It’s the final week of A Gluten-Free Holiday! This week is hosted by Maggie from She Let Them Eat Cake and we’re sharing Christmas Desserts. She’s got two incredible gluten-free cookbooks to give-away and a gingerbread cupcake recipe that’s to-die-for – more details at the end of this post.
There are gluten-free cookies all over the blogosphere right now and I love it! It’s that yearly tradition that sparks nostalgic memories of my mom and aunt baking away, stuffing tins with cookies, and giving them to friends, teachers, and family.
My Grandma Ruth always brought a big platter of Christmas cookies as part of our dessert on the big day. She exchanged cookies with her neighbors, too, and those women could bake. I always ate more than my fair share of the baklava made by Mrs. K, her neighbor from Greece. I didn’t pass up the Russian Tea Cakes, either.
Over the years, I’ve built up my gluten-free, refined sugar-free Christmas cookie recipe stockpile. It’s been an adventure in learning, failure, and success. That’s all too often how it goes when converting recipes to their gluten-free counterpart.
This is another cookie dough that you can roll out. After years of not rolling dough, or not rolling it successfully, I get a lot of joy from using my rolling pin to flatten the mix of ingredients. The frustration that came from ripped, hard-to-manage dough is gone. I don’t miss it one bit.
My favorite part of these cookies is the orange-flavored fig filling. It screams Christmas.
If you want a dairy-free version, use solid coconut oil instead of the unsalted butter. Your cooking time might be slightly different because coconut oil melts at a much lower temperature than butter, so watch your cookies carefully.
Do you have any favorite cookies from childhood? Have you been able to make any of them gluten-free?
Serves: 3 dozen cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- ⅔ cup powdered coconut palm sugar* see note below
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups Amy's Basic Flour Blend
- ¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ¼ cup whole psyllium husks
- ½ teaspoon instant decaf coffee granules
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1¾ cups chopped, dried black mission figs
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- zest of one medium orange, grated on a microplane
- Beat the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the shortening and beat for several more minutes, until fluffy.
- Add the powdered palm sugar to the fluffy butter mixture and cream until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Scrape bowl as necessary.
- Whisk together the flour blend, cocoa powder, psyllium husks, instant coffee, and salt.
- Add flour to butter mixture in one addition and mix on the lowest speed until combined.
- Divide dough into two portions and wrap each in waxed paper. Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- While dough is chilling, prepare the fig filling. Combine the chopped figs, water, orange juice, and orange zest in a small saucepan. Let simmer for 20 - 30 minutes uncovered until figs are very soft.
- Puree in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- If dough is very cold, let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or until it's easy to roll.
- Flour a silicone dough mat or waxed paper with cocoa powder.
- Roll each disk into a 12"x7" rectangle. Dough should be about ¼ inch thick.
- Spread each rectangle with half of the fig filling.
- Place the cookies so that the long edge is facing the edge of your work surface.
- Roll into a log.
- Wrap and chill for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
- Slice the chilled log into ¼ inch cookies.
- Lay cookies on prepared tray and bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until cookies are set.
- Let cool for several minutes on the tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container. These cookies also freeze well.
- **To make Powdered Palm Sugar: Put one cup palm sugar with one tablespoon cornstarch in your high powered blender and whirl on high speed until powdered, about 2 minutes. If you don't have a Vita-Mix, make ½ of the recipe at a time in a clean coffee grinder. Store leftovers in an airtight container. If it happens to clump, sift it before using.
You can also check out what the other GF Holiday participants are busy baking up for the holidays:
- Ricki at Diet, Dessert, N Dogs made Black-Bottomed Almond Mousse Pie With Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
- Alta at Tasty Eats at Home made Chewy Apple Cider Blondies
- Kim at Cook it Allergy Free shared Caramel Apple Pie
- Hallie at Daily Bites made Cranberries Cream Tart With Chocolate Crust