Hot Yam Cookies

Don’t let me confuse you, this is not my apartment. However, in our apartment, I have no WiFi, no AC, and only a mini fridge in my kitchen; yet, I feel like have it all. I can walk a block to the library for Internet. If I want, I can punch up five minutes on the microwave to nuke a yam for these cookies, not my prefered method but works in lieu of heating our place with the oven. Also, I can stop at the grocery store anytime for fresh fruits and vegetables, thus conquering the mini fridge.  Yes, I have it made.

Last weekend we went to a Mountain Man Rendezvous. I hear there is a Rendezvous every weekend of the year somewhere out West. Grizzled folks reenact the Mountain Man era of about 1810-1840.  Traders buy or sell wares, sleep in canvas tents and on buffalo hides, and have competitions: arrow, hawk & knife, shooting, and, from the looks of it, beard growing as well. It was more interesting than I had expected. For example, I learned how to start a fire with a flint striker, cooked cotton, and jute.  

I needed every minute of the lesson this mountain man gave me. It took me about as long as microwaving the yam for these cookies, but I did it. I love the smile on my mentor’s face, too!

Several times during our tutorial he said, “We are creatures of comfort.”  Native Americans used a bow drill (friction of wood on wood) to start fires until the mountain men shared their method.  Quickly they converted, as I would have, too. How true we are all creatures of comfort?Get a load of these lavish shearling covered camp chairs! How comfy? I’m pretty sure Mountain Man was right, I’m a creature of comfort. Maybe that shouldn’t be the goal. Maybe instead I should ask myself at the end of the day: What have I done today that made me uncomfortable but equally content?

I also wonder, there had to have been gluten-sensitive individuals back in the mountain man era?  I’m thinking they would have loved these Hot Yam Cookies. I love anything gluten-free that also tastes good. These do.They look and taste hearty enough for any mountain man but are so soft and sweet. Plus, they are easy peasy to whip up. I used elbow grease and a wooden spoon. A Kitchen Aid would have been nice, but not necessary.  Mountain men or women could have made them and probably better than moi.

Hot Yam Cookies

  • 1 c cooked hot yam (or sweet potato, really, what’s the difference?)
  • ½ c butter or coconut oil
  • ¾ c brown sugar
  • 3 T ground chia seed (or flaxseed)
  • 2 T water
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ t salt
  • 2/3 c rice flour (can substitute flour, but rice flour gives a nice texture)
  • 2/3 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 c chopped Mexican chocolate
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°

In a small bowl, add the ground chia to the water and vanilla. Let stand and allow the chia to soak up all the liquids. In a big bowl mash the yam and mix in butter or coconut oil(which makes these vegan), and brown sugar until well blended. Stir in chia mixture. Then stir in dry ingredients: baking soda, cinnamon, salt, rice flour and oats.  Once the cookie dough is blended, stir in the two types of chocolate. The Mexican chocolate may be hard to find.It is intended for Mexican hot chocolate, but fantastic when roughly chopped in these cookies.  If you’re unable to track down a bar of Ibarra chocolate spiked with cinnamon, then just double dark chocolate and add a pinch extra cinnamon.  Play with it.

Bake for about 10 minutes.  Allow to cool. Enjoy!

Next Rendezvous I come across, I’m going to learn how to throw a hawk.  I was supposed to get a tomahawk lesson from this kid, but he had to go shoot guns. Priorities. 

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