Just because Valentine’s Day is long gone, that doesn’t mean that we can’t all enjoy a touch of the yucky-love-stuff. When I saw this recipe posted by spabettie, I knew I had to try them. My dad grew up eating beets, but I had never heard of them being used in baking. It turns out that they are nature’s food coloring! The flavor of the beet doesn’t come through in the cookie, due to the large amount of butter and sugar… there’s nothing wrong with that! The original recipe called for a whiskey ganache (hubba hubba) but I didn’t have whiskey in the house. Crisis! Instead, I made up a ganache using dark chocolate chips and coconut cream. Yummy! These pretty little numbers are delicious when chilled. I even sent them to the boyfriend in the mail, and they held up splendidly!
1 cup vegan butter (I always use soy-free Earth Balance)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour* (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 cup milk (I use the 30 cal vanilla almond milk)
Juice from 1 beet
*To make these gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free AP blend
8 oz of dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life chips)
2 tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk (I’ve always heard that Thai Kitchen is the best for separation)
Wash and juice the beet. I chose a relatively large beet, as I wasn’t sure how much juice I would need. A smaller one would be perfectly sufficient! I believe you can also buy powdered beet that required that you add water. Genius!
Preheat oven to 300 F. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour, ½ a cup at a time. When the dough begins to get too thick, add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Once well mixed, add the beet juice. I added it splash by splash, mixing well after each addition. I added a total of 2 tablespoons to make it the deep pink color shown below. I would suggest adding a bit more, as the insides of the cookies were a bit dull after cooking.
Knead the dough into a ball, place it back in the mixing bowl, and refrigerate the pink goodness for at least 10 minutes.
Roll the dough into balls, about a tablespoon each, and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indent in the middle of the cookie. Bake for 25 minutes.
Prepare the Ganache:
5 minutes before the cookies should be done, prepare the ganache. Using a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the dark chocolate chips and the coconut milk together. Use the thicker, creamier portion of the coconut milk—the full fat and delicious business! The ganache should be thick and matte-like.
Remove the cookies from the oven and spoon a small amount of the ganache on to the cookies. If the thumbprint indent hasn’t held up to baking, feel free to push down a bit to make the indent more pronounced. Place the ganache-d (that’s a word, right?) cookies back in the oven for 3 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, and then move to a cooking rack.
Eat and enjoy! They taste awesome when chilled!