What’s the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had? I can remember mine, no problem. It was at the house of some family friends in upstate New York one fall. It’s a five hour drive from New York City, and I’d spent the afternoon sitting on the floor of Penn Station, waiting for my family to get in on a delayed train from DC. In the end, we only left the City in the late afternoon, so the tree-lined road fell dark quickly. We stopped once at a beaten-up service station, but all it had was a fast food counter and a small Starbucks selling pumpkin spice everything. By the time we reached their house it was pitch black and late, and since that area doesn’t seem to believe in street lights we circled around for a long time before finding the house we’d been to only once, seventeen years before.
It was the first time I’d seen my family in months, and we were greeted by our friends with hot oven-fresh cookies and the only decent cups of tea I’ve ever had that side of the Atlantic. Tired, happy, and full of tea and cookies, I fell asleep in the comfiest bed I’d slept in for a long time, covered by a thick homemade quilt. The corridors of Princeton had never been quiet; a few dorms down always seemed to have parties that involved playing Mr Brightside multiple times a night, always whilst chugging beers, and 1am seemed to be the most popular time to use the laundry room. But there on the shores of Schroon Lake, surrounded by what daylight would reveal to be brightly-coloured woodland, the night was silent, and cosy, and beautiful. I slept deeply and fully, and woke dreamy-eyed to a breakfast of blueberry pancakes and fresh coffee in a conservatory that overlooked the lake.
What does this have to do with anything, though? I’m not really sure, other than that since then sleep, cookies and autumn have become irreversibly fused in my mind. And so, naturally, I wanted a cookie that encapsulated that feeling of autumnal cosiness, but without the dreaded, ubiquitous pumpkin. I gave it my best shot, and I hope you like it.
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (140 fan). Grease and line a large baking sheet.
- Combine the almonds, coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl until well combined and dough-like. Stir in the pecans and cinnamon.
- Divide the dough into 10-12 small sections, rolling each into a ball and placing on the baking sheet. Flatten into a cookie-like shape with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for around 12 minutes until golden on top but soft in the middle. Leave to cool completely and enjoy 🙂