Raw Red Velvet Cookies

When I was 5, I had a red velvet Christmas dress.  I didn't choose, it I am pretty sure my Mother did, but I loved it because I could twirl in it and the fabric would go out to the sides. I wore my cute little white tights and patent leather shoes with it and felt like a princess.  Those were good times, Christmas dinner at Grandma and Grandpas with all the cookies, opening presents and waiting for Santa.  At least that is what I most loved at 5.

I had no idea there was any such thing as red velvet cake until just a couple years ago in fact. To me red velvet always made me think of those Christmas dresses.  Now though, to me red velvet is Christmassy, so I often times make some sort of dessert every year involving it.  A few years back I had made some vegan red velvet cookies, and they are one of my top blog posts so I thought why not step it up with an even more beautiful raw version?

I made a delicious dough involving beets (no you cannot taste them), so they were a little more deep magenta than red, but I like that color.  They turned out soft and sweet as red velvet cookies should be in my mind, and I topped them off with a creamy raw coconut frosting.  I would have loved these cookies as a five year old!

Raw Red Velvet Cookies
Makes 8 Large Cookies

2 cups raw almond meal*
1 cup finely shredded dried coconut
1/4 cup raw beets, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar

frosting:
3/4 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/4 cup coconut water
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 cup fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/4 cup raw coconut nectar
1 teaspoons vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean
1 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

For the cookies, combine almond meal, coconut and beets in the food processor and process until finely ground, smooth and well blended.  Add the sea salt, vanilla and coconut nectar and process until well combined. Remove dough from food processor and roll out to 1/4 inch thick on a piece of parchment paper.  Place in the freezer for about an hour to chill, then use a large star cookie cutter to cut out stars (re-rolling scraps).  Place stars on dehydrator trays, and dry for about 24 hours, until dry, but still soft.  Let cool.
For the frosting, combine all ingredients except coconut oil and process until smooth. With the processor running, add the coconut oil, and process a minute more until well blended. Place the frosting in the freezer for about 1/2 an hour or until frosting consistency. When stiff enough to pipe, place in a pastry bag and pipe onto the stars.  Enjoy!

*Soaked almonds, peeled, dried and finely ground.

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