DIY: Do it yourself. Grow an herb garden in your windowsill, make nut milk from scratch, brew your own kombucha. Know every little thing that goes into your body. Get to know the earth, what the cycle of life looks like for your food, and how to take simple ingredients and turn them into more complex food items. This isn’t a fad, its been done for ages. If anything, the “fad” is only recent, and it is the opposite of what we’ve been doing for thousands of years. Sadly, the new trend is not knowing where your food came from, how it was made, or the makers behind it all. It’s scary.
Being a big advocate for making everything from scratch, I once found myself in the position of not having time for anything else. I was constantly slaving away in the kitchen or the garden, determined to do it all solo. I eventually had to cave and admit to myself I couldn’t do everything on my own. This is when I turned to farmers markets and places that sold goods by local artisans to help take a bit off my plate, and I discovered something I wasn’t expecting. I found more joy. Of course there was joy in making certain routine items from scratch myself (nut butters and nut milks) but there was even more joy to be had in supporting others who made small batch items (using ingredients I would use myself) of things I needed but didn’t have the time or energy to make on a regular basis (jams, sauces, breads). I also got to connect with a vibrant community of like-minded people, seeking to better their health and others through their specialty food items. I got to support them. It felt amazing.
This is the reason I love Hatchery. Some of you may already know who they are, and for some this may be news (good news). They are an incredible company centered around supporting makers of specialty small batch items around the country. Its like going to your local artisans market, but for every town – in every state. You get to know the story behind the person (or people) making each product, the ingredients it is comprised of, and even recommended recipes for pairing. You still gain the satisfaction of knowing what went into your food, without having to prepare every piece of it yourself. Thankfully Amisha of JAM LAB came to my rescue (through Hatchery) when I needed a jam for these festive cookies I have for you today. Jam is a tough one for me – both to make, and to legitimize buying. I want the fruit used to be the sweetest, ripest of its kind. I want there to be minimal ingredients, minimal sugar, and for it to be completely organic. I want whoever made the jam to get their ingredients locally. And the best part, Amisha wants all of the same things. Her gorgeous and drool-worthy orange cardamom jam that I use here meets all of my reqirments, and it honestly one of the best jams I have ever tasted in my life. You can call me a jam snob (if that is a thing?), and I just can’t get over how naturally sweet and flavorful Amisha’s jam is – its unreal. There might be a tablespoon left to scrape onto one last piece of toast this week, but that is all that lasted through the weekend. You can tell it is made from the finest organic oranges in her neck of the woods – northern California. The little flecks of cardamom add this great depth of flavor – and look oh so pretty floating throughout the golden-y jam. I’m so grateful for people like Amisha running the JAM LAB to save me when I just can’t find the time to figure out how to make something this stellar from scratch. And for Hatchery for bringing her to me, further shrinking the world we live in and connecting us with people who are harvesting and creating locally – but sharing nationally.
I get some weird satisfaction from squashing a perfectly round dough ball with my thumb to create the glorious divet that makes the thumbprint cookie. Maybe its because I know the yumminess that is about to get nestled inside, but most likely it’s the little kid inside of me that also loves stomping through her sand castles on the beach. Destruction. Or in this case, perfection through destruction (see what I did there?). These almond thumbprints are everything I want in a jam filled cookie. They are sweet, but not too sweet, letting the jam shine in the center. They are soft, nutty, and have the melt-in-your-mouth effect that makes them irresistible. Filled with the jam of my dreams that I talk about above – orange cardamom. It pairs so perfectly with this cookie and brings in my favorite fruit of the (soon to be) season – winter citrus. Goodness if I didn’t make almost six batches of these last week. I promise you’ll be a hit at your cookie swap party this year if you choose to whip these babies up. Or a hit with yourself and your couch if you decide one batch is meant just for yours truly (I almost insist you make one as so). I hope you are having the sweetest time with your holiday baking, and enjoying a few greens in between.
See below the recipe for an amazing giveaway I’m doing this week with Hatchery – hip hip!
This post was sponsored by Hatchery. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I think they are just the greatest! Thank you for supporting Faring Well by supporting its sponsors.
ALMOND THUMBPRINT COOKIES W/ ORANGE CARDAMOM JAM
Makes 8 cookies.
1/4 cup creamy, salted natural almond butter*
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup whole spelt flour
1/2 cup oat flour
8 teaspoons orange cardamom jam
*Its necessary that natural nut butter is used in this recipe (not the no-stir kind). I use salted, if you do not then make sure to add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the batter. You can using whichever nut butter you’d prefer. I’d imagine peanut as well as cashew would be fantastic!
Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the almond butter, maple syrup, liquid coconut oil, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Add the baking soda and flours. Mix well and let sit for a moment to thicken. Scoop 2 tablespoons worth of dough and roll into a ball for each cookie. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie, creating an indent. Fill each cookie with a teaspoon of jam. Bake for 8 (for softer) to 10 (for firmer) minutes in the oven. The cookies will appear puffy when they first come out of the oven, but once transferred to the counter to cool they will set and the thumbprint will sink down like normal.
Enjoy with a cold glass of almond milk, and keep extra cookies stored in an airtight container on the counter. Best eaten fresh, or within 3 to 4 days.
Ps. Scott and I made these fun ornaments for our tree (pictured above) based off of this tutorial if you’d like to get crafty too!
(Now closed, thank you to all who participated!) Win a three month subscription to Hatchery’s tasting box! To enter, pop on over to their marketplace, peruse they’re stellar makers, and comment below telling me an item you’d love to try! Contest will run through next Tuesday, December 15th. One winner will be randomly selected. (Open to U.S. residents only.)