Having missed out on the first two SOS challenges hosted by Ricki and Kim, I was over the moon when this month’s ingredient was announced: rhubarb! My all-time favorite pie flavor is strawberry-rhubarb, and I have fond memories of my grandmother making some kind of rhubarb tart topped with baked meringue (not vegan, and perhaps too sweet for my taste these days anyhow). And rhubarb compote! Compotes are very big in Swedish desserts, usually made with a single fruit rather than a variety, and rhubarb compote with cream was always a delicious summer treat.
Admittedly I’m at a loss as to a savory dish including rhubarb (so far), so I’m sticking to a sweet offering here. But not content to create something without a little twist, I’ve gone for a raw creation. Raw rhubarb is not so common, except for the practice of dipping stalks in sugar with every bite, or, if you’re of age and Scandinavian perhaps, including sips of vodka or aquavit as well. I was in luck to score some amazingly flavorful and rather sweet local rhubarb at the co-op to make these cookies, and against the succulent dates and warmth of cinnamon and ginger, this tastes like a wonderful, hand-held rhubarb pie. This is based on a recipe I came up with for the restaurant one day when we had gotten a free rhubarb sample that needed using.
Not ACD-friendly, unfortunately (sorry Kim, Ricki, et al), but refined sugar-free, soy-free, gluten-free and raw! Cashews are a lighter nut than most raw cookie recipes use (as well as less expensive), and the coconut topping almost makes them like little scones. The best part? These take only about 5 or 10 minutes to whip up, much faster than traditional baked cookies. In fact, finely chopping the rhubarb is about the longest step in the process.
Raw Cashew Coconut Rhubarb Cookies
makes about 12 small cookies
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup shredded or chipped coconut, plus more to top (optionally)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7-8 Medjool dates (or other dates), pitted
1/2 cup finely chopped raw rhubarb
In the bowl of a food processor, chop the cashews and coconuts together into a coarse crumb. It doesn’t need to be perfect or super-small. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a knife if necessary, then pulse in the salt, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla. While the food processor is running, drop dates in one by one through the feed chute–this helps prevent the dates from clumping and not getting processed fully.
Add dates one by one until the “dough” begins to come together and holds its shape when pinched between your fingers. You may need more or less dates depending on the size and stickiness of your dates. Briefly process in the rhubarb pieces, or mix in by hand.
Scoop the cookies (I used a heaping cookie dropper, about 2-3 tablespoons-worth), and flatten slightly between your palms. Dip in additional coconut if desired, and chill to set for about an hour in the fridge. Will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.