With the only the hum of the refrigerator to keep me company, it doesn’t take much more than staring out the window to inspire me to bake cookies. Unlike the never-ending winter the East Coast is having, here in Seattle we are enjoying more mild temperatures and blue skies. We’re already starting to see cherry blossoms dotting trees everywhere, and daffodils starting to come up around our boxwood hedge. I love this time of year with all of the signs of new life.
Spring has a way of inspiring creativity and experimenting in the kitchen. The last couple days I’ve been recipe testing a new flourless cookie recipe made with cashew butter, orange oil (not to be mistaken for orange extract), and a little bit of ginger powder. It makes common cookies like chocolate chip and peanut seem a little mundane – for the record, I love both of these kinds of cookies. It’s like the contrast between my predictable wardrobe and buying a fun new pair of colorful Spring shoes to wear immediately.
Thanks to Karen Page’s The Vegetarian Flavor Bible (Little Brown and Company, October 2014) culinary reference book, I learned that both orange and ginger are complimentary flavors that pair well with cashews. This inspired me to look outside the usual cookie flavor pairings and come up these. I find that flavor of cashew butter a bit strong by itself. By adding just enough natural orange flavor with a subtle amount of ginger to offset the cashew butter’s dominant flavor notes this cookie is special. Using orange oil over extract was a conscious decision because I wanted true orange flavor vs an artificial one. I’m glad I went with my gut on this because these orange cashew butter cookies are truly wonderful and would be a great addition at a tea party, bridal or baby shower, or any special Spring occasion.
Don’t let these unassuming looking cookies trick you into thinking they are dull and boring. They are anything but. Best of all these cookies are gluten-free and only use 5-ingredients.