Holiday Treats!

In my family, baking Christmas cookies has been a yearly tradition.  I can remember spending hours in my grandmother’s kitchen with her and my  mom each year baking and decorating Christmas cookies.  It is one of my favorite memories of the holiday season.  We always had our staples too–sugar cookie cutouts, jelly cookies (two different kinds), the little butter cookies that you shoot out of the cookie press, and a cookie that will my grandmother will always be known for that we call the spritz cookie.

As the years have passed and I now live a couple states away from my family, baking Christmas cookies has become something that is important to me to do each year on my own.  It not only gets my into the holiday spirit, but I also enjoy being able to give the cookies I’ve made to other people and to bring them to my family when I travel home for the holiday.  And, so that it feels a little bit like those days of baking when I was a kid, I always share my baking adventures with my mom and grandmother letting them know what I’m baking and sending them photos along the way.

This year, while I made some staples, I also made a few gluten free cookies that I was really happy with.  Gluten free dessert recipes can be questionable in that you’re never really sure how they will turn out–too dense, unable to retain a shape, tasting of whichever flour you may have used, etc.–so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about these recipes.  But, having been gluten free for about six months (like truly gluten free, and not just when it’s convenient), I wanted to have some treats around me that I could enjoy; so, I gave a few recipes a try and am really excited about how they turned out.

Naturally, in the spirit of the season, I wanted to share them…

My sister loving the ginger molasses treats!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat together peanut butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.

3. Add beaten egg and baking soda to peanut butter mixture and beat until all ingredients are well combined.

4.  Scoop 1 teaspoon of dough out at a time, roll each into a ball, and place on greased cookie sheet (leave about 1.5 inches between each cookie).

5. Flatten balls with a fork making a cross pattern.

6. Bake until puffed, about 10 minutes.

**To decorate, brush with egg white and sprinkle with festive sprinkles or sugar.

**Makes about 2 dozen cookies

**Recipe from Food.com 

Soft Paleo Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup smooth cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • a few additional tbsps coconut sugar for dipping (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut sugar, molasses, vanilla, cashew butter, and coconut oil until very smooth.
  3. In separate bowl, combine the coconut flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and mix.
  4. Slowly, mix the dry ingredients into the wet until a sticky dough forms–chill the dough for about 5 minutes to allow it to firm up a bit.
  5. After it’s chilled, roll dough into 1/5 inch balls, roll in coconut sugar (if desired–you can totally keep them plain too), and place on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Flatten each ball of dough, and bake for about 8-10 minutes.  You will see the tops of the cookies crack when they are done.

**Makes about 12-16 cookies

**Recipe from paleorunningmomma.com 

Italian Pistachio Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pistachio flour (fresh ground pistachios)
  • 1/4 cup unpasteurized honey
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pistachios, hulled and chopped
  • 2 egg whites

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine almond and pistachio flours and egg whites–mix well.
  3. Warm the 1/4 cup of honey to make it easy to mix, and stir into the flour mixture.
  4. Spread chopped pistachios on a flat surface.
  5. Roll dough into 1-2 inch balls and roll them in the chopped pistachios.
  6. Flatten balls slightly and bake for 12-15 minutes.

**To decorate,  brush with egg white and sprinkle with festive sprinkles or sugar.

**If you find that the dough is too wet or too dry when it comes time to roll into balls, you may add additional pistachio or almond flour or add an additional egg white.**

**Make about 2 dozen cookies

**Recipe from Food.com 

 

May you have happy holidays with family and friends 

Much love to you all

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