends and fam this weekend (or any weekend).
What are we working with? We have spiced cookies with almond halves – we’re talkin’ about cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger. And in between the cookies is where it gets really, really good. Stewed cherries with brown sugar and ginger. (Looking for a good cherry pitter? Use this.) I didn’t even cut up the cherries. Some were torn in half, and others I just left whole. Pop the lot on the stove for a while, go watch some Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and come back to an ooey, gooey mess of cherries. I don’t know what to tell you, other than these are great. OH, AND THEY’RE VEGAN.
I tried several different cookie recipes before I found a great one. I think you’ll love this. I hope you love it!
Spiced Almond Cookies
1/2 c vegan butter, cold
2/3 c light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax, 3 Tbsp water – sit for 5 min)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 1.4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c halved, blanched almonds (more for tops, too)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare a sheet pan with non-stick spray, parchment, or a silicone liner.
Whip up the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the flax egg and vanilla. Mix to combine. Add in all dry ingredients, except almonds, and mix by hand until combined. Do not overmix! Add in the almonds and fold ‘em in. Portion in 1 tsp balls and roll in the sugar coating (mix the sugar and spices together for this). Press one almond half in the top of each cookie. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the edges feel firm. Let cool on a cooling rack. Makes about 20 individual cookies.
Stewed Cherries With Ginger
2 c pitted cherries
1/3 c light brown sugar
2 tsp finely minced ginger
4 Tbsp water
Cut some cherries in half, leave the rest whole – or cut them all in half! Pile the rest of the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until nice and thick. I turned this down to low heat toward the end so extra liquid would evaporate, making it even thicker. Let cool completely before filling the cookies
Put a dollop of stewed cherries on one cookie, then top with another! Enjoy these spiced suckers and be proud of yourself for thinking outside the pie box!