Grain-Free Sandwich Cookies With Pumpkin Butter

Grain-free sandwich cookies with pumpkin butter
Grain-free sandwich cookies with pumpkin butter

I have been on a kick, going back to old Foraged Dish recipes and taking new photos. It is insanely satisfying to compare the old ones to the new. Progress is difficult to measure day-by-day, but all of those days add up! I’m sure, in three years, I’ll look back at my photos from 2018 and roll my eyes. C'est la vie.

These sandwich cookies were one of my recent victims, and since it is the season for baking and pumpkin, I thought it would be a good opportunity to update the whole post. That means a few updates to the recipe, too:

  • Simplified. (Can I get a hoorah?) The original asked for both almond flour and coconut flour, but since 2015 I’ve discovered a much simpler grain-free shortbread cookie using just almond flour. I quite like the texture of the cookies, too! They are a bit chewy, stay together well, and have great almond and honey flavor.

  • Drizzled with chocolate. How can you make a boring cookie look a little fancier? Maybe you’re thinking frosting, which is true, but since this cookie is a sandwich I wanted the filling to shine. I drizzled each cookie with chocolate, which was just the right touch!

  • Doubled it. More is better right? In this case, there’s no doubt: the original recipe made about 6 sandwich cookies… what was 2015-me thinking?!?! A dozen is much more reasonable (but you still may want to double that if you’re cooking for a crowd).

Once baked, these cookies are stuffed with pumpkin butter, so the end result tastes a bit like pumpkin pie. Perfect match with a cappuccino! But I also experimented with filling the cookies with salted caramel. Oh. My. Goodness. Now that’s a treat! A bit like an alfajore, if you are familiar. I am definitely going to need to make an alfajore recipe now (Foraged Dish style, of course!).

Grain-free sandwich cookies with pumpkin butter
Grain-free sandwich cookies with pumpkin butter

Grain-Free Sandwich Cookies with Pumpkin Butter

Published October 26, 2015 by
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Yield: 12-24, depending on size   |    Active Time: 60 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin butter
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate

  • Directions:

    1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk until incorporated. Add the melted butter or coconut oil, honey, and vanilla, and stir until a dough forms. Shape dough into a disc (about 1 inch thick), wrap in plastic wrap, and place in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour to chill.
    2. Preheat oven to 325°F. After dough has chilled, remove from fridge. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your baking pan.
    3. On a separate piece of parchment, use a rolling pin to roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut circles out of dough and place on baking sheet, with at least 1/2 inch between each cookie. Bake for 9 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool.
    4. Once cookies are fully cooled, spread pumpkin butter on one cookie, and then use another to create a sandwich. Set aside, and then continue until all of the cookies are sandwiched.
    5. Heat the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-second intervals (string between each!) until chocolate is glossy and smooth. You can also do this in a double boiler (stir frequently). Drizzle melted chocolate over sandwich cookies. Allow chocolate to set before serving cookies.
    6. Tip: You can use any sort of jam to fill these cookies! I also made a few with salted caramel sauce and they were SO. GOOD.

    4 Comments

    Grain-Free Butternut Squash Pie with Pecan-Crumble Crust

    Grain-Free Butternut Squash Pie with Pecan-Crumble Crust

    There are too many good recipes to share with you all this month! I usually only post two recipes a week, but this month I just couldn't get everything to fit into that schedule. My options were to ditch a recipe or publish an extra, and well, the answer was clear once we had a bite of this butternut squash pie with pecan crumble crust. 

    My good friend had a butternut squash pie making craze last year, and while he seems to now be over that caramelly, cinnamon-y flavor, I'm still stuck on it. 

    What I needed though, to really make the ultimate butternut squash pie, was an alternate crust. I've always been partial to graham cracker crusts (the kind you find on many cheesecakes) but wanted to keep this recipe from-scratch and grain-free.

    Grain-Free Butternut Squash Pie with Pecan-Crumble Crust

    Pondering this crust dilemma brought me to pecans. It wasn't sure pecans would work in place of graham crackers, but I had a hunch. I was nervous about it, putting the pie into the oven. A few friends stopped by and I explained to them it was just an experiment and could go terribly wrong. 

    Out of the oven it came and I was, even then, a little nervous. I took pictures, serving everyone else, and then grabbed the last piece for myself, topping it with an oversized dollop of whipped cream.

    Grain-Free Butternut Squash Pie with Pecan-Crumble Crust

    It was my butternut-pie-making-friend who said it first: a crust made of pecans is like a butternut pie inside of a pecan pie. A custardy filling nestled inside a crunchy, sweet, nutty shell. 

    He was right: it was a butternut squash pie inside of a pecan pie. The butter and sugar caramelized in the oven while the pecans toasted, making something so delicious it stole the show, even from the pie filling itself. 

    In this pie, crust is no longer just a vehicle for transporting filling. It's a part of the experience, as must as every other ingredient. 

    Grain-Free Butternut Squash Pie with Pecan-Crumble Crust

    Grain-Free Butternut Squash Pie with Pecan-Crumble Crust

    Published December 15, 2017 by
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    Serves: 8   |    Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes



    Ingredients:


      For the crust:
    • 2 cups pecans 
    • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar or coconut sugar
    • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

    • For the filling:
    • 10 ounces frozen cubed butternut squash, thawed
    • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar or coconut sugar
    • 1/4 cup wildflower honey
    • 2/3 cup half-and-half 
    • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted 
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

    • To serve:
    • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease an 9-inch ceramic or glass pie pan .
    2. Put pecans in a food processor and pulse to grind them into a fine crumb. Scrape sides frequently to ensure even chopping. Few larger chunks should remain (several are ok but for the most part you are looking for an even, fine crumb). Scrape pecan crumbs into a bowl, and add sugar and melted butter. Use a spatula to stir until everything is combined and crumb should stick together when squeezed between two fingers. Now, press crumb mixture into prepared pie pan, working it up the sides and into an even layer along the bottom to form a crust. Tip: use the flat bottom of a glass to make a smooth bottom. Make sure there are no gaps or cracks, and then set aside.
    3. In a blender, combine: thawed butternut squash, sugar, honey, half-and-half, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Puree until completely smooth, scraping sides down as needed. Then, allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes so any air bubbles have time to float to the top.
    4. Pour butternut mixture into prepared pie shell, filling it until almost—but not quite- full (shoot for 90-95% full). Place in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, until custard filling jiggles slightly in the middle but not at the edges. Turn heat off, and allow pie to cook in oven with the door open for 10-15 minutes. This super slow cooling method will prevent the custard filling from cracking.
    5. While the pie cools, make the whipped cream. Add heavy cream to a bowl and whip with an electric mixture until it beings to hold peaks. Add vanilla, and beat 30 more seconds.
    6. Serve pie with dollops of whipped cream (ice cream would be good as well!).

    10 Comments

    Cranberry Pear Tart

    Cranberry Pear Tart

    Traditional Thanksgiving isn't in the cards for us this year, which is fine because we're not much for celebrating holidays "the traditional way". Traditional is a funny word isn't it? Opting outside is more of a holiday tradition for us--it's what we normally choose to do when we have plenty of time off from work.

    Since actual Turkey Day is typically reserved for adventuring, we eat more Thanksgiving fare before and after the holiday, at potlucks and work parties and Friendsgiving celebrations.

    Preparing for Friendsgiving is a whole different beast than preparing for a family holiday: the family usually has at least a semi-planned menu, so you know what you’re supposed to bring.  But Friendsgiving (at least the way we do it) is a lot more casual. Everyone brings what they want, a little slice of what Thanksgiving means to them (or whatever they had time to pick up at the store). Both events usually have plenty (err, too much) food, but at Friendsgiving I find there are always a lot more repeats, like four pumpkin pies and three salads and then only one pot of mash potatoes. You've been to one of those potlucks right? You know what I'm talking about.

    Cranberry Pear Tart
    Cranberry Pear Tart

    I was thinking about this very predicament when I started making this tart. You see, I really wanted pumpkin pie (hello, it's pumpkin pie, who doesn't want a slice?!). But I knew there would already be at least one other pumpkin pie. So I decided to go in a whole new direction: something without pumpkin, or pecans, but still perfect for fall. 

    This Cranberry Pear Tart? Ding!

    Pears don't get the attention that pumpkin gets this time of year, but they deserve a little time in the limelight. This tart, laced with just a hint of cinnamon, maple syrup, and fresh orange zest, is the perfect offbeat dessert for any Thanksgiving potluck, Friendsgiving or other fall get-together.

    Something else to love about this Cranberry Pear Tart: it’s pretty much just fruit in a pie crust (whatever pie crust you like, though I use this crust recipe to make it paleo-friendly) which means that it doesn’t have the same super heavy feeling that pecan or pumpkin pies do. Which means.... you can have a slice of each and the Cranberry Pear Tart will round out the trio! 😉

    (Ehem. While we are talking about pecan pie, let's talk about pecan pie! My love.)

    Cranberry Pear Tart
    Cranberry Pear Tart

    The other great thing about the fruit-in-crust situation is that it is reallllllly easy to make this tart. Slice up those pears, pop 'em in your crust, and arrange the cranberries with the maple sauce. Cook. Top with whipped cream. Eat. Lick plate. Done. 

    Wishing you all safe travels and a happy Thanksgiving, whatever that means for you! 🤗

    Cranberry Pear Tart

    Published November 16, 2017 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Total Time: 60 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 batch of pie crust dough ( Try this Paleo pie crust)
    • 2 large Red Crimson pears - about 1/2 pound (D'Anjou or Bosc would also work)
    • Heaping 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon orange zest
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons corn starch (for Paleo, sub 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder)
    • 1 tablespoon cold water
    • Whipped cream, coconut cream, or ice cream for serving.

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch pie pan. Rough pie crust to 1/8 inch thickness using a rolling pin, and fit to pie pan. Trim edges as necessary, and set aside.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and the corn starch until full combined. Then, whisk in the maple syrup, orange zest, and cinnamon. Add the cranberries and stir so they are coated.
    3. Slice pears in half, and remove core. Then, slice thin (1/8 inch thick) and arrange in prepared pie crust.
    4. Once all pear slices are arranged in crust, arrange cranberries over top, pouring the maple syrup mixture over pears as you go. Use a brush to spread the maple syrup mixture over pears so they are all coated.
    5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until tart is bubbling, crust is golden, and pears are tender. Serve with whipped cream, coconut cream, or ice cream.

    10 Comments