Saturday, May 4, 2013

Workshop Has a Sweet Ending -- Cookie Recipe!

Years ago I remember taking a class with my beloved teacher Larry Hatlett in Palo Alto, California and thinking during a standing pose (perhaps trikonasana?): "What about my feet? Where should the weight be, how can I use them most effectively?"  

Fast-forward to Sunday April 7th, 2013: Karin Stephan and I taught a workshop entitled "All About The Feet."  This was a concentrated, thoughtful and intense exploration of some of the ways we can and should work with the feet during the yoga practice.  It was a delightful group and for many of the participants an entree into a completely new way of working their feet!  Thanks to Karin there are hundreds of us now walking around in the greater Boston Area with a profoundly different sensibility with regard to our feet!  

Our tradition in The Art of Teaching is to end each workshop with tea and snacks and have time for Q&A and comments on the workshop.  One of the special snacks we like to serve is homemade vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  If you'd like to tray making them yourself the recipe is below:

Michael's Peanut Butter Gems
Makes 40 2-inch cookies
Discovered in a great resource for healthy treats: Sweet and Natural Desserts – East West's Best and Most Wholesome, Sugar- and Dairy-Free Treats, from the Editors of East West Journal

1 lb.           (454 grams)     peanut butter
2/3 cup (158 ml)               corn or vegetable oil
1 cup         (237 ml)          maple syrup or brown rice syrup (or a combination of the two)
1 tsp          (5 ml)              vanilla extract
3 cups       (450 grams)     sifted whole wheat pastry flour
                  for gluten-free use brown rice flour or almond flour
                  or a combination of the two)
1/2 tsp       (2.5 ml)           sea salt
6 oz.                                  vegan mini chocolate chips (or grain sweetened chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream the first four ingredients together until smooth.  Sift together flour and salt.  Gradually add the sifted flour, mixing well.  Form 2-inch balls.  Place them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and flatten them slightly with a fork.  Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, turn the pan around 180 degrees to allow for even baking.  Bake for ~5 more minutes or just until golden.  Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool thoroughly. If using brown rice and/or almond flour only the cookies will be a little like shortbread and will need to cool on the pan a bit longer before being moved, otherwise they may crumble!