I have always been intrigued by edible decorations on a Christmas tree. This weekend, I’m having some pals over for a holiday soiree and I thought, this would be a perfect time to experiment with this idea. But what to create? So, I opened my pantry and the smell of fresh ground cardamom (left over from my recent 24 Carrot Supper Club dinner) reached out and said “use me!” I am a superfan of cardamom, and together with chocolate, it’s pretty much heaven, so I got to work.
The house smells like evergreen with hints of chocolate and cardamom as I type up this recipe for YU. The fire is going, and Vince Guaraldi is banging out my favorite holiday tunes—A Charlie Brown Christmas. The best part is, that this batch of gluten-free, vegan cookies makes enough for every party-goer to leave with at least one ornament. Happy, happy for new traditions!
Makes: 50+ ornaments
Preparation Time: 1 hour
String (I used embroidery floss that I had in the house, but skinny velvet ribbons or thin twine would be lovely too. Any kind of string would work as long as it will fit through the hole you create)
Silicone kitchen spatula
2 cookie sheets, lined with unbleached parchment paper
Unbleached parchment paper
1 kabob skewer or paring knife
Cookie cutters (you can use stars, trees, snowflakes, circles—your choice)
Metal pie server, chef’s knife or thin spatula
Double boiler (or a homemade one: a large pot, with a strainer on top, with a small pot nestled inside the strainer)
Piping bag with tip (or a homemade one: a ziplock bag with a tiny scissor snip off of a corner)
2 organic white chocolate bars (look for vegan if you do not want dairy, and gluten-free if you have a sensitivity)
2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour (Benefit Your Life brand is my fave. You can replace with gluten-free AP flour if you’d like)
1/2 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder (you can use raw cacao powder)
1 tsp aluminum-free baking soda
3/4 tsp pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
1 tbsp mequite powder (optional)
2 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup organic sucanat
2 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk (store-bought or you can make your own)
1/2 cup cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
3 tbsp wild-harvested honey (you can substitute brown rice syrup, agave or maple syrup)
Let’s Get Started.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare your parchment-lined cookies sheets.
In one bowl thoroughly mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl mix the liquid ingredients together, then fold liquid and dry together until thoroughly mixed. You can get in there with your hands if you like, you will need them to roll out dough anyway.
Lightly dust a working surface (I use my granite counter top) with cocoa or flour. Place a ball of dough onto the floured surface. Place a piece of parchment paper on top and roll out with a rolling pin. Peel back parchment and using your cookie cutter, cut shapes into the dough.
Using a kabob skewer or paring knife, create a hole towards the top of your shape. Just choose a spot with enough cookie around it to hold (this is why I went lower on the star rather than the tip top of the point). Using a metal pie server, chef’s knife or thin spatula, lift each cookie from the surface and place on your parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Do not over bake. Take these babies out at the 9-10 minute mark. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Keep baking until all the dough is used. If you’d like, you can save some of the dough in an airtight container in the fridge to bake at a later date.
While cookies are cooling, break apart your white chocolate bars and warm in the double boiler. Once thoroughly melted, fill your piping bag. I use this nice tip from Penny Shack’s lemon cashew cookies—use a glass to wrap the bag around (bottom, right). It makes it easier to fill. Some chocolate will drip out the bottom, so work quickly, or tape the bottom before you fill and remove tape once the bag is full and ready to use.
Allow cookies to cool fully. I put mine in the freezer to expedite the process.
Now let’s turn these cuties into ornaments. Cut 10″-12″ lengths of the string of your choice. Fold one length in half and tie a knot in the open end. Feed the folded end through the hole in your cookie.
Feed the un-knotted end through the knotted end and pull, making sure the strings split so one is on each side of the point (if you are making stars).
Hang on the tree and gift to friends and family!
Be sure to share photos and comments about your creations with us!
1. If the honey is too solid, warm it up before mixing with other liquid ingredients.
2. Add natural food coloring to the white chocolate to add variety to your cookie decorating.
3. Use natural sprinkles to the white chocolate for more decorating fun.