[These delicious holiday Citrus Shortbreads are easy to make and perfect for the season! They’re vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free and yeast-free. Suitable for Stage 3 and beyond on an anti-candida diet.]
You know how, whenever you learn a new word, you suddenly see it pop up everywhere you look? Or maybe it’s a car. When the HH pointed out a Ferrari 458 to me on the road a few years back, suddenly I saw them at every red light or local plaza (even though we live in a mostly-industrial neighborhood). And when I first learned what a Portugese Water Dog looked like because my friend Gemini I brought one home for her highly-allergic sons, it seemed as if everyone else I knew decided to adopt one, too.
It’s sort of the opposite effect when you’re on an anti-candida diet (or any “restricted” diet, actually). Almost as soon as you’re told which foods you can’t have, those are the foods that come to mind most often, and the ones you suddenly crave.
For instance, I had never really been a fan of mushrooms, but once they were inked on the “Taboo Foods” list, I started seeing all kinds of recipes I wanted to try out using the little fungi. And I’d given up coffee about 6 years before the anti-candida diet started for me, but again, when I knew I absolutely couldn’t have it, I began to crave my java in the mornings.
Similarly, oranges were on my “meh” list until then. As it turns out, oranges are one of only 3 fruits that the HH consumes with any regularity,** so I started noticing them a lot more when I began my ACD regimen (sort of like that nerdy guy who puts on a tank top in summer, and suddenly you notice that, hey! he’s got biceps!–and everything changes).
When the holidays came around, I wanted nothing more than orange-flavored treats. What could I make, I reasoned, that gave me the impression of eating oranges, without actually eating oranges? My solution: citrus shortbread!
Shortbread is a perfect holiday treat. Rich, buttery (without actually containing butter), slightly sandy, and basically all-around irresistible. I used stevia here to accomplish the orange essence, with an extra boost from a touch of juice and zest. If you’re in the early stages of an anti-candida diet, use orange stevia with lemon juice for a very similar flavor.
I’ve since made these entirely with lemon or lime instead of the orange as well, and they are superb. In fact, why wait for the holidays? Once you try them, you may just start noticing that these shortbread make an appearance regularly throughout the rest of the year, too.
** The other two are bananas and green apples, in case you were wondering.
Who doesn’t love shortbread at the holidays? These tender, rich-tasting cookies can be made traditional if served on their own, or gussied up with the tangy glaze.
For the Shortbread:
1/2 cup (120 ml) xylitol or coconut sugar
2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut nectar
Finely grated zest of one orange, lemon or lime
2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh orange, lemon or lime juice
2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
20 drops (about 1/8 tsp or .5 ml) pure orange stevia liquid (use lemon flavor for the lemon or lime cookies)
1 cup (120 g) raw walnut halves or pieces and halves
6 Tbsp (60 g) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (75 g) coconut flour
1/2 cup (60 g) glutinous rice flour (also called sweet rice flour)
1 tsp (5 ml) xanthan gum
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
For the Optional Glaze and Garnish:
Preheat oven to 325F (170C). Line a 9-inch (22.5 cm) square pan with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix the xylitol, coconut nectar, zest of one orange (or lemon or lime), fresh juice, vanilla and stevia. Stir until the xylitol is dissolved (you may need to set it aside for 5 minutes or so, then stir again before it dissolves).
In the bowl of a food processor, whir the walnuts, brown rice flour, coconut flour, glutinous rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt to a fine powder. Pour the wet mixture in a ring over the dry ingredients and process again just until the mixture comes together in a moist dough.
Pat the dough evenly into the pan. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the dough to create 25 squares, then poke holes across the top of each square with a fork.
Bake for 28-35 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, until the edges are golden. Cool completely in the pan.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk until the xylitol is fully dissolved (you may need to leave it for 5 minutes or so, then stir again to dissolve it entirely).
Once cool, invert onto a cutting board, then flip again so that the scored side faces up. Carefully cut through the scored lines to separate the cookies. Brush with glaze and sprinkle with additional orange zest, if desired. Makes 25 cookies. May be frozen.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 3 and beyond; refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, yeast-free and vegan.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using those links, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.
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