Last Minute Christmas Cookie
December 24, 2007
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“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]
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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).
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:]
In the meantime, I’ll share this recipe for those of you who may want to play around for next Christmas!
Ricki’s Sugar Agave Cookies
TO VIEW THE COMPLETE RECIPE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE ON THE NEW DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS, BY CLICKING HERE.