Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Coconut Cut Out Shortbread Cookies

It has been snowing here non-stop for the last 4 hours and at times has been white out conditions. A perfect day to lock yourself in the house (well, kitchen) and do some holiday baking. Not to mention the absolutely freezing temperatures...the warm oven and hot cocoa are keeping me warm today and that makes me very, very thankful for a cozy kitchen. My heart aches for those without a safe warm home on a day like today. That sure is something to be grateful for this holiday season. And a reminder to give to those who are in need!

These cookies are actually grain-free if you are into that sorta thing. It is also nut-free but does have coconut, so I guess technically not completely tree-nut free. But it is an option for me who doesn't eat most nuts and especially almonds for the last few years. I miss almonds, but also know that I have felt much better since giving up nuts in my life. That can be understood in more than one way ;)

I love doing cut-out cookies, but the reality is... I am not really great at it. I guess I'm not a very patient person (or maybe dainty, detailed person). So that's my issue :) But thankfully when you have a little 3 year old that is interested in playing in the kitchen this cookie recipe is tons of fun. So you can kinda throw out all cookie making perfection out the door. Such a fun way to bake if you ask me :) 
Coconut Cut Out Shortbread Cookie Recipe
{gluten, dairy, grain, nut and sugar free}

1 1/2 cup of coconut flour
1 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ts. of sea salt
3/4 cup of softened organic coconut oil
2 farm fresh eggs
2 ts. of pure vanilla
1/3 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup of pure maple syrup

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, then add the coconut oil and mix well, almost turns into a sandy mixture or like you are making a pie crust. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well. Then use some extra tapioca flour to dust and form a ball of dough. 
Get out a parchment, rolling pin and your favorite shapes to get ready to make some cookies. I like to cut the dough ball in 4 pieces so that you can roll out the dough in chunks. 
You might need to use some extra tapioca flour for dusting and rolling. And you should try and roll the dough about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick for easiest cutting and moving. The dough may seem a little dry and that it may fall apart, but after you bake it it stick very well together so no worries.
 Place the cookies on a parchment papered cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Until the cookies have a golden edge. You can put the cookies close together on the baking sheet because they do not rise much.
 Let the cookies cool completely before you decide to frost or drizzle with chocolate.
 I decided to try out a chocolate drizzle on these cookies and it turned out delicious (and messy with a 3 year old). But the flavors are great together. Simple and good. 
I just melted 1/4 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips with 2 ts. of coconut oil and then mixed well and used a small teaspoon to drizzle it over the cookies. Let cool completely before you transfer. 
The cut outs turned out great, but you could also make this cookie dough into square shortbread cookies. Or roll out the dough into small balls and then press down slightly and then bake. You could also drizzle those cookies with chocolate for a finishing touch. 
These cookies are a perfect combination of soft middle, crunchy sides and crispy texture. Super easy and simple ingredients always make the best cookies!

Happy baking and ENJOY!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Jelly Oat Cookies (gluten, dairy, and nut-free)

It's that time of year! Cookie baking time! I love to bake cookies and so December is my excuse to make cookies and share them, freeze them, and nibble on them with a cup of my new favorite hot cocoa (or this oldie, goodie recipe too!). 

I'm not going to lie though....these cookies have been a staple snack and treat in my house since this last June. So they are not a very *special* twinkly, glittery Christmas cookie. Just a simple and fabulous cookie that the young and old will alike enjoy. It is my 3 year old's most requested and favorite cookie. Which if I am honest is perfectly fine with me if he wants to eat this cookie more than once throughout the day. There is no sugar, and lots of fiber and protein from the oats....so basically a bowl of oatmeal in a cookie, right?! 
And, when you are gluten-free like me, darling, you need a cookie option like this one. One that you can make and actually enjoy and doesn't harm your sensitive body's eco system known as your gut. Don't cheat with toxic sugar and gluten and fake ingredients. It's just not worth it darling, and if you need me to come up with substitute cookies to appease the thought of cheating....I will, I will!

In the meantime, this recipe I have memorized because of the 20-up-times I have made it. Super dependable and delish. What are your plans for Christmas cookie baking this year? Are you discouraged about GF and trying to avoid ideas? Or are you trying to sub some ingredients in a favorite old recipe? I would love to hear what you have up your gluten-free cookie baking sleeve this year!
Jelly Oat Cookies Recipe
(gluten, dairy, nut, sugar and soy-free, vegan)

3 cups of freshly ground gluten-free oat flour (grind your own GF rolled oats in a grinder/blender)
1 cup of gluten-free rolled oats
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of cinnamon (or ground ginger as a sub) (or a little of both )
1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
2/3 cup of soft organic coconut oil
1/3 cup of soft sunflower seed butter
1-2 TB of non-dairy milk of choice
1-2 ts. of pure vanilla
1/2 cup or so of favorite fruity jam (I have used organic strawberry, blueberry and a homemade peach)
All options are good for this cookie. Some yummy combos are ginger and peach, cinnamon and blueberry, and plain strawberry is a favorite around here too.

First in a high powered blender, blend 3 cups of GF rolled oats to make your own GF oat flour. Pour the heaping 3 cups of oat flour in a large mixing bowl, and then dump the rest of  the dry ingredients together. Then pour in all of the wet(syrup, oil and butter) at once and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands. After mixed, it will be a tad sticky, let the batter sit for 5 minutes and it will meld together well.
Then take a TB of dough and roll into a ball and put on a parchment papered baking sheet pan. You can place these balls close to each other. Then after rolling out the balls, take a small spoon and press it down into the ball to flatten the ball and make a small hole in the middle of the cookie. Then take a small dose (around 1 ts. of fruit jelly and put it in the middle of the cookie. This recipe will make 3 dozen cookies and they can easily be fit all together on 2 large 11x15 pans. 

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18 minutes. Let cool 10-15 minutes before eating. And they save great on the counter for a few days and freeze amazingly!

Here are a few of my other favorite Christmas cookie recipes 
that I will be making once AGAIN this year!!!

ENJOY and happy baking!