October is my favorite month of the year. Between the seasonal shift (finally!) into fall and the wicked fun of Halloween, I'm hooked. One of my favorite things about this time of year is experimenting with new recipes to gross out/enchant my friends and family. This is one such. And this time, I share the blame with my grandmother, who had the wisdom and foresight to send me this for my birthday.
Now, me, I'm not really into food coloring. The idea of putting something with the suspiciously vague ingredient "Red 10" in it into my body really weirds me out. Still, I thought these cookies would be really fun if they were all gooey and green. My solution: spirulina.
What the devil is spirulina, you ask? Well, I'll tell you! Spirulina, or Athrospira, is a blue-green algae made up of 60% proteins (zounds!) as well as a healthy amount of beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (which is one of those nifty essential fatty acids). There have been medical studies that suggest spirulina can boost the immune system, help protect against allergic reactions, and have antiviral and anticancer properties. All this is well and good, but the best thing about spirulina is this: it tastes awesome and it's green. I use this stuff in my steel cut oats, in soups, in baked goods (clearly...), and in pretty much anything else I can think of. It's just plain good.
This cookie dough ends up pretty thick, so I'm fairly certain you can make an equally creepy 'finger-shaped' version of these, even without the mold. If it's not thick enough for you, just add a little more flour until it reaches the texture you desire. Here's what you do.
1/3 cup margarine
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
3 tsp spirulina powder
1/2 cup dried cherries
16 raw almonds
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
In a mixing bowl, cut your margarine into small pads and melt until liquidy (about 50 seconds in the microwave). Add powdered sugar and stir with a fork until they're well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat again with the fork until they're blended together. Add flour, baking soda and powder, whip again with fork until the texture is the same all through. Add spirulina, stir until the color is a uniform witchy green. Add cherries, make sure they're all through the whole mix.
With the mold, I sprayed with a Baker's Joy and then put the almonds down in the 'nail' portion of the mold before pouring in the dough. Without a mold, I would suggest prepping a cookie sheet with parchment paper and laying out your dough first in little gooey worm lines (about 3 inches long and a finger width's thick), then sticking the almond on top at one end.
Bake for ~10 minutes until browned and remove.
Enjoy!! Go on, have a peace!
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