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Sunday, November 9, 2008, I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at the launch of a new book. Author, Diane Dawber, and illustrator, Pat Wilkinson presented their book “ Looking For Snow Fleas” at the Play ‘n Learn store on Princess Street in Kingston. It was a warm friendly crowd who enthusiastically listened as Diane shared works from this terrific collection of children’s poems. Pat sketched illustrations as Diane read and we all chuckled at the characters who emerged before our delighted eyes. I don’t know who enjoyed the experience more: the children or the adults! The book has a very detailed sub title “Looking For Snow Fleas… and other mysteries complete with activities for finding and exploring them”. The title perfectly describes the many extension projects attached to each poem. It will be a wonderful resource for both parents and teachers alike.
Diane went out of her way to provide the perfect ending to the event by serving hypoallergenic cookies. Being food challenged herself, Diane came up with a great recipe in two flavours: Hypoallergenic Mulch Cookies with Snow Flea Icing. They were certainly a crowd pleaser!
If you’re looking for this great holiday gem, the publisher is Borealis and the ISBN number is 978-088887361-3. The suggested retail price is $12.95.
I was able to pick up an autographed copy for someone special this Christmas. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It’s a secret!
Hypoallergenic Mulch Cookies with Snow Flea Icing
By Diane Dawber
Dark Mulch Cookies
283 g or 10 oz. dairy, soy and gluten-free chocolate chips, melted
750 ml or 3 c. organic quinoa flakes
350 ml or 1 ½ c. organic dates (chopped, simmered in 500 ml or 2 c. water) and puree
Combine the melted chocolate and pureed dates and add to the quinoa flakes. Combine thoroughly. Drop by small teaspoons on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Chill.
Light Mulch Cookies
350 ml or 1 ½ c. pumpkin seed butter or half and half regular butter
750 ml or 3 c. quinoa flakes or half and half gluten-free oatmeal
500 ml or 2 c. organic sugar (melted and caramelized in a saucepan with a little water)
250 ml or 1 c. brown rice syrup
Combine pumpkin seed butter and caramel and brown rice syrup. Add to quinoa flakes and oatmeal. Combine thoroughly. Drop by teaspoons on a parchment lines cookie sheet. Chill.
Snow Flea Icing
Buzz 250 ml or 1 c. organic sugar in two lots in a coffee grinder until a powder. (Icing sugar with no additives.)
Scrape out contents of a vanilla pod and mix into 75 ml or ¼ c. warm water. Stir thoroughly.
Combine sugar and water until of thick spreading consistency. Dab a bit on each cookie. If icing begins to harden, thin with a bit of warm water. You will see the “snow fleas’ (a.k.a. vanilla bean seeds) on the snow (icing.)
Andrea Allen – Auckland, New Zealand
180C ( 350F ) 8-10 minutes Chill dough Aug 08
1 ½ cups flour mix (rice, chickpea, buckwheat) – can use ¼ c ground almonds too
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp each, cloves, allspice, ginger
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup dried fruit &/or nuts – dried peel, chopped dates, etc.
1/3 cup oil (avocado, olive, etc)
3 Tbsp molasses
1 large egg
Grease baking trays. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredient in small bowl and then add to a well in the middle of the dry mix. MUST make a very stiff dough, difficult to stir.
CHILL in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Use medium sized spoon to scoop and make firm mounds on baking trays. Watch they don’t burn on the bottom. The finished tops will be shiny, touch to confirm cooked.
Bake in big oven.