“Those aren’t Christmas cookies, Grandma,” says Isla. She’s looking at a new batch of Melting Moments fresh from the oven, each decorated with a jewel of raspberry jam (no sugar added) and crowned with flakes of real gold leaf.
“Of course they are,” I say. “These are the cookies I make every Christmas. Ergo, they are Christmas cookies.” I smile and take a big bite. “Delicious!”
“But, Grandma! Christmas cookies gotta have shapes! They gotta look like candy canes or Christmas trees!” She explains.
No matter how I try, I can’t think how I can change my sticky recipe for chocolate drop cookies into something we can cut into shapes. “Let’s see what we can do,” I say.
I take down my trusty Better Homes to look for a simple recipe for cookies we can roll out and carve with a cookie cutter. What I find are page after page of cookies made from cups of shortening and sugar and not much else. Nothing even remotely looks like it has any nutrients. “None of these will work at all!”
As I’m shaking my head despondently, Isla says, “What about those rolly things we made once, Grandma?” Rolly things? “OH, you mean those crescent rolls?” I nod. “Yes, they might work! But I don’t buy premade dough anymore – too processed and all that bad stuff.” I sigh.
“But could we make something like that?” Isla asks. Eureka! And that’s how we come up with the idea to make a sweet tea-biscuit dough, roll it thin, sprinkle it with brown sugar and cinnamon on top, fold it to make a sandwich and use that to cut out some Christmas shapes for Isla to bake. We get to work.
Isla’s Christmas Shapes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2/3 cup skim milk
Get out a rolling-pin, some cookie cutters and a cookie sheet lined with a silicone pad or parchment paper. Set the oven at 425°F.
Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Rub the coconut oil into the flour mix until it’s evenly mixed. Make a well in the center of the bowl. Pour the milk into it. With a fork, mix the dry ingredients into the milk as quickly as possible until a sticky ball forms. Knead it a few times to bring it together. Roll it out on a floured work surface to about a quarter of an inch thick. Sprinkle the brown sugar mix on top. Fold it in half like a big sandwich.
Using the cookie cutters press out shapes and put them on the cookie sheet. Do the big ones first, then the smaller ones in the spaces left in between. I promise to buy more Christmasy shapes for next time.
Gather up the remaining dough and reform it into another ball. This time the brown sugar is marbled through the white dough. Roll it flat and cut out some more shaped biscuits.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Take out of the oven and cool the biscuits on a metal rack.
Serve warm with butter, jam (no sugar added), or honey.
These can be frozen immediately and reheated later for a few minutes in a 350°F oven until they’re warm enough to serve, 10 minutes or so.
We get 36 pieces, but only 12 nice big shapes. So if we say there are 12 servings, there are 110 Calories a serving with only 4 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fat. Add a tablespoon of double-fruit jam, light, and the sugar goes up to 9 grams – great numbers for a cookie-type treat. Yay! Isla says: these are delicious!