For Chinese New Year, one can never have enough cookie recipes. There’s the ubiquitous pineapple tart cookies, of which I tried more than 7 recipes last year, and I’m trying a couple more new ones before deciding on my favourite few. I’m also making a number of new and interesting cookies, mainly to cater to special needs in my family. This year, I’m baking more batches of sugar-free cookies for the diabetics, as well as gluten-free cookies. Baking sugar-free was so much easier this year, thanks to a box of stevia products I got from NuNaturals. I got the orange, lemon and vanilla pure stevia extract, as well as xylitol and stevia powder. This allowed me to experiment with a whole array of cookies suitable for diabetics for chinese new year! More on that in the next few posts, so stay tuned!
I first chanced upon this cookie recipe by Pook last year, and I decided to give it a go since it was a small-batch recipe and because my cookie jar in the office was depleting rapidly from the late nights. And as usual, when inspiration to bake these cookies struck, I didn’t have the necessary ingredients on hand – I thus substituted strawberries and walnuts with blueberries and almonds. I have to admit that these cookies are very much like butter cookies, but with lots of goodness packed in each bite thanks to the blueberries and almonds!
For those wondering if they can use fresh blueberries instead of dried ones, my answer would be no. Dried blueberries do not have much water content, and they are very much like eating little bursts of happiness. Just compare it to grapes and raisins and I think you will understand ;p I’m also writing about blueberries today, as part of my Thursday’s Trio installment, although you may realize that this is actually posted on Friday and not Thursday but well, let’s not be sticklers eh? ;p
- Blueberries are one of the only natural foods that are truly blue in color. Huckleberries and some ‘purple’ grapes/plums/berries with blueish hues may fall into this category as well. There are however many purple things though – think of purple carrots, potatoes and eggplant!
- Blueberries are often known as one of the most powerful antioxidants around, and that’s with good reason! If you don’t know, antioxidants are important because they act as warriors in our system against free radicals, which cause damage to our cells and DNA, which may potentially cause cancer if too many cells are damaged and they mutate. Many studies have shown that blueberries reduce high blood pressure and blood sugar! This means that if you have type 2 diabetics, you can consume blueberries safely without worrying that your blood sugar will spike. If you find that you have a weak memory, maybe blueberries will help too, because they are brain food! Studies have shown that blueberries not only stimulate the brain to improve memory, but may potentially slow down the onset of memory-related problems such as Alzheimer’s!
- Did you know that the French myrtilles that most people use when referring to blueberries actually refer to another fruit instead? The bilberry, which is very much similar to blueberries, just that the bilberry is native to Europe whereas the blueberry is a native of North America.
Three ways of using blueberries
- Blueberry jam (which is one of my favourite jams, after strawberry-rhubarb and raspberry)
- Dried blueberries also taste delicious in granola and other cereals (think Great Grains)
- Fresh blueberries baked in cakes/muffins become sweet and absolutely delicious
Three interesting recipes I’ve bookmarked from local blogs
- Blueberry lemon muffins (sorry I know this is bias but this is one of my favourite recipes and blueberries and lemons go well so perfectly!)
- Blueberry cream cheese ice cream (I’ve bookmarked this because this reminds me of Baskin Robbins’ strawberry cheesecake flavour which I love! After my favourite mint of course)
- Blueberry raspberry cheesecake (another thing that blueberries match perfectly with, if you have not realized yet, is cream cheese!)
- 65g unsalted butter
- 25g brown sugar
- 20g white sugar
- 10g glucose
- 50g egg (1 large egg without shell)
- 85g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 55g chopped almonds (with skin)
- 45g dried blueberries
- Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, until light and fluffy. Add in the glucose, and beat for a further 10 seconds.
- Crack in the egg and beat the batter for another 20 seconds. The batter might seem a little soupy at this point but it is okay. Dump in all the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
- Fold in the chopped almonds and dried blueberries. Using a teaspoon, scoop teaspoonfuls of dough onto a greased cookie tray. If you want a slightly chewy cookie, do not flatten the cookies and refrigerate the unbaked cookies for at least 15-30 minutes before baking. If you want a crispier cookie, flatten the cookies such that it is almost circular and bake immediately. The cookie will spread out as it bakes, to become a very thin and crisp cookie.
- Bake at 150°C for about 15 minutes, or until the centre of the cookie sets and the edges are golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for about 10 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.