I don’t think it’s possible for me to be more exhausted. While some people say this time of year is the holiday season, I consider it the concert season. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had about 4 recitals, and these coming weeks are only bringing more along. Something I’m excited for in the middle of the madness is the concert that I’m playing this Saturday. It’s not your typical setting, because instead of my chamber group performing by itself, we get the opportunity to accompany a local ballet studio in their upcoming production. They don’t do the Nutcracker like most studios, but instead perform a piece called “La Boutique Fantastique.” It’s a different experience trying to match to dancers, and it’s a nice change of pace from the usual quartet setting.
Although I haven’t talked about it much on RTTC, I’m still going to gymnastics as much as I can between seemingly endless amounts of chamber group rehearsals. I’m competing level 8 again this year because I wanted this year to be fun, not filled with competition stress. And, since I typically can’t stay for a full practice because of rehearsals, it’s better for me mentally that I don’t have to worry about lots of new skills. Anyway, our first meet is next weekend and I’m pretty excited. I wouldn’t have been able to stay in the sport for all of these years unless I loved it, and the adrenaline and excitement that comes from competing is something I can’t get anywhere else.
Now that I’ve bored you enough talking about my various life adventures, let’s get to the real reason why you came here- cookies. As much as I love reading copious amounts of food blogs and finding interesting recipes to try, I can’t help but get creative in the kitchen. I had originally wanted to whip up something quick, simple, and delicious: a peanut butter cookie. But, after looking in my cabinet and seeing cashew butter shining in the front row, I knew that I couldn’t go back to plain ol’ peanut butter. Then, as I was making the dough, I thought, why not add some texture to these? I couldn’t find the cashews, so the next logical solution was clearly to go for the good-for-you, whole grain goodness that is Grapenuts. They add such a nice heartiness and crunch to these cookies that I just love. Besides, it’s an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast- obviously something I have never done before. :)
Cashew Butter Grape Nut Cookies: Adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
1/3 cup butter or vegan butter substitute
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup smooth cashew butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ cup grape nuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
- Beat together the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and cashew butter until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the cashew-butter mixture, beating gently until everything is well combined. It may take awhile for this rather dry dough to come together; and when it does, it’ll be quite stiff. Only if necessary, drizzle in enough water to make the dough cohesive. Mix in grape nuts until just combined.
- Drop the cookie dough by tablepoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here), leaving 2″ between them.
The holidays are coming- better get baking!