The steady escalation in the day’s light is intoxicating. No longer do I need lights on the bike for the morning cycle to work! No longer are our evenings spent curled up indoors! If there is one thing living in Canada has done for us, it’s developed our appreciation for sunlight and warmth. Far from the intensity of the North’s lack of daylight for 6 whole months, Calgary actually has an astonishing amount of sun – however the length of day over the last 6 months certainly instituted some form of hibernation.
What a contrast to New Zealand, where activities and hobbies are rarely seasonal, for example biking (and unicycling) was always a year round ordeal. In fact, I was so adament this past winter that sports and activities should continue despite the winter that I refused to stop my daily ride – with decent snow gear, studded tyres and a robust mountain bike I was able to ride daily to and from work without a hitch!
Last week I enjoyed exploring Calgary’s external river paths (without studs and snow gear). Alberta is laced with irrigation canals, providing water to the farms on the outskirts of the city where the land becomes prairies. Alongside some of these canals, beautiful paved cycle paths have been laid leading to the surrounding townships, where cyclists can ride at speed – slightly undulating, low traffic trails with scenic farmland and unending crop fields for a backdrop.
Hallongrotta. That is the original name for these Swedish pastries, meaning ‘raspberry cave’. Over here we call them Jam Thumbprints, I can only guess because you push your thumb into the centre of the dough and fill the ‘cave’ with jam… These are light, slightly sweet and the closest you can get to shortbread without the use of butter and flour. I think they make the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea.
Almond and Jam Thumbprints
Recipe adapted from Bakeaholic
Makes 16 small cookies
1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp honey/maple syrup (optional)
1 Tbsp applesauce (or almond milk)
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and coarsley chopped
all-fruit raspberry jam
Set the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
In a food processor blend together the oats and almond meal until you have a coarse flour. Add the corn starch, baking powder, coconut oil, egg and applesauce and pulse until dough comes together. Using a small cookie scoop, spoon out balls of dough and roll into rounds. Flatten slights and press thumb into centre to create a cave for the jam. Press the edges of the cookie into the chopped almonds and drop a teaspoon of jam into the centre of each.
Bake for 12-14 minutes.