Day Two of my Advent Cookie Challenge (I’ve given it a new name) was a little more challenging than yesterday. Once upon a time I had a cookie spritzer gizmo (it was my mother’s) but I’d given it to Goodwill years ago. What to do, what to do?
Rooting around in my kitchen, I discovered a pastry bag, so used that to sploosh these spritz cookies onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. Their appearance wasn’t New York Times-pretty but nothing in my life is perfect, and neither are my cookies. They improved after I dusted them with (naturally) colored sugar crystals I found lurking in my cupboard.
If you don’t want to bother making these cookies with a cookie press or pastry bag, just chill the dough, roll it into 1″ balls, then flatten them with a fork onto the baking sheet. I didn’t try this, but Melissa Clark, author of the recipe recommends it.
The recipe is simple. Mix all the ingredients with an electric mixer then spritz them onto parchment covered baking sheets. I always cover my aluminum baking sheets with parchment because I don’t want my food to come into contact with aluminum. Silpat mats might work well too, but I don’t own them as I’m suspicious of baking with silicone. When in doubt, leave it out…
In this recipe, I experimented using allulose, a new non-nutritive sweetener I found at my local Trader Joe’s. It has about the same sweetness as xylitol or erythritol, but it’s a lot more expensive. The cookies were plenty sweet.
I’d give this cookie a 6 on a scale of 1-10. The cookies taste great, but my first batch was a bit on the dry side, so I shortened the baking time to 8 minutes. I also reduced the flour and increased the non-dairy butter in the recipe (below). I suggest using a medium weight gluten-free flour mix. I used Trader Joe’s cassava flour mix, and it worked out fine.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Almond Spritz Cookies
These almond flavored shortbread cookies are rich and delicious even without gluten, diary or refined sugar.
- 1 cup softened dairy-free butter
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup xylitol or erythritol or allulose
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups light gluten-free flour mix
- 1/4 cup almond meal or flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the non-dairy butter and sweeteners into the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in the egg and almond extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, salt and xanthan gum.
Stir flour mixture into the egg mixture.
Put dough into a cookie press or piping bag and pipe in 2" circles 2" apart onto a baking sheet.
Alternately, refrigerate dough for 1 hour, roll into 1" balls, flatten with a fork and space 2" apart on baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes, until the edges of the cookies begin to brown.
Remove from oven, transfer cookies to a wire rack, sprinkle with decorative sugar, and allow to cool completely.