Riffing off of my Holiday Shortbread Cookie developments, I have created a lovely dairy-free, gluten-free sugar cookie recipe for YU for Valentine’s Day. These delicious cookies are definitely kiddo approved (see pic below), and you can feel good about them since they are dyed with natural, fresh beet juice. I’ve also created some free labels you can print out and use for gifting, too—so show some love this Valentine’s Day.
Juicer (or visit your local juice shop and bring them a beet to juice for you, or blend the beet with a bit of water and strain with cheesecloth)
Large glass bowl
1-2 medium glass bowls
Rolling pin or large, smooth, sturdy glass
Unbleached parchment paper
Cookie cutters in multiple heart shapes (optional, and you can stick with one size, too)
Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
Powdered Sugar Version
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp oat flour
1 tsp arrowroot
1/8 tsp fine ground sea salt
1/8 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
2 tbsp unrefined, virgin coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegan powdered sugar (or sucanat processed in coffee grinder)
2 tbsp beet juice
*If you are using sucanat instead of powdered sugar and you have a coffee grinder, run your sucanat through the grinder until you get a powder for a smooth texture. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, your cookies will have some crunch, but they are still scrumptious (my tastebuds actually prefer the sucanat version). Use 1/3 cup powdered sucanat in place of powdered sugar and prepare the recipe as you see above.
This is Elise, daughter of my talented friend Kathy Beymer, and unofficial YU Sugar Cookie Monster… more of her adorableness in a few weeks [hint, hint].
Let’s get started.
Juice your beet. If you don’t have a juicer, you can blend your beet in a high powered blender and squeeze the pulp through a cheesecloth to get some fresh juice. If you live near a shop that sells fresh juices and smoothies, call and see if they have beet juice, or if they will juice a beet for you if you bring one in. Set juice aside.
Sift together almost all of the dry ingredients—everything except 2 tbsp of oat flour, vanilla extract and coconut oil.
Like fluffy piles of snow [smile].
Now, in a small bowl, cream together coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Add coconut oil mixture to dry ingredients and get in there with your hands and work the dough together until you form a ball. Split dough in half and place one half in a bowl and set aside.
In your remaining half, place 2 tbsp beet juice and 2 tbsp oat flour.
With your hands, work the dough together until well mixed.
At first it may be sticky, but keep working, the flour will soak up the juice. Roll into a ball and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lay out a baking sheet-sized piece of parchment paper. Place a ball of dough on top. Then place another piece of baking sheet-sized parchment on top of your dough and roll it out. The parchment not only minimizes cleanup (no red, sticky rolling pin), it makes dough rolling a breeze. And you can use the parchment to line the baking sheets for your cookies.
Peel back top piece of parchment, grab your cookie cutters and go to town.
Repeat these steps with your white dough as well.
Love that tiny guy.
If it’s too warm in your kitchen, it may be difficult to take a butter knife or an offset spatula to lift out cookie shapes onto the baking sheet. Warm kitchens make for stickier dough. My favorite trick is to slide the parchment with pre-cut shapes onto a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for about 1-2 minutes (no longer). Then you can easily separate the dough scraps from shapes. Those scraps will soften when you work them into a ball again with your hands, and the cookie shapes lift out easily without sticking to, or pulling from, your tools.
Fill your cookie sheet with loveliness.
Bake for 8 minutes, no longer or they will brown too much.
Be creative with your assembly. Use letterforms to spell out “I Love YU”…
Layer and cut out shapes…
… inset shapes…
… layer it up high…
… or just mash the colors together for a marbled effect.
To gift these cookies, find some cupcake liners and cut out some squares or parchment (about the size of your cookies).
Place a piece of parchment on the bottom of your cupcake liner and between a few cookies—this keeps the coconut oil from leaving any spots on your packaging.
Load up a nice bakery box.
Now, if you haven’t already, download and print the purty Gifting Labels I made for YU. Print ingredients labels on regular letterhead stock and labels for boxes (like the one below) on sticker paper.
Choose the retro rainbow design and/or…
… classic red.
Cut vertically along the crop marks, but not to the edges of the paper.
See, start at the cropmark with your X-Acto knife, and drag down along a straight edge to the bottom crop mark.
Cut all vertical lines into your labels.
Then rotate and do the same thing horizontally. Simply lift paper up and labels will fall out.
Do the same thing for your ingredient cards…
… and place one in your gift box.
Seal it up and make someone’s Valentine’s Day the best one yet.
And don’t forget to make a special one (or 5) for yourself.
Store cookies in a cool, dark place in your kitchen. I tend to play it safe and keep them in the fridge—letting them warm to room temperature before serving.
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Do you like this recipe?
Be a doll and Tweet about it, Pin it and/or share it on Facebook (I bet some folks out there in the world will be thankful you did).
Sharing rules and I sure do appreciate it.
And because I love YU…