Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

December 25, 2011 at 9:00 am 26 comments

Merry Christmas to you and your family! Wishing all of you the best and lots of love :)

Chris and I are blessed to be able to spend the holidays with his family this year up in Montana. We are spending a week in Big Sky, hanging out, celebrating a birthday in the family and also working on a few yogurt shop errands for our upcoming store opening (hopefully mid or end of January).

Family is flying in this afternoon so Chris and I will be able to have our own little Christmas together and then continue to celebrate this evening with my inlaws. Instead of breaking out a roasted turkey and all the fixin’s, we will be enjoying a laid-back Tex-Mex meal for Christmas dinner (this is a tradition on his dad’s side)– Tamales, mexican rice, beans, chips and salsa and desserts are on the menu.

Just in case you needed a little more sweets this holiday season, I am here to share grain-free almond sugar cookies…and look how festive with Christmas trees! :)

Cut-out Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

1/3 cup butter, ghee, Earth balance or coconut oil, softened (use Earth balance or oil for vegan)
1/4 cup maple syrup, brown rice syrup, honey  or agave (use any but honey for vegan) (can add another Tbsp for sweeter)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 egg or 2 egg whites, whisked OR for vegan, omit and add 2 Tbsp more of oil/earth balance or you could try blended tofu
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

optional: 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon

melted coconut butter for “icing” or your favorite icing
raisins, dried fruit, sprinkles, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips etc for decorating

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (almond flour through soda and cinnamon). In a smaller bowl, mix together butter/ oil though eggs and extracts.
2. Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture and combine until a dough forms. If it’s too wet, add more almond flour, it too dry add a teaspoon of milk or water until the dough comes together. Divide dough into three balls, wrap in plastic and chill dough in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Working one ball of dough at a time (keep remaining dough in fridge, this helps keep the dough together and more workable), place ball of dough on top and lay another sheet of between 2 large pieces of parchment paper and roll out until ¼ inch thick.
5. Remove top piece of parchment paper and cut out cookies with cookie cutter of choice. Carefully place cut outs on a prepared baking sheet and bake about 8 minutes or until edges are golden brown*.
6. Cool completely and enjoy or top with melted coconut butter or icing and decorations and dig in!

Makes 22-30 cookies (depends on shape and size of cookie cutter)

*If dough is sticking, sprinkle a bit almond flour on one piece or parchment paper prior to rolling.

* If you are baking one batch of cookies at the same time, place the baking sheet and cut out cookies in the fridge while cutting the remaining cookies out to help best maintain their shape while baking.

And a cookie all dressed up! That’s all from me for now :) Enjoy the holidays!

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Entry filed under: Dessert, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. happy holidays  |  December 25, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    These cookies look so adorable. I love that they are gluten-free. Some of my friends and family members are allergic. Sugar cookies are great because you can decorate them in any way you want. I love decorating them in Christmas patterns. Thanks for sharing

    Happy Holidays!
    :)

    Reply
  • 2. Heidi @ Food Doodles  |  December 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    These look fantastic!! I’m very curious to try these on my husband, his favorite cookies are sugar cookies. Although I’m sure they’re pretty different from what he’s used to, maybe he’ll like them anyways :)

    Reply
    • 3. naturalnoshing  |  December 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks Heidi! These aren’t the typical sugar cookie but they sure hit the spot for me :) I’d love to hear what your hubby thinks of them!

      Reply
  • 4. Cara  |  December 27, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Hope you had a very merry Christmas, Nora! Did you go away for the holiday or are you home?
    I’m so impressed that you “healthified” a very unhealthy cookie. Bravo! :) I cannot wait to start learning from you…

    Reply
    • 5. naturalnoshing  |  December 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

      I did have a lovely Christmas, I hope you can say the same :) I am still in Big Sky with the in-laws and working on yogurt store stuff here and there too!
      These aren’t the traditional sugar cookies but I couldn’t stop eating them…or the dough!

      Reply
  • 6. Susan  |  December 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe! For next Christmas I would definitively try some grain-free cookies too!

    Reply
    • 7. naturalnoshing  |  December 29, 2011 at 10:43 am

      No problem at all Susan, I am happy to share :) If you give them a try, I’d love to hear your impressions!

      Reply
  • 8. Sonia The Healthy Foodie  |  December 28, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Whoa! That’s like healthy sugar cookies. We usually make sugar cookies here every year at Christmas, but I haven’t made any this year for I hadn’t figured out a way to turn something that’s made of nothing but white flour, butter and sugar into something healthy.

    This might very well be the answer! I will definitely have to give them a try!

    Now… I only need to find a replacement for the sugar icing!

    Oh, and Mexican rice on Christmas day sounds yummy to me. To be honest, I’m fairly fed up with the traditional meal. Now if I could only convince the kids to do things a little bit differently… ;)

    Reply
    • 9. naturalnoshing  |  December 29, 2011 at 10:48 am

      With all the decadent treats I’ve eaten and made this year, I was happy with these “healthified” cookies :)
      I love holiday traditions so when I was introduced to a Tex-Mex meal for Christmas, I was a-okay with that! A bonus is that with so much family, Chris and I usually get the best of both worlds if we go home and see family in TX

      You can sweet up the coconut butter with honey/agave/maple syrup and it makes a lovely icing replacement :)

      Reply
  • 10. Erin @ Texanerin Baking  |  January 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Neat! I’m definitely making these the next time I make sugar cookies. I’d like to try them with coconut oil so first I have to find some.

    I found you through Sonia. You have a new follower. :)

    Reply
    • 11. naturalnoshing  |  January 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Hi Erin! I am so glad you came over from The Healthy Foodie! I just adore Sonia so anyone that rates high in her book is a sure winner in mine :) As for your pumpkin doughnuts, I am craving one now! I wish Germany wasn’t so far away…or I’d totally send you a jar of coconut oil!

      Reply
  • 12. Erin @ Texanerin Baking  |  January 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I found coconut oil! On Ebay. So if I can’t find it anywhere else, I can at least get it there. :)

    And now you have me craving pumpkin donuts! And just a few hours after making a different type of donut. Oh well. I suppose there are worse things to have cravings for.

    I have a heart cookie cutter that I never use and I think my husband would rebel if I come at him with more sugar cookies any time soon, so I’m making these for Valentine’s Day. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    Reply
    • 13. naturalnoshing  |  January 3, 2012 at 8:53 am

      oh good! too bad you can’t find it locally! You’ll have to stock up when you make it back to the states :)
      Give your hubby a month and I am sure he will be craving some more cookies – and then you can use your heart cutter! Perfect timing for valentines day!!

      Reply
  • 14. Kim  |  January 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    These look really good, how much tofu should be added do you think?

    Reply
    • 15. naturalnoshing  |  January 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Hmmm I would think about three tbsp? It might make your cookies a little more chewy, I am curious to see how they turn out for you!

      Reply
    • 16. naturalnoshing  |  January 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      Or maybe try adding 1 Tb arrowroot flour or cornstarch with 2 Tb water?

      Reply
  • 17. Erin @ Texanerin Baking  |  January 13, 2012 at 11:17 am

    So I found coconut oil and coconut flour and was so excited to make these today! I was ready for more sugar cookies.

    But then, of course, I didn’t realize that this said almond flour and not almond meal. Do you buy proper almond flour or make your own? I’ve found a few recipes but they seem quite different. In one you add water, in another you just grind almonds and sift it, and in another you need a dehydrator. If you’ve never made your own, I guess I will and then we’ll know which version works. :)

    Reply
    • 18. naturalnoshing  |  January 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Yay for locating coconut flour and oil! :) I buy my almond flour online at nutsonline BUT you can make you own too pretty easily – take blanched/peeled almonds (no skin) and add to a food processor or a magic bullet with an “S” blade — use small quantities at a time and pulse until it resembles a fine meal, just beware not the over process or it will turn into clumps or even nut butter :) No need to add starch, water, oil etc – just the nuts :) I would use raw blanched almonds that are slivered and not toasted since that will bring out a nuttier flavor.
      Now these aren’t traditional sugar cookies so I really hope you still like them! Coconut flavor is a fun ingredients and absorbs a TON of moisture :)

      Reply
  • 19. Erin @ Texanerin Baking  |  January 14, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for the reply! I don’t have blanched almonds so I thought I’d make my own. But then I forgot them in the hot water. Whoops. I’ll have to try again as soon as I have more almonds. Or maybe I’ll go on a search for blanched almonds.

    I’m sure I’ll enjoy them! The last sugar cookies I made were whole wheat and had olive oil in them. So this doesn’t sound that unusual. :)

    Reply
    • 20. naturalnoshing  |  January 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      These cookies better be worth it for all the trouble you are going to! :) I am totally intrigued by olive oil in cookies – that sounds really good! I’ve had olive oil cake and loved it, yummmm now I am wanting cookies AND cake!

      Reply
      • 21. Erin @ Texanerin Baking  |  January 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

        I did it I did it! When they came out, they were really soft and I thought, “Oh no. What have I done now?” but they got harder! Next time I’ll make them thinner (I didn’t actually pay attention to the thickness) and cook them longer than I did. I really like the outside crispy parts! I used honey thinking that it would be sweeter than maple syrup and they’re just the right sweetness. Yay! I’m so happy! I was worried because of ingredients issues but they were yummy. Thanks for a new healthy cookie recipe! :)

      • 22. naturalnoshing  |  January 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

        YAY! Nice job Erin! After all the work you put into acquiring the ingredients, I am so so happy you liked them! :) I love the outsides too and like you, preferred honey to maple syrup! Maybe you can sneak them past your husband? Not sure if he will go for that though…

      • 23. Erin @ Texanerin Baking  |  January 22, 2012 at 2:20 am

        By sneak past, I don’t know if you mean taking them all away from his reach and eating them up myself, or giving him healthy cookies to eat that don’t taste healthy. I made him some unhealthy white chocolate macadamia nut blondies at the same time to make up for all the “healthy” baking I do, so he couldn’t care less about my cookies, which means I don’t have to share. :)

        Do you think there’s a way to make them crunchier? Maybe I should toast the almond meal. If I could make them crunchier, he would definitely go for them! Looking at your pictures, yours definitely look harder than mine so I think it’s just an ingredients issue.

      • 24. naturalnoshing  |  January 25, 2012 at 11:35 am

        I meant sneak past as in seeing if your hubby would go for a healthy cookie thinking it wasn’t overly healthified :) He sounds like mine hubs though, I make him his own sweets all the time with gluten-filled flours. He usually isn’t up for taste testing for my baked goods when he wants “his stuff”, so I know when he do likes my desserts and baked goods then I have hit the jackpot!

        My cookies were a little crispy but not crunchy like you are looking for….Hmm how to make the cookies crunchier – I think you would need to add a starch like arrowroot to make them more crunchy, or maybe even using a granulated sweetener instead of the liquid version so that adds more moisture? I would have to play around with that though! My biscotti were crunchy and used almond flour, arrowroot and maple syrup so that’s why I suggested to arrowroot for a different texture.

  • 25. Erin @ Texanerin Baking  |  January 28, 2012 at 7:12 am

    But when you make him his sweets, you can at least have a bite, right? I couldn’t think of anything more depressing than having to bake really naughty sweets, only not to be able to at least try them.

    When I said crunchy, I meant crispy. I’ll email you more about it! Thanks for the answer. :)

    Reply
    • 26. naturalnoshing  |  January 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Well it depends – he LOVES ice cream so I can always eat that! It’s the whole wheat peanut butter bars/blondies and brownies I can’t eat :( I know what they taste like though since I’ve only been GF for 3 years. But I make much more goodies for myself than I do for him (that sounds selfish, doesn’t it?) but he loves his Ben and Jerry’s and his regular sweets – I’ll make him something every few weeks because it takes him longer to eat stuff than me :) I just cant help myself!

      Reply

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