Scoot over Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes….this recipe is just as simple but definitely delicious-er and of course much healthier. If you’re dreaming of a fun afternoon with your kids or grandkids decorating and delivering Christmas cookies (without the butter and white flour), I have a treat for YOU!
Made with almond flour and maple syrup, they are chewy, sweet, and soft. They are easy to make. Although not the healthiest recipe on my blog, they are plant based and they are perfect for special occasions. I only make them at Christmas and Valentines Day. Can’t wait for you to enjoy them!
Alternatives to Cookie Decorating
Although this is a fun special-occasion recipe, I completely support you in wanting even healthier traditions. Here are a couple other ideas!
- Make Christmas Play Dough (I add some peppermint oil to any salt dough recipe like this one) and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Use a straw to poke a hole in the top for ornaments. Let them dry and then hang them on the tree, or paint them, give them away (or even throw them away!). You can bake them at a low temp if you’d like to speed up the hardening.
- Cut bread or toast with cookie cutters and spread peanut butter on like frosting. Decorate with raisins, pomegranate seeds, cereal, nuts, etc. Raid the pantry for decorations! Enjoy your festive toast as a snack!
This sugar cookie recipe from Detoxinista.com is yummy and healthier than the traditional sugar cookie. I have notes here on making them oil-free.
- 1.5 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch or cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 TBSP melted coconut oil (or applesauce for lower fat and less chewy results)
- 5 TBSP maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Whisk the dry ingredients together, breaking up any clumps. Stir in the melted coconut oil (or applesauce), maple syrup and extracts.
Either chill the dough and prepare later, or make into cookies now.
Circle cookies (highly recommended): Roll into balls and flatten slightly on the cookie sheet.
For shaped cookies: Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick directly on a cookie sheet (so you don't have to transfer them) lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Peel the surrounding dough off. Dough is fragile, so you may need to re-shape the cookies on the pan a bit.
Bake 8 minutes for soft and chewy cookies, or 10 minutes for more crispy cookies. Let cool on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack or plate to frost.
Pink: Thaw out 2 frozen strawberries in the microwave. Put into a small blender with 1 cup powdered sugar for a pink strawberry icing.
Although I haven't tried it for lack of access to coconut butter, I've seen this idea several times as an excellent frosting:
3/4 cup melted coconut butter (blended up coconut)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup plant milk
Freeze dried berries crushed into powder for color and flavor
Look up cashew frosting recipes (Minimalist Baker has a delicious one).
Simple frosting: Stir together 2 cups powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon plant milk, dash of salt and drop of almond or vanilla extract.
You can swap 1/2 cup of the almond flour for oat flour for lower fat (so 1 cup almond flour and 1/2 cup oat flour). Texture isn't quite as good but we still enjoyed them.
Applesauce makes the dough more sticky and less of a sugar cookie texture, but also still good!