These are dangerously addictive! But thankfully they are also really fun to make. A simple “Sugar” cookie that is simply made without all that icky refined sugar, wheat, grains, and starch! It seems almost too good to be true, but it’s not! These Holiday cookies are sure to be a favorite with your entire family! Even those without food allergies or intolerances are going to seriously LOVE these cookies!
It feels like its been FOREVER since I put up a new recipe! Forever = 3 months. Where have I been? Well I am working away, night and day on a Low Starch Paleo Cookbook. I am so excited to be putting this project together. It is the diet that literally saved my life from my autoimmune disease of Ankylosing Spondylitis, candida overgrowth and my symptoms of colitis. The cook book I am publishing includes the full holistic approach I live each day to overcome inflammation and still enjoy delicious foods with my friends and family. I ask you all to be sure to “follow me” by entering your email address in the upper right hand corner of my website, so I can send you a little announcement when my book is published in 2015. Until then, please enjoy these Holiday Cookies as my gift to you! I hope they inspire wonderful memories for you too!
These cookies take me back to cozy nights of hot chocolate and cookie decorating. They remind me of visiting my Grandmothers and hand making gifts for my family. And now at age 35, I think I love these darn little cookies even more! Each bite serves as a connection to my past, a time before I developed life changing chronic pains, when I could still feel like one of the family, without getting ill from accidentally taking a bite of the wrong food. I currently have a few dozen of these cookies stored in my freezer, and find myself treating myself to them each day. I love the texture of these cookies right outta the freezer, but you can serve them at room temp if you please! They go so well with a pure cup of hot chocolate made with: hot water, coconut milk, cacao, honey, and love!
Ginger, my little helper is pictured below. She likes to make sure every crumb that hits the floor is accounted for.
These cookies do have one pastured egg, and the egg free versions I tried were not quite as spectacular. After spending most of my life “egg-free” I am finding I do enjoy them baked into my goodies these days. I just make it a point to only source eggs from our small local farms, where the chickens are free range living outdoors, as I can’t bare to support factory farms. If you’d like to make vegan and paleo holiday cookies, here is my favorite vegan holiday cookie recipe.
NOTE: I have linked to all of my favorite ingredients below. Just click on the ingredient to find out which brand I prefer and where I purchase it. Also please read the notes at the bottom regarding these ingredients. I like the plain “sugar cookie” version best, but have also included the changes to make the gingerbread version below the recipe. Thanks loves!
Holiday Cookies (paleo)
- 2 cups blanched almond flour*
- 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 pinch sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract**
- 1 pastured egg
- 1/4 cup sweetener your choice *** granulated sweetener or pure raw honey
- 1/4 cup organic palm shortening softened**** orcoconut oil
Mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, sea salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add in vanilla and almond extract.
Create a well in the center, add in the egg, whisk egg, then stir in honey, and mix in palm shortening.
Combine ingredients by hand, until a cookie dough forms.
Cover cookie dough with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Roll out cookie dough on a piece of parchment paper. I simply mash/smooth out the dough using a piece of saran wrap to create a flat rectangle over top a piece of parchment paper. If you have any issues with the dough being too sticky, simply dust it with extra almond flour.
Using your favorite holiday cookie cutters, cut in your cookie shapes, keeping an inch between each cookie.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Rather than disturb the cut out cookies, simply peel up the extra cookie dough that surrounds each cookie. This dough is not quite as strong as traditional gluten filled cookie dough, and it is easiest to leave each cookie in its place, undisturbed, and then roll out the extra dough on another sheet of parchment paper and and repeat. Transfer the parchment paper with the cookie cut-outs to a large baking sheet.
Bake cookies for 7 minutes (+/-), at 350*F. I found the taste and texture to be best when the cookies are lightly golden on the bottom.
Cool cookies completely before icing. I actually put them the freezer overnight, and iced them the next day. Icing frozen cookies is the easiest way to do it, as the icing will firm up when it hits the chilled cookie, and they are much easier to handle without breaking. (I also like these cookies best stored in the freezer, love the texture when they are cold, and it helps keep them around longer. As they seem to disappear when left on the counter) You can also ice them without freezing very easily too, just wait until they are fully cool before handling. Icing recipe is below.
I decorated my cookies with all sorts of fun natural ingredients including chopped nuts, grated chocolate flakes (pure no added sugar), cacao nibs, freeze dried berries, powdered freeze dried berries, and coconut flakes.
Note: This icing is perfect for icing a double batch of cookies, 24 or more cookies.
- 1 cup organic palm shortening (coconut oil) room temp**
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt
- Beat ingredients together in a mixing bowl using a handheld mixer. If needed, add more sweetener to taste.
- Spoon icing into a quart sized zip lock back, snip off the edge, and pipe the icing on the cookies.
- After icing, decorate cookies with freeze dried fruits, chopped dried fruits like raisins and dates, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and chopped nuts.
*This is my current favorite brand of blanched almond flour.
**Almond extract really adds that authentic sugar cookie taste. You can also mix up the flavors by using orange extract instead, or a coconut extract, or special spice extract with chai spices.
***To make “gingerbread” cookies, omit honey, add 2 Tablespoons unsulphured black strap molasses and use only 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey (reduced from 1/4 cup honey). Also add 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger, and omit almond extract.
****I love using organic palm shortening in my baking, it’s my favorite fat to bake with, here is the brand I use. Organic palm shortening also makes the BEST dairy free “buttercream” icing substitute! Please don’t confuse organic palm shortening with virgin palm oil, which is orange and has a very distinct taste, and would not be a good addition to these cookies. And please be sure to purchase your palm shortening from a company certified by ProForest, to help protect the world from deforestation practices of the larger more destructive companies. If you use coconut oil as the fat in this recipe, try this organic expeller pressed coconut oil, it has a wonderful texture, and zero coconut taste. I like this brand of organic expeller pressed coconut oil. Here are the cookie cutters I used. Purchase here.
Make this recipe SCD-friendly by omitting the cream of tartar, and using honey in the icing instead of maple syrup.
Featured on: Gluten Free Wednesdays + Allergy Free Wednesdays + Homegrown & Healthy 12 Days of DIY Christmas + Savoring Saturdays Great Fall Recipes + Gluten Free Fridays + Gluten Free Recipe Fix: Holiday Edition + Try a Bite Tuesday + Real Food Fridays
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