I don't really like beets all that much, which you may have picked up on, considering that every time my food co-op forces them upon me, I reluctantly come up with some sort of way to cook them for which I can muster only minimal enthusiasm. Yeah that's usually how it goes. Not a total clunker in the bunch, but nothing that made me jump up and say "YES! This is the beet I have been waiting for and now we are in LOVE," and I'm beginning to think it's just never gonna happen.
So basically, this is me giving up on making a "beet dish" that I would really enjoy and just hiding them in a big fat chocolatey cookie. Of course, you occasionally hear about people making "all natural" red velvet cake with beets instead of red food coloring (which is actually more traditional, believe it or not). I could have gone that route, with a delicious cream cheese frosting, but I really wanted to whip up David Lebowitz's cream cheese ice cream, which made me think of ice cream sandwiches, which led me to these red velvet beet cookies.
I'd like to make a note that while I have tagged this post as gluten free, the cookies are sadly glutinous. If you're here for the cream cheese ice cream though, you celiac sufferers need not worry. The ice cream is delicious on its own, and that is totally gluten free. I previously blogged about cream cheese ice cream here, but don't worry, I'll provide the recipe once again.
These cookies were a little dense, and to be honest, there was something a little weird about them. Not bad, just slightly strange-- but it was nothing a little cream cheese ice cream couldn't change. Actually, they are even better with a lot of ice cream. The cookies kind of dry out your mouth and stick to your throat, so I found myself pairing a big heaping spoonful of ice cream with each bite. Don't worry too much about constructing the ice cream sandwich. Hot cookies and cold ice cream work really well if you are serving right away, but if not you can always throw them back in the freezer to harden to eat later.
Red Velvet Beet Cookies
adapted from BetterRecipes.com
2 cups red beets, roasted until soft and pureed
4 cups flour
1½ cups cocoa
1½ cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, softened
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking Soda
1 tsp salt
Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add in beets, eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to rest of mixture. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet, in a 350 degree oven, for 10 minutes.
For ice cream sandwiches, spread the batter into thin flat circles. The batter is really thick and stiff, and it doesn't spread out in the oven. Or at least mine didn't. For a nice contrast of temperatures, layer the ice cream between two warm cookies, and eat immediately!
Cheesecake Ice Cream, Philadelphia Style
from David Lebovitz's One Perfect Scoop, published 2007
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
½ cup half-and-half*
⅔ cup suar
pinch of salt
Cut the cream cheese into small pieces. Zest the lemon directly into a blender or food processor, then add the cream cheese, sour cream, half-and-half, sugar and salt, and purée until smooth.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator according to the manufacturer's instructions.