I’m not a raw foodist, in fact I have a bit of a cooked food obsession. That said, I’ve developed a foodie “crush” on raw food Chef Amber Shea Crawley and her deliciously approachable recipes. What’s fun about Amber’s style is that she frequently offers raw and cooked or baked instructions. It makes all of her recipes far less intimidating for me (and I’m sure others), which is why her cookbooks are just about the only raw food ones that I actually use. This brings me to my very important point, Amber has released a new cookbook!! It is Practically Raw Desserts: Flexible Recipes for All-Natural Sweets and Treats. In this post, I’ve got the low-down on what’s inside and a sample recipe (Raw Pecan Shortbread cookies – with optional baking instructions).
Practically Raw Desserts covers cakes to cookies to frozen desserts, and is totally free of dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, soy, corn, refined grains, refined sugars, yeast, and starch. Amber even goes to the trouble of noting which recipes are free of grains, nuts, oils or added sweeteners and includes tons of tips and recipe photos throughout. I love how thorough she is! Her attention to detail and documentation is rare for a classically trained chef (Amber trained in the art of gourmet living cuisine at the world-renowned Matthew Kenney Academy).
For a quick sampling, here are some of the recipes from Practically Raw Desserts that I’m currently drooling over:
- Enlightened Carrot Cake
- Tangy Cream Cheese Icing
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies
- Midnight Mocha Cookies
- Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie
- Turtle Bites
- New York Cheesecake
- Coco-Nana Crème Pie
- Dark Chocolate Sorbet
- Raw Pecan Shortbread Cookies … sample vegan recipe below!
- Place the pecans in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Do not to over process. Add the coconut flour and salt, and pulse to combine. Add the maple syrup, and pulse until the dough starts to stick together.
- Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop the batter by the rounded tablespoonful onto a Teflex-lined tray. Use the palm of your hand to gently flatten the cookies to about ⅓ inch thick.
- Dehydrate at 110°F for about 4 hours, carefully flipping the cookies over onto a mesh-lined tray halfway through, until they feel dry and firm.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop the batter by the rounded tablespoonful onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Use the palm of your hand to gently flatten the cookies to about ⅓ inch thick.
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until the cookies are dry on top. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before handling (or else they will crumble).
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month