A Weekend of Sunshine, Bike Rides & Almond Cookies (Dairy Free, Egg Free, Vegan)

After one of the coldest Springs on record, the weather is finally starting to warm up.  Like us, the garden is loving it!  The Aquilegias (‘Granny’s Bonnet’) are out in full force…

Aquilegia - June 2013

and the peonies have started to bloom.

Peony May-June 2013

We had zero fruit on the apple and plum trees last year due to the poor weather conditions, but things are looking better this year.  Even the tiny apple tree growing in our rockery is covered in blossom.

Apple Tree & Peony - May-June 2013

Hopefully we’ll have lots of homegrown apples come September 🙂

Apple Blossom - May-June 2013

The weather is still very patchy at the moment though.  One day we have glorious sunshine and it’s warm, while the next day it can be cold and dark, with non stop rain.  I don’t know when (or if) the weather is going to settle down this year, so we’re just going to have to make the most of the sunshine when it appears.

This morning, before heading out on our bikes, Lil’ L and I decided to bake some Cinnamon Fruit Loaf and Almond Cookies.  As soon as the cookies were baked, we headed out into the garden to enjoy them along with a cup of raw hot chocolate.

Lil L, Almond Cookies & Hot Choc in the Garden 1

In fact, it was so sunny this morning that we needed to wear sun glasses!

Lil L, Almond Cookies & Hot Choc in the Garden 2

The almond cookies were really yummy!  Straight from the oven, they were crunchy on the outside with a softer centre.  We used chapatti flour which is so fine that you wouldn’t even guess that these cookies were wholegrain!  To boost the almond flavour, we added a little almond extract which gave them a hint of marzipan.  Next time round, we’re going to toast the almonds first to see if we can boost the almond flavour even more.

Vegan Almond Cookies

Here’s how we made them:

Fuelled up from our ‘elevenses’, we headed out on our second bike ride of the weekend, this time along the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal…

Riding along the Kennet & Avon Canal Towpath

passing through the lush green countryside and wildflower meadows round Monkton Coombe, followed by a ride through the Bath Two Tunnels (it was so cool in there!)

Two Tunnels

then onto Bath city centre for cappuccinos & smoothies.    It was absolutely glorious!

I hope you had a lovely weekend too and I wish you all the best for the week ahead 🙂

What was the highlight of your weekend?

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12 Comments

Filed under Baking & Desserts

12 Responses to A Weekend of Sunshine, Bike Rides & Almond Cookies (Dairy Free, Egg Free, Vegan)

  1. Marty

    Sharon, the pictures are beautiful. I live halfway around the world in AK, our spring was a month late this year too. The biscuits look easy and good, I wonder if I could make them GF? I watched Genetic Roulette about Monsanto and GMOs, and they said canola oil is not GMO free. Perhaps coconut oil might work work in its place. Thank you.

    • Thanks Marty! So lovely to hear from you ♥ If you do have a try at making these cookies GF, I’d love to hear how you get on. I imagine that liquefied coconut oil would work fine in this recipe. This GM business is awful isn’t it? The major supermarkets here in the UK have stated that all their own-brand products are GM-free, which is somewhat reassuring. I often use an organic supermarket-branded canola oil, but I’m also fortunate enough to live in an area surrounded by canola fields. All the oil produced in these fields is GM free. http://bathharvestoils.co.uk/about-rapeseed-oil.

  2. such pretty flowers – and your cookies look delicious!
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  3. Used to go to one of the tunnels when playing truant from school, and on a night hike with the Scouts. Spooky! LOL 🙂
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    • That tunnel is SO dark! I was half way through it the other day and hit a patch where the lights had gone out. M was right next to me and I couldn’t even see him. I’ve never pedalled so fast in my life lol!

  4. Granny Bonnets! We have the William Guinness variety (dark purple/black) and they’re happily flowering away right now. The Tree Peony has just finished, though looked very grand while blooming. The oriental poppies are giving the best show right now, with their glossy red blowsy blooms in the borders. Amidst the splash of red there’s one white one pale as the moon, which I intend to capture seed from and distribute around the Granny Bonnets, as I think the dark purple and lunar white will contrast perfectly.
    Almond biscuits look fab Sharon, as do all your vegan baked goodies!

    • I adore red poppies, but particularly love the oriental poppies with their striking black centres. I would love to try growing some myself. My friend has got a stunning display in her back garden so I’m hoping to grab a few seeds once they’ve finished blooming x

  5. That looks like a lovely bike ride, glad the weather is picking up! It is bank holiday here in Ireland today so we get a long weekend 😀
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  6. Joni

    Hi Sharon
    As always photos and recipes are wonderful
    and everything looks so much better in the sunshine!

    • Hi Joni! So lovely to hear from you! 😀
      Everything does look much better in the sun doesn’t it? It’s so dark & overcast at the moment… really hope the sun makes a return soon!
      Have a wonderful weekend xx

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