I originally created this recipe as a raw-ish snicker-doodle, but I didn’t quite achieve the flavor for which I was seeking. So, I thought maybe I could call these sugar cookies. But the flavor wasn’t quite right for those either. Undaunted, I kept eating, and, finally, it hit me…They taste just like a cinnamon sugar Pop Tart. Ah…a flavor from my past. A predominate flavor from my past. *sigh* And, thus, Cinnamon Sugar Snack Bites/A Raw-ish Ode to Cinnamon Sugar Pop Tarts (frosted, of course) were born.
Cinnamon Sugar Snack Bites
1 c almond pulp, dehydrated and processed into a fine meal
1/4 c brown rice syrup (or another thick and sticky liquid sweetener)
1/4 c coconut sugar (or other granulated sweetener)
1 TBSP vanilla
1/2 t (or more) cinnamon
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t cream of tarter
Combine everything in a bowl until well incorporated. Scoop into large tablespoons and roll into balls. Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 6 large balls.
Options: I have a ton of options for this one!
Almond pulp: I love that this recipe uses left-over almond meal. I had bags and bags of almond meal in the freezer and was desperate for a way to use it. I thawed it, dehydrated it, and whirled it in the food processor into a fine powder. (You could also do this in a coffee or spice grinder or the dry contain of a blender.) Side note: We tried running the almond meal through the grain mill attachment on the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, even though it says not to, and it got all clogged up. Twice. Sigh. Guess we won’t be doing that again. Boo.
If you don’t have almond pulp, regular almond meal or almond flour will work. If you can’t have/don’t want to use almonds, you can make any nut or seed meal of your choice by grinding some frozen nuts/seeds of your choice in a food processor or coffee/spice grinder.
Brown Rice Syrup: BRS is not grain free, nor is it raw, and it may contain arsenic, so it might not be your sticky sweetener of choice. You need a really thick and sticky sweetener, so whatever works for you is fine: coconut nectar (bonus – it’s raw!) or raw honey (if that’s how your roll) are probably both good choices. A thinner liquid sweetener might work, too: maple syrup, agave, etc.
If you don’t want/can’t use nutritive sweetener, dates are probably your best best. Make a thick date paste by blending soaked dates with little or no water.
Coconut Sugar: Any granulated sugar will work here: raw/turbinado sugar, sucanat, regular granulated (vegan) sugar, brown (vegan) sugar, etc. If you don’t want to/can’t use nutritive sweetener, a little powdered stevia will add a nice touch of extra sweetness to the mix, as will xylitol or erythritol.
Cinnamon: I recently started using ceylon cinnamon, and it’s much stronger than “regular” cinnamon. At least to me.
Vanilla: I recently purchased some vanilla powder, but I didn’t use it in this recipe. If you are using vanilla powder, use sparingly. Vanilla is a background flavor and shouldn’t be noticeable.
Baking Soda/Cream of Tarter: These ingredients might seem a little weird in the recipe, but they really add to the overall flavor. The baking soda gives a nice saltiness and zing to the snack bites, and the cream of tarter provides that little, “Hum…What is that?”
If you want to keep this recipe raw, you can probably substitute salt for the baking soda and a tiny bit of lemon juice for the cream of tarter. (I’m going to try that combo next!)
Balls vs Cookies/No-Bake vs Bake vs Dehydrate: I’m sure these snack bites could easily be flattened into cookies and either baked (at 325 for a few minutes) or dehydrated (until firm on the outside), or the entire batch could be squished into a small, square dish and cut into squares (or pressed into molds or free-formed into bars or….)