Nancy's photos 219Last week I was in the bookstore, as per usual perusing the cookbook aisles, looking for my next addition to the already overflowing bookcases.  Increasingly, I find myself a bit peeved when looking for new cookbooks because some celebrity chef’s cookbooks seem to be taking over.  Don’t get me wrong, I love and have much respect for a certain network and the chefs/talented cooks that make it up, but I find that many of their cookbooks are poorly written and pumped out way too quickly.  I used to work in one of the big box bookstores around 15 years ago when the Food Network did not exist and when cooking was not as cool as it is now.  I spent hours after my shift was over looking at Marcella Hazan’s, Julia Child’s, Coleman Andrew’s, and the classic Betty Crocker cookbooks reading the narratives and copying down recipes I wanted to try. These cookbooks were written with care, recipes meticulously tested, and have stood the test of time as they still stand proudly on bookshelves today.
At the clearance area my eyes were drawn to a book with a beautiful cover simply entitled Cookies by an author named Christabel Martin (and can be found in some Barnes and Nobles and Amazon).  There are artistically styled photos of unique cookies paired with design elements and serving pieces worth drooling over.  There is little to no narrative, just thoughtfully written recipes.   I couldn’t resist and this book has already been marked up with splatters and pencil marks.  I fiddled with a recipe for fig and ginger cookies mostly because I have had some candied ginger and dried figs simultaneously burning holes in my fridge and cabinets.  These cookies begged for these ingredients to be used with a few twists of my own.
prep time: 10-15 min.
cooking time: 12-15 min.
makes: approximately 30 cookies
scant 2/3 c. coconut oil (slightly melted/liquified in a saucepan over low heat)
1/4 c. maple syrup
1//4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla paste/vanilla extract
1 flax egg (1 tblsp. ground flaxseed mixed with 1 tblsp. water, let sit for a few minutes)
1/2 c. dried (but still soft) dried figs, chopped fine
1/3 c. candied ginger, chopped fine
1 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350F
Using a hand or Kitchen-Aid type mixture, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, sugar, vanilla, and flax egg in a bowl and cream until fluffy.  Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together and add to wet mixture and combine so a soft dough forms. Mix in the dried figs and candied ginger.
Using a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop, form into balls and place on baking sheet prepared with a silicone baking sheet or lined with parchment paper.  Use the tines of a fork to flatten the cookies a bit.   Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes.  Let cool a bit on the sheet and remove to newspaper/paper bag/wire rack to cool.