When we told our boys that we were staying home over the holidays, of course they were disappointed. Like my husband and I, they were looking forward to seeing their extended family as well as the celebrations that accompany the holidays. Since we changed plans at the last minute, we had no celebratory plans of our own, so we decided to do some new things to make the time special.
Due to their food allergies, my boys haven’t had sugar cookies. Whenever we walk past them in a bakery, they always look at them longingly and wish they could eat them. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to make allergy friendly, healthier sugar cookies with my boys. And were they ever excited.
We pulled out our tin of cookie cutters, which so far they’d only used with modeling dough. I found a recipe that would work for us. And we set about a day of baking.
We had lots of fun making and decorating them, and they were delicious to eat. Here’s how we prepared them:
Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Sugar Cookies
½ cup Palm Shortening
¼ cup Coconut Oil
¾ cup Sugar
¼ teaspoon Almond Extract
2 teaspoons Ground Vanilla Beans (or Vanilla Extract)
2 ¼ cups Almond Flour
½ cup Coconut Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
Nuts, Berries, and/or Frosting to decorate, if desired
- If your house runs cool in the winter, like ours, slightly soften your palm shortening and coconut oil.
- I used a stand mixer for the following steps, but a hand mixer (or a really strong arm and wooden spoon!) would also work. Cream together the sugar, shortening, and coconut oil. Then add the eggs, almond extract, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing well after each addition, until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Line a plate with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough for the mixing bowl and form it into a ball. Flatten the ball onto the parchment-lined plate, making a plate-sized disk, and cover with a second piece of parchment paper.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can also refrigerate the dough overnight, but be sure to wrap it thoroughly so it won’t dry out.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper (we used 3, you’ll use more or less depending on the size of your sheets and how you spaced your cookies).
- Roll out your chilled dough on a clean, flat surface. You can dust the surface with coconut flour first if it seems like it’ll stick. (I used my pastry mat with a piece of parchment paper over the dough and had no trouble with sticking).
- Cut the cookies using your choice of cutters (you can find Basic shapes as well as Holiday shapes). If you don’t have any cookie cutters, a round, narrow-rimmed glass will work; dust with coconut flour to keep the dough from sticking.
- Transfer the cookies to your parchment-lined baking sheets. Place the cut cookies in the refrigerator to keep them cool while you work with the rest of the dough.
- If you worked quickly and your dough is still cold, you can immediately gather up the dough scraps, re-roll them, and cut out more cookies. If your dough has warmed (like ours did; baking with children is fun, but generally not efficient), flatten it into a disk and again place it on your parchment-lined plate in the refrigerator until it’s cold. You can also speed up the process by placing it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so.
- Once all of your cookies are cut, you can choose to decorate them with nuts and seeds (my boys used Mulberries, Goji Berries, and dried Cherries), or you can wait to decorate them with frosting after they’re cooked.
- Bake the cookies in the pre-heated oven for 13-15 minutes. If you have trouble with your cookies spreading, try placing them in the refrigerator to completely cool them before baking them in the oven.
- Once the cookies are baked, they will a slight light gold hue, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes. Then place them on a wire rack until they cool completely.
- Eat them as they are (plain or with fruit or nuts), or frost them as desired.
Do you enjoy sugar cookies over the holidays? Have you adapted any traditional holiday recipes to be more allergy friendly? Are there any you would like to see?