Nearly There (+ flourless cookies)

[Today, December 2012.]

Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year and also the most hopeful, at least for me: from here on out the days get just the tiniest bit longer until spring. Some years I have celebrated the Solstice at the beach, sunning myself along the Sonoma County Coast with brother and dog. But this year it is raining, my dog has long since departed, and my brother is not yet here. No matter: every year brings a new opportunity to embrace whatever we have in the right here, right now. Which for me today means lots of tea, good smells emanating from the kitchen, and a pretty Christmas tree glowing away in the front room.

I had planned to share a funny and delicious recipe for a ‘catch-call odds and ends’ soup I made yesterday afternoon to help mediate my cold (and upon which I’m currently noshing), but I think I’ll save that one for after the holidays. Right now all we probably care about is baked goods, specifically cookies.

Kurt and Emily arrive tomorrow, so today has resulted in a bit of a cookie-making frenzy. Emily, as we know, is gluten-free, so I decided to make a batch of flourless chocolate-chocolate chip cookies and a batch of gluten-free ginger snaps. I also wanted my dad to be able to eat some of the cookies – he keeps to a very low-fat diet – so adapted the snaps to also be vegan. Or rather, I adapted my standard vegan ginger snap cookie recipe to be gluten-free. Either way, it turned out surprisingly well — well enough that I thought I should write up a quick post to tell you so in hopes the recipes can help with your own last-minute cookie baking.

(I also have a dozen almond-blueberry muffins in the oven but will wait to taste-test before sharing that recipe.)

If you’re looking for more flourless baking options, check out my NPR story on flourless holiday baking here, or if you need options for a gluten-free holiday dinner, check out my story here from the other day. And I should mention that while working on this cookbook has me obsessed with all things flourless, I’ve certainly been doing my fair share of flour-full baking; basically this time of year means I do a lot of baking, period. Perhaps you do, too?

The rain is still coming down and I am about to make one more batch of cookies before calling it a day. I have a dish of whole wheat macaroni covered in a quickly-made broccoli sauce and mozzarella cheese cooking away in the oven for dinner – pure comfort food for a dreary day like this – and we have plans to finally see ‘Lincoln’ tonight. A morning yoga class tomorrow should set the tone for the rest of the holidays: deep breathes, peace, and an appreciation for the little things. I hope my 2013 is marked by that trio, too.

Happiest of holidays to you – I may be around next week depending on Internet access with bits and pieces … Cheers and best wishes for a gentle and lovely end of the year. Also, cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.





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  1. The flourless cookies look AMAZING. I can see the texture from the photos, and when you said they were like macaroons you had me hooked!

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