In a vast sea of cookies, these stand out from the crowd. They aren’t too sweet or sugary. They’re not chocolate-chip. They’re not oatmeal-raisin. They’re not white-chocolate-macadamia. No, these cookies are something else. They’re made up of a whole slew of wholesome ingredients that combine to create a cookie that’s as delicious as it is habit-forming.
I’ll admit, I showed up a little late to the Christmas bandwagon. But I’m late to most things, so that should come as no surprise. It snuck up on me this year – I swear it was just yesterday that we were getting back from the road trip. How is it already December?
I haven’t bought a single gift yet, we finally put our miniature tree up just a couple nights ago, and these are the first cookies I’ve made so far this season.
It always seems like this time of the year – from late October though New Year’s – is a blur. Last year, we were moving back from Brooklyn. The year before that we were moving to Brooklyn. And this year, we’re dealing with the death of my great-grandmother.
At the respectable age of 98, she passed away in her sleep. What a special lady she was and what an incredible, full life she led. In her 98 years, she witnessed the Roaring 20’s, the Great Depression, 4 or 5 wars, had 5 children, 12 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, 11 great-great-grandchildren, and one beloved husband.
For her funeral, the family was asked to compile around 50-60 photos to create a slideshow. That 50-60 quickly turned into 100+. I was elected to perform the duties of scanning the photos and transferring them onto a flash drive. As I drug the folder titled “Lucille Swinford” from my computer desktop to the flash drive, I wondered at the fact that a person’s entire life can now be compressed into a digital file. I wondered if we chose the right photos. Would she feel happy while she watched the photos flash by on the screen? Did we find the moments that meant the most to her? Or did those moments happen too quickly for someone to get out their camera? Does this represent Lucille?
I always feel a lot of emotions at this time of the year. I find myself reflecting over the past 12 months and wondering what the next will bring. But like I said, it’s always too busy to spend much time dwelling on things in December. I haven’t been much in the mood for writing, but it feels good to sit down and let words come out, and it makes sense to eat cookies and drink hot coffee while it happens. Cookies are a decent place to start when you don’t feel like talking.
These cookies are dense and chewy with salty hunks of pistachio, sweet bits of cranberry, and lingering hints of orange and ginger. They don’t scream “I’m a Christmas cookie!” at first glance, but I think the flavors pass the holiday-cookie-test.
These cookies are my favorite because they’re perfect for the holidays, they’re perfect for late night snacking, and they’re perfect for eating out of the bowl before they’re baked. Which I will admit, I have been doing a lot of.
- Serves: 20-24 cookies
- Calories: 80
- Fat: 4g
- Saturated fat: 3g
- Carbohydrates: 9g
- Sugar: 5g
- Sodium: 84mg
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 1g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- ¾ cup + 3½ Tablespoons gluten free flour
- 7 Tbsp. coconut butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ⅛ tsp. baking soda
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ginger powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2½ Tbsp. orange juice
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped almonds
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
- In a small bowl, combine dried cranberries and orange juice. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes until the cranberries soften and juices absorb slightly.
- In a medium bowl, sift together gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Use a fork to mix in brown sugar.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine coconut butter and brown sugar. Mix on high until smooth and then add egg, orange zest, and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add dry mixture, about ½ cup at a time. Keep blending until a thick dough has formed.
- Use a spoon to mix in almonds, pistachios, and cranberries with juice.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350º and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop dough onto the baking sheets, about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to brown.