Shape Up with holiday cookies


Our Christmas-shapes inventory is pathetically low.

The problem

Those aren’t Christmas cookies, Vinny,” 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.

“Of course they are,” I say. “I make these every Christmas. Ergo, they are Christmas cookies. Delicious!”

“But, Vinny! Christmas cookies gotta have shapes! They gotta look like candy canes or Christmas trees!” Isla explains.

The solution

“There’s just no way I can change my sticky chocolate-drop cookie recipe  into something we can cut into shapes,” I say. So I take down my trusty Better Homes to look for a recipe 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 remotely has any nutrients.

As I’m shaking my head despondently, Isla says, “What about those rolly things we made once, Vinny?” 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.


Isla’s Christmas Shapes
Makes 36 pieces

  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.


4. 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.

5. 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.


Isla says: The “tunes” are my favorites! Noel, Noel.

6. 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.


7. 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.

8. 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!


Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Plates of Art
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 22:35:20

    I’m loving the music notes!


  2. shras789
    Jan 02, 2013 @ 22:26:53

    Reblogged this on Sherry's Space and commented:
    So Adorable


  3. Artisanal Nutella
    Dec 15, 2012 @ 13:36:39

    Making my own Nutella is very satisfying. Lovely story. So cute, “Tunes”.


    • Vinny Grette
      Dec 15, 2012 @ 14:37:10

      You really MUST love nutella to have a whole blog devoted to it! I make my own nutella too, mainly to reduce the sugar content. Did you see my post on it?


      • Artisanal Nutella
        Dec 17, 2012 @ 01:50:52

        I do love Nutella, it was such a grand treat as child to have it. For me, it was a kind sweet memory that is bathed in nutty chocolate goodness. I saw your post on it, and I find it brilliant on the reduce sugar content, I will give your version a shot. Have a great one.


        • Vinny Grette
          Dec 17, 2012 @ 11:52:11

          I’m going to try reducing the sugar even more in my next attempt. Was surprised to see that my version is only a little more nutritious than the store bought version, even though the commercial product lists sugar first. In my recipe the sugar comes mainly from the chocolate, so will try unsweetened chocolate and stevia next time. The commercial variety must use only cocoa and sugar. It pays to run the recipe through eaTracker 🙂


  4. kadad
    Dec 15, 2012 @ 05:34:27

    Very sweet story, Vinny. In the best way – sugar free.

    BTW, speaking of crescent cookies, my mother used to make them. I brought them to the office one Christmas and everyone liked them. Also, everyone said that their family made them, too. I was fascinated that the crescent cookies seemed to have universal origins.



    • Vinny Grette
      Dec 15, 2012 @ 08:44:29

      One cute thing I didn’t work into my post was how Isla called the notes “Tunes.” I think they are probably “Carols.” I’m posting next about a whole host of angels cut from the same mold 🙂


What's cookin' with you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: