My task this week was to create a “healthy” Christmas cookie for a regional work meeting. Everyone in my position throughout the region will come armed with their own holiday cookie creation – one that fits a very specific set of “healthy rules.” Not only are these rules very specific, they are down right stringent! Completely WHOLE (whole food, whole grain, etc…nothing processed), No added sugar (with the exception of raw honey – the least processed sweetener other than fruit, according to these guidelines), No added oil (yes, that’s right), and completely vegan. Phew…. I, of course, choose the most challenging cookie on earth to create in a “healthy” way: shortbread cookies!
Shortbread is a Christmas staple: white flour, sugar, and butter. I am not a baker.
Simply put, this was going to be a challenge.
I did it, though! The cookies turned out great: Shortbread Perfection!
Whether we choose to label these cookies “healthy shortbread” coins, “grain-free shortbread” coins, “primal shortbread” coins, “paleo shortbread” coins, or even PRIMITIVE shortbread coins (I just made that one up) based on our current eating lifestyle, they really ought to be labeled DELICIOUS!
The photos are rough – please forgive me – as I was definitely unprepared with the camera. I actually decided to “document” my experience after the first batch was already out of the oven. As you can see, the first go of it resulted in discs, or coins. That was my first intention, but I wanted something a little more precise, so I used a cookie cutter the second time around. This actually took 3 tries, as I did end up burning the delicate little coins the second time in the oven.
Instead of white flour, sugar, and butter – I opted for almond flour, raw honey, and coconut butter. First of all, I must say that I love all three of these ingredients – what a perfect combination. The almond flour gave the cookies the almond crunch we all desire from our favorite Walker’s Shortbread. The honey gave the cookies just enough sweetness, and the coconut butter did – well you know – the trick!
Makes about 24 little coins
2 c. almond flour (I used Bob’s Redmill)
1/4 c. tapioca flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. raw honey
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 c. coconut butter (my favorite brands are Artisana or Nutiva Coconut Manna)
A touch of water
Combine all ingredients, except for the water, in the food processor to create a dough-like consistency. If the dough seems too grainy, add a teeny tiny amount of water or melted coconut oil/butter (water is suggested) in order to make everything stick together.
Remove dough ball from the bowl and roll out between two sheets of parchment paper. Cut into your favorite little coin shapes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes. The thicker the dough, the longer the cookies will need to bake. BE CAREFUL! The smaller, thinner cookies bake lightning fast. Begin watching the coins at around 4 minutes. Just as the edges begin to brown, remove from the oven to cool. Enjoy! As my husband states, “these are REALLY good!”
I’ll just say…Shortbread Perfection!