Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Coconut Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

Can you believe it? 6 more days till Christmas. The day always comes so fast and the anticipation is so present you can almost taste it. The to-do list  is hopefully mostly scratched-out and maybe only some last minute wrapping and baking to be done. So, you may want to add this recipe to the list, so please don't hate me for this extra last minute Christmas fun. 
If you haven't found a good gluten-free Christmas cookie recipe yet, I would dare to say this is my favorite this year. Last year I made a Stevia-Sweetened Sugar Cut-Out cookies, but this year I have been enjoying coconut sugar for it's rich pure flavor, low glycemic index and healthy minerals and benefits. 
There is nothing too special about this gluten-free cookie recipe except that you can actually feel "normal" and use your most favorite cookie cutters and roll out this perfect dough like any other. It is also nut-free, gum-free (but sticks together perfectly!) and very simple, which to me is some of the most important requirements after it being gluten-free. I found it so hard to find a nut-free version of cut-outs. And, yes, nuts may be fine with you, but for my son and myself I have really found peace with avoiding them. This recipe makes about 1-2 dozen cookies depending on your cutter shape's sizes, and I will be doubling it next time because it is so fun to make these cookies. 
I did make quite a few gingerbread men cookies with this dough, but as you may tell from the lack of them in the pictures,  my son ate them all. He liked to eat their heads first and thought it was hilarious! What a hoot! And of course he kept calling them "the good guy cookies" I think my next batch will be just a bunch of "good guys" because he loved them so much.
Also...side note... this recipe would be a great recipe for any teething babe or toddler that is eating more solids because it is a cute cookie treat that they can hold with their own hands, it doesn't crumble too badly, and it's so much better for them than eating something processed or full of preservatives or artificial sugars. You could make these cookies year round with different cutters for every holiday or season of the year just for this fun of it and for the kids of course.
Now, I love these cookies without icing, BUT to stick with the Christmas decorating fun you may want to find a simple icing that works for you or your family. I decided to try out a frosting I used on cupcakes earlier this year. I whipped up almost equal amounts of raw honey and soft coconut oil and came up with a simple sweet icing. I added some strawberry juice/puree to some of that base to make a semi-red color, and some chlorophyll to make a slight green color. Some real-food items for decorating could be candied ginger, raisins, craisins, chocolate chips, coconut flakes and other favorite dried fruits or seeds. I put the icing in a pipping bag (or ziplock bag) to control the use and amount. 

Regular powdered sugar icing or cream cheese frostings are usually naturally gluten-free, but I'm a little too health-nerdy to just allow myself to eat too much toxic sugar and dyes just because so I thought I would try my luck at finding something a little different. A little more rustic and unusual.

Some other help/recipes for finding a healthier alternative icing look here:

Now to the cookie cutting! ENJOY!
Coconut Sugar Cut-Out Cookie Recipe
(gluten and nut-free, vegan)

1 cup of freshly ground buckwheat flour
1 1/3 cup of freshly ground GF oat flour
2/3 cup of white rice flour
*or use 3 cups of your favorite GF flour blend*
1 TB of chia seed meal
1 TB of flax seed meal
2/3 cup of coconut sugar
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of baking powder
8 TB of room temperature soft organic coconut oil
6 TB of homemade unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 ts. of apple cider vinegar
1 TB of pure vanilla
3 TB of non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious coconut milk)

*I grind my own flour, so I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats and ground the oats in a high powered blender (magic bullet, vitamix, ect) I did the same thing with raw buckwheat groats to get the buckwheat flour. The freshly ground flour always makes the best baking flour for texture and taste. I usually measure just a bit less of the oats or groats that I need and grind them to make the full amount of flour I need. If I make too much you can always use it in another recipe soon. 

UPDATE 12/2014: I made this recipe recently and subbed out the buckwheat flour with NAMASTE'S GF flour blend and also subbed out the flax and chia seeds. It can be made with subbing the flour and forgetting the seeds to get the same results as the posted recipe. 

In a large mixing bowl, mix together your dry ingredients first...then add the oil, applesauce and vanilla and milk. Mix well with a fork or to be honest, your hands and fingers do the job best. Knead the lump of cookie dough in your hands for a few minutes until you get a perfectly mixed ball of cookie dough. If your dough is a touch sticky, then sprinkle some more rice flour to stiffen it right up, or if you prefer, stick the dough in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to stiffen up and ready for rolling out.

Roll out the ball of dough on a floured parchment paper. Try and keep the thickness around 1/2 inch and roll out as evenly as possible. Then start cutting with your favorite shapes. Put the cookies in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes. I like my cookies a bit crispier, so I stay around 18 minutes baking time, but if you want softer cookies then stay around 15 minutes.  This recipe should make about 2 dozen cookies but really depends on the size of your cutters and how big and small you want your cookies to be.
These are so fun to make with kids, even my 2-year old son had fun "rolling" out the dough and cutting up some cookies. Yes, it made a mess and we had to re-do many of the cookies, but he learned so much and it was fun to see him try and create something of his own. And, with not much to do outside these days with no snow and weird yucky weather.... baking fun is the most excitement we have going on around here these days!
I loved sprinkling some raw coconut flakes. It kinda felt like it was snowing. Even if it was just for a magical second. I miss snow. Is it weird I am saying this? :)

I have my fingers crossed for a white Christmas...I am hoping and waiting...I live in Michigan for goodness sakes! It seems like as long as I can remember lots of snow starting in early November. Not last year or this year, it has just been cold, rainy, wet and dreary. But I haven't lost hope yet...it could still happen, right?! And, I may just listen to "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" again....:)
Hmmm, but in the meantime, finishing up shopping, wrapping, baking and resting in between will keep us busy and also in anticipation for the Christmas and new year to come! 

Much love to you as always! 

6 comments:

  1. Can you use a all-purpose GF flour instead of the buckwheat or would another kind make a good substitute?

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    1. Anon- I am not sure how any other flour subs would hold up exactly because I have not tried it, but I would suggest using a GF all-purpose flour blend to sub the buckwheat or the whole flour requirement and see how that goes. My only thought is that they might be a tad more crumbly because the buckwheat does hold these cookies together nicely. Let me know what you try and how it goes!

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  2. Those cookies look so yummy!! I was just looking for a gf cut-out cookie recipe to try, so this will be perfect :)

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    1. I think I am going to make another batch this weekend! enjoy!

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  3. Where do you buy the Chlorophyll for the icing? Making these soon! :)

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    1. Caroline- I found it at harvest health. They also have powdered spirilina that would do the same thing!

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