These soft centred celery cookies come from a cookbook on my shelf called Vegetable Desserts: Beyond Carrot Cake and Pumpkin Pie by Elizabeth Schafer and Jeanette L Miller (1998).
I was so pleased to rediscover it snuggled between Vegetable Heaven by Catherine Mason and Secrets from Vegetarian Kitchen by Nadine Abensur. Vegetable Desserts: Beyond Carrot Cake and Pumpkin Pie Thanks to Dom for his Random Recipes Challenge this month. D got it for me a while back. I loved it when I unpacked it for my Birthday a long while back. It appealed to me for loads of reasons, but mostly because I liked to throw vegetables into everything I made. Those of you who have been reading my blog since its inception will vouch for this, and the reason this blog was originally called allotment2kitchen, making the most of my home grown seasonal vegetables. Remember my Sweet Parsnip and Rosemary tart, Beetroot and chocolate waffles with Beetroot cream and Carrot Cake ice-cream and these are just a handful of sweet dishes featured on my much neglected blog.
Well this book is so much more than I could ever imagine. So much vegetable inspiration, and I am not talking about savoury dishes here, but sweet bakes and cakes! Much more than carrot cake for sure - a cake called Web of Intrigue described as a beetroot cheesecake. Rutabuga which is swede for those of us in the U.K, I can see that working similar to parsnip or sweet potatoes. There is also turnip, jicama and cabbage in cookies and pies. Greens such as cucumber and peas, as well spinach, nettle and turnip greens in sweet cakes, and much much more. Its not often obvious by the names of the recipes to what vegetable they have in them, such as Orange Drop cookies and a Mystery Pie which both have beetroot as an ingredient; or Davids Pleasure, a lemony cake which has spinach and turnip greens as the unique ingredient. Other unusual ingredients in sweet cakes and bakes are tomatoes, onion, peppers and honey and garlic ice-cream. And that is not all, the cookbook also contains recipes made with lentils and beans!
This cookbook has been a wonderful rediscovery for me, thanks to Dom of Belleau Kitchen . Dom has set the challenge for the 40th Anniversary of Random Recipes - 40th book on your bookshelf, 40th recipe and (as in my case) if there isn't a page on the 40th page, then go to the next page. Page 40 was blank and page 41 and 42 has a little background about the celery. The original recipe appears on page 43.
Celery is often overlooked as an ingredient in its own right, but her it is giving a starring role, In Vegetable Desserts the writers call these by the name 'Celery Doodles': a delicately browned and less sweet cookie; and instructed that they be the size of a sliver dollar. First I have no idea what a 'doodle' is , and secondly, I have absolutely no idea of the size of silver dollar. But still I made these, they were not what we would call cookies or biscuits in the U.K, they reminded me more of drop scones only these were baked.
These soft centred celery cookies were utterly gorgeous. They were soft, light and crumbly . You could not taste the celery, not like it was disguised as you could see the light green specks dotted here and there, None of my family members detected this hidden vegetable and scoffed them all down in a day or two.
Happy 40th Anniversary Dom and for introducing us to Random Recipes. I don't always participate, but when I do - I really enjoy it. AlsoThank you for getting me to cook or more specific bake from an overlooked cookbook on my shelf. I will be finding much more inspiration from this book.
Soft Centred Celery Cookies
Makes around 3 dozen
2 tablespoons milk
200g caster sugar
190ml vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
465g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 celery sticks, peeled and minced
100g rolled oats
cinnamon for sprinkling
Preheat oven to gas mark 4/180oc.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Then sift in the flour, soda , baking powder, salt and cinnamon and stir to combine. Then stir in the celery and oats until well combined. Using a table spoon drop batter onto a baking ti lined with baking parchment paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon and then bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
Allow to cool. Store in a well sealed tin for up to a week, that is if they last that long.
Slightly adapted from Vegetable Desserts.
Previous celery recipes on A2K
Celery and Tomato Soup
Aduki and Mung Bean Brown Rice Salad
Celery and Pecan Savoury Cakes
Celery and Tomato Salsa