These vegan, fruit and nut cookies are full of texture, just slightly sweet but super delicious, and we’d expect nothing less from the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Tassajara is a legendary Buddhist monastery set deep in California’s Ventana Wilderness and is famous for its healthy gourmet vegetarian cuisine and their mixed dream cookies.
½ cup dried apricots
1 cup mixed nuts, roasted (any combination such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts)
½ cup soy margarine
¼ cup organic confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup agave syrup
1 cup unbleached flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If the apricots seem very dry, soak in hot water and then drain, saving the liquid; chop into small bites.
2. In a food processor, chop the mixed nuts; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the margarine and then beat in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and agave syrup.
3. In another bowl, combine the flour and salt; fold into the margarine mixture.
4. Add the nuts and chopped apricots and mix well. If the dough seems stiff, add some of the liquid from the apricot soaking. Use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to drop dough balls onto greased baking sheets. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the balls. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes about 1½ dozen cookies.
Adapted from Tassajara Cookbook: Lunches, Picnics & Appetizers by Karla Oliveira (Gibbs Smith, 2007).