One of my absolutely favorite holiday traditions is baking Christmas cookies in the first few weeks after Thanksgiving. I have 3-4 cookies I always make, and then if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll throw a new one in there, just to make it interesting. Unfortunately none of my traditional cookie recipes are Paleo, so last year I simply didn’t do much holiday baking to avoid temptation… but that was officially a crappy solution. It took away one of my favorite traditions, and that made me sad…
And I refuse to be sad during my favorite time of the year. So this year, I’m back to holiday baking, Paleo style!
Here are some of the goodies I made:
- Banana Bread – This is E.J’s favorite holiday treat. I’ve always made mini-loaves to give away and one big one for E.J. to enjoy for breakfasts. This time, it was so good I did it twice. Both loaves were moist and delicious – every bit as good as the original
- Almond Butter Bars – the original treat I was going for was my mom’s Peanut Butter Squares recipe, and these are a great substitute. This is officially the easiest Paleo dessert recipe ever, and is easily whipped up in 10 minutes or less.
- Gingersnap Cookies – Ok, so have you ever bought one of those tins from World Market that they have at Christmas time? I absolutely adore those gingersnaps and wanted a paleo equivalent. I think these are as good, if not better than the originals. This recipe is absolutely perfect and gives you the perfect wafery crisp that you’re looking for.
- Almond Biscotti – I used almond extract instead of the lemon and these turned out OK, but weren’t the best of the bunch. I think they needed more extract or sugar or both… they just seemed a little bland.
- Cran-Orange Macaroons – I had some leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving and some of those mini-orange cuties, so voila! I think the time in the oven is a little long, as mine came out with fully toasted coconut instead of lightly toasted, but otherwise they taste really good.
- Sand Tarts (Wedding Cookies) & Orange Spritz Cookies – these are two traditional family recipes that I have from my mom which I really wanted to recreate. The first time I tried it by subbing out ingredients and then adjusting for texture at the end. Oddly enough, they both turned out PERFECT the first time…. Which sucks, because now I have to figure out what I did so I can recreate them. In general I substituted palm shortening for vegetable shortening, maple sugar for granulated, and for a standard 2 cups of flour I used 1 1/2 cups of almond flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour and 2 tbsp arrowroot combined together. I’m still trying to prove this out, but it’s really close.
Have you experimented with any Paleo holiday treats? I’m always looking for new ones!!