The holidays have meant many different things to me over the years, but there has been one constant: cookies. My mother was always famous (infamous?) in our family for her cookie smorgasbord. When we were younger, she might make ten or fifteen different kinds of cookies: 7 layer bars (hello dolly); sugar cookies; spritz cookies; ginger cookies; rugelach; chocolate butter cookies; homemade fudge; this amazing pistachio toffee dipped in dark chocolate; truffles. My mother was like a one-woman cookie factory and every year there were new recipes to try. Tins full of cookies went to neighbors, teachers, friends. She has cut back as time has gone on, but the memories stay with me: the holiday season is not the holiday season if I’m not standing in a warm kitchen over a mixer or rolling out cold dough. I feel strongly enough about cookies during the holidays that when I moved out and married Michael, one of the first things I bought for us was a set of cookie cutters.
Oh, I’ve tried to approximate cookies without cookies. I’ve made cinnamon spiced ornaments with cookie cutters instead of cookies (not the same). I’ve made spiced tea for myself instead of cookies (not the same). I’ve spent holidays baking nothing, but that always felt so empty and lonely.
Enter the gingerbread cookie recipe which I found here. I liked the fact that the dough could be rolled out and that it included an icing recipe. I ran to our fancy grocery store this Monday for coconut flour and arrowroot and I came home and made this recipe.
I found that the dough was way too dry – I added a teaspoon or two of melted butter so the dough had the right consistency. I also used Erythritol instead of Swerve – so I added some additional sweetener (liquid splenda) since Erythritol is only 70% as sweet as sugar. Even though I have finely ground almond and coconut flour and threw my erythritol into a coffee grinder to powder it, the dough was still very grainy. I wonder if I shouldn’t have put the coconut flour and almond flour in the food processor for a bit more of a smooth grind. In any case, the dough did roll out and was easy to stamp with cookie cutters. I would definitely roll the dough out thinner instead of thicker, the crunchier texture is nicer in this context. I also used lemon juice (and some orange zest I had on hand) to flavor the icing instead of vanilla. I didn’t bother piping the icing or doing fancy decorations because I figured only Michael and I would be willing to stomach the low carb cookies. The icing did dry hard, but once again, even after grinding the Erythritol, it leaves a grain (which kind of shimmers in the light) and is unpleasantly cooling. I would not recommend Erythritol for icing due to the cooling factor.
That being said, Michael and I have plowed through the cookies. Like most cookies, they make a good breakfast alongside a cup of coffee. Or afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Or after-dinner treat with a cup of gin.