Sometimes when I make cookies the aroma seems to fill the entire house with warmth. Of course this is universal with cookies, unless your cookies light on fire.
But with these cookies it was special. It was a scent I associate specifically with the winter and holidays. Time with family. Or with Netflix. Or both!
Healthy shortbread cookies of course seem a bit of a contradiction don't they? Shortbread has three main and crucial ingredients: butter, sugar and flour.
C'est tout! The holy trinity of delicious baked goods.
So how would one approach such a delicate situation without the use of the aforementioned crucial ingredients? With tissues (for the inevitable failures and tears which accompany them) a whisk, a spatula, a rolling pin...oh and chocolate.
Chocolate for the recipe and afterwards for rewarding my many attempts.
I have tested both versions of this recipe and both are absolutely LOVELY!
The flavours of butter and sugar, crumbly sweet cookie and a wonderful dark chocolate coating creating a cookie that tastes EXACTLY (and I mean everyone who tried these said this) like those tins of specialty cookies you get around the holidays. Do you know the ones?? What are they called?!! They came in like a royal blue tin and the cookies were all placed in muffin liner looking things...They remind me so much of my grandparents house during the holidays. I always went for the pretzel looking ones!
Anyways, these cookies are beautiful. Delicate and full of flavour. Really a wonderful gift to give this time of year all sitting nicely in a decorative tin, perhaps?
It's always nice to give edible gifts, I think. The crackled tops and uneven fork holes make these especially charming. Although to avoid the crackles tops simply roll the dough out onto parchment as opposed to a floured surface!
I think they look beautiful plain. Personally I find the chocolate really does something magical to the flavour and the pinch of cinnamon in the dough. But hey -- that's just me!
Without further ado I present to you, the World's Healthiest Shortbread Cookies!
World's Healthiest Shortbread Cookies
Yields 30 - 32 2-inch Diameter Cookies
- 1 3/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour blend (equal amounts oat, coconut, tapioca and rice flour)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cashew butter (or other nut butter but cashew has a nice mild flavour)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 flax eggs/egg replacer or 2 large eggs*
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar or coconut palm sugar
- 10 drops liquid stevia or 2 tablespoons granulated stevia (optional)
*I have tested the egg replacer version as well as the egg version -- both work wonderful!
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or use good quality non-stick pans!)
- In a medium bowl sift together all dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon)
- Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl until full combined and add in dry ingredients 1/3 at a time
- Scrape dough out of bowl and wrap in parchment paper -- place in the fridge for 15 - 30 minutes
- Dough will be slightly sticky/oily if not refrigerated sufficiently -- leave in for a full hour if necessary
- Once set, roll the the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness -- you may roll them thinner for a more delicate cookie but the sturdiness and flakiness is emphasized with a thicker cut cookie!
- Cut out the cookies until you have completed the dough -- you can place the cookies close together on the baking sheet as these will not spread very much
- Bake each batch for 8-10 minutes for a softer cookie and 2-4 minutes longer for crunchier cookies (my personal favourite!) until the edges become golden to dark brown (the darker the brown the crunchier/more crumbly the cookie!)
- Cool on a wire rack fully and if desired melt down dark chocolate to dip the edges
- If using melted chocolate place the finished cookies on wax paper and decorate with sprinkles if desired -- allow chocolate to set before packaging (these cookies keep best in a tin container)
- Cookies will keep fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature in an airtight tin
These cookies cool fairly quickly and are stable enough to endure dipping of all sorts. For the best and most convenient dipping strategy use a tall heat-safe glass container -- otherwise the chocolate cools too quickly and dipping is awkward!
You may, of course, decorate these with sprinkles before baking and leave it at that. Or simple sprinkle with coarse sugar before baking for a lovely festive treat.
I am always honest with you. Really, I am. I gain nothing from lying especially if no one reads it -- then I am just lying for no reason, right?!
But -- these cookies...Are...well... Addictive. My self control is pretty good, MOST of the time (who are we kidding...not really!) but I could NOT just eat one. In fact I noticed the cookie tin opening and closing quite frequently with these -- the whole family became ADDICTED to them.
So much so that they disappeared much too soon and I couldn't photograph them! Oops!
I know more and more people are following healthier lifestyles -- so why not include these cookies in your repertoire this year? If you do, please please let me know!
I would love to learn more about how you all find the recipes and if you have any requests for new ideas! Especially because to me the holidays is ALL about dessert. Maybe I can help you recreate an old favourite?!
Happy Cookie Cookin'!