Gluten Free Holiday Cut-Out Cookies {dairy-free, soy-free, cane sugar-free}

GFCF Cookies w/GFCF Cane-Sugar free icing & Food-Dye Free Decorations
Gluten-Free Holiday Cut-Out Cookies ~ Food-Dye-Free Decorations

 

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My little elves, making cookies.

Probably one of the clearest examples of how FOOD traditions get entwined in holidays and other celebrations is that of the CHRISTMAS CUT OUT cookies to our Christmas holiday. It is just part of the MAGIC of this holiday season. Even though we don’t make recipes anymore that call for 2 cups of sugar (yikes!) or 3 cups of powdered sugar (double yikes!), or bright chemically-food-dyed frostings and sprinkles (holy brain cells batman!) CUT OUT COOKIES ARE A MUST for a complete Christmas holiday at our house.  taste tester

This year, I was churning through recipes ideas and past recipes and trying to find the perfect cut out cookie. This is pretty easy to do with traditional flour, but with gluten & sugar free baking, this can be a little bit tricky. I wanted a dough that was firm enough to roll out, baked up with a good crunch but still soft and crumbly in the center, and a sugar cookie that doesn’t actually use any sugar. This is what we came up with and I was pretty happy with the outcome! We certainly had no problem testing the batches ;).

IMG_20141220_200031DecorationsThen, we raided the pantry for topping ideas! Here’s what we came up with:

~Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

~Elyon Mini Marshmallows

~Let’s Do Organic Sprinkles

~Hammond Candy Cane crushed into “peppermint dust”

~Organic Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

~Cinnamon “Sugar” {cinnamon mixed with granulated coconut sugar}

The toppings were definitely not sugar free, but I get much satisfaction from minimizing the harmful ingredients in our family’s food, and even MORE satisfaction in being able to maintain such wonderful traditions despite our food allergies! From our house to yours, and no matter WHAT you celebrate this time of year, we hope you have a wonderfully delicious & abundantly healthy holiday season!

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

1 1/2 cups almond flour (you could use any nut flour)

1 1/4 cups brown rice flour (plus more for dusting your rolling surface and rolling pin)

1/2 cup arrowroot

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs (or 1/4 cup applesauce)

1/4 cup spectrum organic palm shortening (Coconut oil should work too)

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon real salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), cream together the shortening and honey and vanilla. Now mix in the eggs until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and salt and whisk them together (or sift if you want to take that extra step). Slowly add your dry mix a half cup at a time into your creamed mixture until everything is combined. The dough will be a solid ball, but still fairly soft. At this point, you can cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to a couple of days).

Once your dough is chilled, you can begin the fun of rolling and cutting. Collect the cutters you want to use and clear a flat surface to roll the dough out on. You will want to generously flour your surface. If the dough seems sticky, simply roll it in some of the brown rice flour. I work with half of the dough at a time, keeping the half I am not working with back in the fridge.

Roll the dough out to desired thickness. We like ours about 1/4 inch thick. Press out your cookies and transfer to a baking sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper).

Once your cookie sheet is full of your cut outs, bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should be crisp on the edges, a light golden color, and as long as you don’t over bake them, will still have a soft crumb when you bite into them.

Repeat until you have used all of your dough. Cool on a wire rack until you are ready to decorate.

 

The Icing

1/3 cup spectrum organic palm shortening

1/3 cup honey

4 drops of liquid stevia

5 tablespoons arrowroot

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk or hand-mix the shortening and honey together. Stir in the vanilla and then one tablespoon of arrowroot at a time.

~NOW~ Before you start adding in chemical food colorings to your beautifully refined-sugar and chemical-free icing, please consider doing a quick read on the research that has been done on these and their effects on the brain and even on behavior. I really like the Feingold website’s information, particularly on food dyes. We choose not to use them in our house.  You can purchase some naturally colored food-dyes (amazon or the natural candy Se should carry either or both of the India Tree or the Let’s Do Organic) Or, you can get creative with other things. This year, we used come Enjoy Life chocolate chips, some cinnamon “sugar”, some dye free sprinkles by Let’s Do , some organic coconut shreds, and some gluten free marshmallows (just a few ;)) . The kids were proud of their creations, and everyone certainly enjoyed EATING their artwork.

Our Cookie CreationsIMG_20141221_0941152014-12-20 19.58.07

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