Last Minute Christmas Cookie

Talk about under the wire.  Here it is, the LAST DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS, and I’m still experimenting with baking cookies (and still posting to Holidailies).  And guess what?  I think I’ve hit on something.

I’ve been wanting to do a Christmas sugar cookie for years.  Ever since I had to alter my diet and cut out wheat and refined sugars, it’s been a bit difficult to bake traditional treats (though there are so many great cookbooks out there, not to mention a whole lot of blogs using all-natural ingredients, which makes it easier and easier). 

agavecookietray.jpg After baking with agave nectar for the past few years, I felt pretty good about that.  But a sugar cookie?  Wouldn’t it be kind of heretical to take the sugar out of it?  (And what would I call it, anyway–”agave cookie cutouts”?). 

But recently, I also started baking chia seeds (yes, those selfsame seeds that used to grow into little animals in pottery shapes for kids), only edible.  One could say that “chia is the new flax,” since it contains the same healthful Omega 3 fatty acids, only more so than flax.  Further, chia is lighter in color and texture–perfect for a creamy white, snowy “sugar” cookie.

Sugar cookies are also, traditionally, rolled and cut.  When baking with agave, however, the cookie dough is more often soft and most suitable for scooping or smoothing into pans, to be cut later into bars (since agave is a liquid sweetener, after all).  So what to do?  I decided that the combination of coconut butter instead of butter (since it’s also solid at room temperature), and chia as an egg substitute would work best, since the chia would absorb some of the excess moisture in the agave. That way, I would be able to use almost the same ratio of flour to sweetener in a “regular” sugar cookie.

I’m happy to report that the dough came out beautiful!  It was a teeny bit softer than expected when first mixed, so I split it in two parts, and scooped the first half (at room temperature).  These cookies came out just barely golden on the bottoms, uniform in shape, with a beautiful, tender crumb and delicate flavor.  Truly, they were delicious–a great plain all-occasion cookie that’s not too sweet. 

I put the second half of the dough into the fridge to sit for an hour or two and firm up.  I’m going to roll it out later, cut it into shapes (should be interesting, as we haven’t yet unpacked all my baking supplies, and I’ve got neither a rolling pin nor my cookie cutters), and bake it that way; I’ll post those photos as soon as they’re ready.

[Edit, December 2008:   The dough was perfect once chilled--firm and easy to roll.  Here's what the cookies look like rolled out, and cut with cookie cutters:]

sugarfreesugarcookie1

In the meantime, I’ll share this recipe for those of you who may want to play around for next Christmas!

cookieagavewdesign.jpg

[EDIT, NOVEMBER 2011: I've since created a gluten-free version of these cookies, which is posted (along with a few other recipes) in this blog post.]

(“Agave is also low-glycemic, Mum, so it should be just fine for dogs.  How about some agave biscuits for us?”)

[This recipe  (along with about 100 others, most not on this blog) will appear in my upcoming cookbook, Sweet Freedom, scheduled for release in early 2009.  For more information, click on "Cookbook" at right, or visit the Sweet Freedom blog.]

© 2008 Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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Comments

  1. Hey Ricki!
    Happy Be-lated holidays! Also, Happy New Year! Those cookies look very nice. Thanks for the link, by the way. Always so kind.
    After reading your recipe, I’m definitely going to play with it when I get home from Utah. It’s snowed nearly every day. :) Don’t worry, I’ll post plenty of photos on my Here and There blog next week.
    Do you have any traditional New Year’s eve recipes?

  2. Hi Deb,

    Happy Holidays to you, too! Hope the trip is going well you had a wonderful time with John’s family both for the birthday and Christmas. Snow sounds beautiful (to look at, anyway!). Well, it will be perfect for the New Year.

    Re: the cookies, the same recipe was used for the fanciful ones in the December 25th post as well (in that case, they were rolled, cut and then baked before being decorated). I liked them better in the second incarnation, as rolling created a thinner and crisper cookie.

    I’ll look forward to seeing the photos on your blog, too (miss your posts!).

    Ohhh–almost forgot, New Year’s recipes! The raw truffles are really nice, and easy, too. I’ll be at a friend’s this year, so all I’m bringing is a nice Sweet Potato-Ginger Salad, courtesy of Martha Stewart (well, her recipe, anyway). If I come up with anything new, I’ll post it!

    In the meantime, here’s too a fabulous 2008.

  3. Dear holy gods, is your site a godsend or what? I’ve been on the candida diet for about two months now and have been very sad about the lack of baking around the holidays. But lo, I discover your website with so many tasty looking dishes! Thank you. :)

  4. Thanks so much for sharing!
    I can not wait to have my 3 yr. old jr. baker help me try this recipe!
    We use exclusively agave and haven’t even got sugar in the house. We are also gluten free.
    I’ve recently started experimenting with Chia seeds but have not yet been bold enough to give them a main staple in any recipes.
    This should be fun!!
    …any suggestions for colored icing without sugar, egg or dairy items?
    Thanks!

  5. Wow! Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I am always encouraging the use of low-glycemic natural sweeteners to my clients and had yet to figure out or find a yummy and quite healthy cookie cutter recipe to share. This is it! Love the use of spelt flour and coconut oil. I think I would use rice or almond milk in place of the soy milk though…always uneasy about highly processed soy products. I plan to use this recipe to make some cookies for a little holiday gathering and suggest to clients!

    Thanks!!

  6. Thank you so much for this recipe. I don’t have coconut oil. Would it still taste great with canola oil?

  7. I am going to use this recipe for my Valentine’s Day sugar cookies!
    May be a stupid question, but:
    do you grind the chia seeds BEFORE you measure them or after?

  8. Ricki! This recipe is so exciting! Cookies made with agave! Brilliant. I can’t wait.
    Thanks! :)

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  1. [...] the recipe, see my other blog, Diet, Dessert and Dogs . Posted by Ricki Filed in cookies, dairy free, egg free, pareve, soy free, sugar free, vegan, [...]

  2. [...] Dessert and Dogs so she named her blog post “Last Minute Christmas Cookie” because she developed the recipe the day before Christmas. Made with agave syrup, it’s a “nobody will notice the [...]

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