Christmas cookies free from wheat, gluten, soy, nuts, eggs, refined sugars and dairy (ghee used), with a yummy shortbread flavour. A great Christmas treat option for children with allergies.
* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.
Preheat oven to 160c. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
To a food process add coconut flour, arrowroot and salt. Process for 10-15 seconds to mix and make a finer texture. Add ghee, maple syrup and vanilla and process until mixture comes together. Scrape down sides and blend again for a further 10 seconds (allow to sit a few minutes before removing, coconut flour absorbs moisture).
Place dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out to approximately 3 - 6mm (1/8-1/4in) thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Lift shapes onto the lined trays using a wide metal icing spatula (if dough is a bit sticky, dust the spatula with a little arrowroot flour to help the shapes slide off without sticking). Re-roll the scraps and finish cutting the remaining shapes. The number of cookies may vary depending on the size of the cutters.
Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are firm and have a slight change in colour. Turn trays once during cooking. The baking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of cookies.
Allow to cool on trays. Store in an airtight container in the fridge but allow to come to room temperature before serving.
(You may like to decorate with one of my coconut milk glaze recipes in my cookbook or drizzle with melted organic dairy free chocolate).
Coconut flour is made by drying and grinding the meat of a coconut to a fine texture. Coconut flour is a low-carb flour that's an excellent source of dietary fibre and protein. It's a good grain-free and nut-free alternative but does require a larger amount of liquid than normal when used for baked goods. When replacing in a recipe that calls for wheat flour (or almond meal), use this guide; 1 cup of regular flour = 1/3 cup coconut flour, add an extra egg and an extra 1/3 cup of liquid. It can be used in soups, gravies and stews as a thickener and adds a boost of nutrition. Coconut flour may promote stable blood sugar levels and a healthy heart. In addition, it may have antibacterial properties and aid digestion and weight loss. There are now quite a few brands of coconut flour available and they all seem to perform differently depending on how coarse the texture is. In my recipes, I used Organic Coconut Flour from 'Let's Do Organic' and 'Red Tractor Foods' I like their finer texture.
Arrowroot is a herb, the roots are cultivated for its starch properties. It is used in my recipes as a thickener and I also like combining it with almond meal to produce a much lighter texture, more like a gluten flour. I find the starch helps to bind the ingredients together. You can substitute tapioca flour, which is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca can be used in baking, it has a slightly sweet flavour. However, I do not recommend thickening with tapioca, as it has a stretchy, gummy texture. Supermarkets only sell in very small containers, which is not cost effective. Purchase from baking specialty stores, health food stores or online. ( When substituting for cornflour in recipes, 2 teaspoons arrowroot = 1 tablespoon cornflour/starch).
Raw pink Himalayan salt crystals is unlike common table salt which can be a highly refined industrial byproduct, otherwise know as sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is completely pure and may naturally balance the body's alkaline/acidity and regulate water content. In addition Himalayan salt helps in the absorption of nutrients from food and contains many trace minerals for healthy cell structure. I purchase fine pink Himalayan crystal salt so I can use it in my shaker and for cooking.
Ghee is a lactose-free ancient superfood. It is made by slow cooking and clarifying butter to remove the milk solids and lactose, it's pure butter fat. You can get the flavour of butter in your cooking without the dairy (please don't consume if you have an allergy to ghee). My favourite brands are Organic Valley Purity Farms or Puresoul grass-fed. It is also very easy to make yourself. Ghee has a high smoke point 485F/250C.
Maple syrup is an earthy, sweet tasting amber liquid that is produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees. Use organic 100% maple syrup which is a natural food sweetener, not a flavoured maple syrup. Pure maple syrup contains a decent amount of some minerals, especially manganese and zinc, some traces of potassium and calcium but it does contain a whole bunch of sugar. I try to reduced the amount of sweetness in each recipe to the lowest possible without compromising taste. Feel free to adjust to your liking. I use maple syrup in place of raw honey when I don't want the strong honey flavour coming through in a recipe. I have paleo cookies and desserts in my cookbook made from whole food ingredients with natural sugars but please don’t overindulge. Use as a treat only for special occasions.
Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.