With only ten days until Christmas, I thought it would be timely to post a Christmas cookie recipe. This recipe is a by-product of my love affair with what would have to be one of my favorite and most used spices, cinnamon. I wanted to make a cookie (or “biscuit” as we call them here in Australia – though at Christmas time for some reason I just feel ‘cookie” sounds more appropriate) that really symbolised Christmas, and for me that would have to be shortbread. I have fond memories of not only baking shortbread at home when I was younger, but we also used to give my Nan a tin of bought shortbread which we would then all go on to eat ourselves – poor Nan!
I have been working on making a gluten free version of shortbread and though they are not exactly the same as traditional shortbread made with plain flour they are a pretty damn good alternative. The plain flour has been swapped out with a mix of sorghum flour, potato starch and coconut flour, which not only eliminates gluten from the recipe, it also increased the nutritional portfolio. I also had luck using a combination of brown rice flour, buckwheat and coconut, though that combination lends to a slightly drier and crumblier cookie. The cookies will be quite crumbly anyway – as is traditional shortbread.
I have reduced the sugar slightly as well, and used a less refined sweetener in coconut sugar, however I have kept the fat content pretty much the same – after all it’s the buttery-ness of the shortbread that I feel gives the cookies their distinctly delicious flavour.
As shortbread is traditionally made with icing and/or caster sugar, I blitzed the coconut sugar in my Vitamix to make it more powder. This could easily be done in a food processor instead, or alternatively you could always use the coconut sugar as is.
These cookies and smooth yet slightly crumbly with that unmistakable buttery flavour. They also have a more developed, almost caramel-y sweetness to them from the coconut sugar, beautifully accented by the cinnamon. These cookies are perfect plain and dunked into a hot cup of tea, but I imagine they’d also be a great base if you felt like jazzing them up a little – some ground cloves and orange rind would work well, or for something a little different, a small amount of finely chopped rosemary or lavender would work great here too.
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 165g organic butter
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup potato starch
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 1 heaped tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 150 C | 300 F
- Add the coconut sugar to a high-powdered blender or food processor and mix 20 sec on high to powder it.
- Cream the softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer for a few minutes until creamy. Stir through flours and spices. Note that the mixture will be quite crumbly, however it should still stick and hold together when pressed between two fingers.
- Shape into little flat discs and use a fork to press holes into the top. Place on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom of the cookies.