Thursday, 29 January 2015

Healthy Vanilla Bean Cut-out Cookies



Ah, the cut-out cookie.


Oh how I adore thee. If you take a peek at my past posts or even through my Instagram feed or Pinterest account you will see how much I adore decorating.

I am a sucker for bright colours and fun designs -- and I have had a lovely time decorating sugar cookies for myself, friends and family.












But WHAT IF...just what if I could make a healthier version of the traditional sugar cookie??

No more IF'S the cookie is HERE!


Sweet, cuts out perfectly well and holds it's shape well enough to be decorated. I love them! Now of course you don't have to smother yours with sprinkles -- you could opt for healthier decorations like dark chocolate, coconut, crushed nuts or seeds -- dehydrated fruit..YOU NAME IT.


I have enough sprinkles, nonpareils and coloured sugars to decorate the planet -- and it's a bit of give and take for me. Sprinkles fit into my goals just fine because I am not crazy strict with anything. Life is short -- why not sprinkle every now and then? But I totally understand people not wanting to or simply not owning any,






Or eat them plain. They are really good plain, too ;)


My gingerbread cookie recipe was a hit over the holidays but with Valentine's Day coming up I wanted to share a sweet vanilla recipe that you can decorate for your bae. Bae's...babaysss?? Or yourself. I think I might bake myself up a solo feast for my mama and I and we can celebrate the occasion with Netflix. Who is my bae.



But regardless of who you are making these for -- cutting out cookies is a great time. Especially because you can recruit the help of little ones who will love that you are allowing them to partake in the process!






My advice is to chill the dough only until it starts to hold together -- maybe 30 minutes or so. This just helps the cookies keep a smooth top and not crack quite as much. The alternative version of the recipe I share is a bit more crumbly which is why it is not my first suggestion -- it tastes amazing but for decorating the cracks are ehh....not so pretty.






I hope you enjoy this recipe and get a chance to try them -- I think I own a million cookie cutters. NO. I REALLY DO. So I am happy to start creating more cut-out recipes -- any other suggestions for me? HAVE AT 'EM!







Healthy Vanilla Bean Cut-out Cookies 

Yields Approximately 24 Cookies

Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan Option 



Ingredients


  • 2 cups Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free AP Baking Blend 
  • 1/2 cup almond/other nut flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sweetener of choice like organic cane sugar -- or half and half) 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste 
  • 2 flax/chia eggs (3 tablespoons water mixed with 1 tablespoon ground flax/chia seeds ), Egg Replacer for 2 eggs, or 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup mild nut butter, softened 

Directions


  1. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt and mix gently
  3. In a large mixing bowl add your sweeteners, flax egg/egg, vanilla bean paste and coconut oil 
  4. Blend your sweetener mixture until fully combined -- but don't mix too long!
  5. Add in 1/3 of your flour mixture at a time until your mixture is fully combined -- it will be sticky! 
  6. Scrape dough from bowl and wrap ball of dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours
  7. When ready to roll out cookies preheat oven to 365 F
  8. Roll out dough onto a floured surface to 1/4 inch in thickness and cut out desired shapes as close together as possible - if it is VERY crumbly don't panic! Just knead it back into a ball of dough!
  9. Re-roll scraps and repeat the process until it's all done. 
  10. Bake each batch for 10 - 12 minutes or until the edges have pulled away from the pan and are slightly firm to the touch and no longer shiny. 
  11. Cool on a wire rack for 30 - 60 minutes before decorating (or until they are cooled)
  12. Store in an airtight container for 5-6 days 







SPARKLE SPARKLE!


I wish my pictures did the cookies justice. I have had a million and one lighting issues and after having to re-do several recipes to photograph them properly I hope that these can kinda show how wonderful they are.


Sometimes the elements, the camera...the world -- they just don't co-operate well you know? After crying for I think a solid day I think I finally decided to post this recipe.






Because you are my Valentine.







And Valentine's are people we love.







And people we love forgive us and support us even when we can't afford fancy cameras and lenses or crazy reflectors or editing software to make our images look like they came out of Martha Stewart's kitchen. 








They love us when we cry and we are disappointed.









They love us when we make candy bark for them and cry when it doesn't turn out how we wanted.






But that's okay. Because I'll be your Valentine and be okay with all your mistakes, too!


From my heart to yours,


Happy Baking!

XO


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