My Grandma Vein is a really fantastic baker. She makes wonderful treats for all holidays, but especially during the Christmas season. One of my favorite christmas cookies is her spritz cookies, a butter cookie dough pressed through a cookie press into different shapes. Some people flavor the cookie dough with vanilla and some with almond—Grandma’s spritz recipe uses vanilla. She would leaves some of the dough naturally colored and colors part of it red and green. She also would sprinkle the pressed cookie dough with various colored sanding sugars and sprinkles before baking.
My AIP variation might look and taste a little different, but the first test batch cookie I popped into my mouth was like tasting a memory of Christmases past. Despite using palm shortening in lieu of butter, they still have a "buttery" flavor; they also have some lovely notes of maple and just a hint of coconut.
Instead of pressing the dough through a cookie press, I chose to pipe it with a pastry bag fitted with a large start tip into rosettes and wreath shapes—I couldn’t justify buying (or storing) a new cookie press & I’m not sure if my vintage press has any gluten remnants.
I didn't have many ideas for natural ways to color the dough, but I did add matcha green tea powder to the dry ingredients of one batch & it worked really well, though it does make the cookies taste like green tea. I suspect a few drops of beet juice might work well to make a more red/pink dough; however, I have a sensitivity to beets so I have not tried it out. To make the wreaths look more like actual wreaths (and less like piped circles), I added some chopped dried cranberries (apple-juice-sweetened) and a tiny sprinkle of turbinado/raw sugar.
Because these cookies are so delicious, I’ve purposely made the batch really small—depending on how big they’re piped, you should be able to get around 16 cookies. If you’re one with lots of willpower, even around lots of delicious AIP cookies, make a double batch :)
Happy Baking! PS if you’d like to make the AIP gingersnaps pictured on the cookie platter, make sure you grab a copy of my e-book “Holiday Sweet Treats.”
Spritz Cookies (AIP, Paleo, Gluten Free)
yields around 16 cookies
64 grams(1/4 cup) palm shortening
39 grams (2 tablespoons) Grade A dark maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
23 grams (3 tablespoons +1 teaspoon) coconut flour
25 grams (3 tablespoons +1 teaspoon) tapioca starch
27 grams (3 tablespoons +1 teaspoon) arrowroot
3/4 teaspoon gelatin
1/8 teaspoon paleo baking powder (recipe follows)
pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used a Wilton bag fitted with an 824 Ateco tip).
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the palm shortening with the maple syrup and the vanilla extract with a silicone spatula until well combined. If the palm shortening is too solid to properly mix—mine typically is during the winter—allow the ingredients to warm up slightly on the preheating stove. A hand mixer may also be used.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, tapioca, arrowroot, gelatin, paleo baking powder, and sea salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the shortening/maple/vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pastry bag. Pipe the dough into rosettes, starting from the center & swirling outward. Draw circles as guides on the bottom of the parchment paper, if needed. Leave a little space between the cookies to allow them to puff a little during the baking process.
- Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 6 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to turn golden on the edges.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan before serving.
- Store cookies in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer. Leftover cookies may soften, so re-crisp in a warm oven, if needed, before serving.
Same ingredients as above with the addition of:
A heaping 1/4 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder
Apple juice sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
- Make the same recipe as above, adding a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder to the dry ingredients. Mix the green tea variation dough with a hand mixer too, just to ensure there are no tiny lumps of matcha.
- Pipe the dough into rings & press chopped dried cranberries into the rings. Sprinkle a little turbinado sugar over the wreaths.
- Bake as instructed above, though the wreaths may bake more quickly depending on how they thick they are piped, so watch them carefully.
81 grams (1/2 cup) cream of tartar
55 grams (1/4 cup) baking soda
30 grams (1/4 cup) arrowroot or tapioca
- Sift together the cream of tartar, baking soda, and arrowroot/tapioca.
- Store in an airtight jar. Use wherever baking powder is used.
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