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Christmas goodies

Christmas is right around the corner.  Parties and family gatherings are in abundance and there are sweets everywhere.  A little indulgence this time of year is something to look forward to and today we'll look at recipes that will be perfect for any party.  

GRAIN FREE SHORTBREAD Use these shortbread cookies like any sugar cookie.  Decorate any way you want, or just dip them in dark chocolate.

1 cup Honeyville blanched almond flour (other brands may affect results) 3 Tablespoons butter, softened 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey pinch of sea salt *optional: 1/4 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

Preheat your oven to 350F. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until a batter forms, then use a tablespoon to scoop dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet. I gently flattened my cookies using a fork. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, watching closely to ensure they don't burn. Remove cookies from the oven when they are lightly golden brown, then cool on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. PALEO S'MORES Try this "blondie" s'mores version this year.

Blondie Brownie Base:

2 cups fine almond flour 1/4 cup tapioca starch 1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder, see notes 1/2 cup coconut sugar 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt 6 Tablespoons melted ghee, butter, or coconut oil for dairy free 2 eggs 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Layer:

1 cup chocolate chips, 6 oz, I used Enjoy Life 2 Tablespoons ghee, butter, or coconut oil for dairy free

Honeyed Marshmallow Meringue:

3 egg whites 1/4 cup honey 1/4 Teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease an 8″ baking pan. Cut 2 strips of parchment paper the width of the baking pan, then place them into the pan crosswise. Mix together the almond flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, coconut sugar, and sea salt until combined. Add the melted ghee, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix until combined again. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, and carefully spread it as evenly as possible into the pan. Bake the blondie brownie base until puffed in the middle, about 15 minutes. When the brownies are done, let them cool on the counter while you make the chocolate layer.  For the chocolate layer, melt the chocolate chips and ghee together over low heat, stirring constantly until all the chocolate chips have melted. Pour the chocolate layer over the brownie base, and chill in the refrigerator or freezer just until the surface of the chocolate has set up, (about 20 minutes in the freezer). You can also leave them at room temperature at this point for several hours until you’re ready to serve them. Then briefly chill the brownie base to make sure the chocolate is set up before topping with the meringue.  To make the marshmallow meringue, add the egg whites and honey to a small saucepan or double boiler pan if you have one. Place the saucepan or double boiler over another pan of barely simmering water to create a double boiler. Make sure if you’re using 2 saucepans together that you don’t tip the pan because any water in the meringue will ruin it. Whisk the egg whites and honey together in the double boiler until they reach a temperature of 145ºF on an instant read thermometer. While you’re making the marshmallow meringue, preheat the oven on the broiler setting. Pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of your electric mixer, add the cream of tartar, and beat with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form, 5-8 minutes. Then spread the marshmallow meringue evenly over the chilled chocolate layer. Broil the meringue on the top rack until its golden brown and toasty like a marshmallow, about 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately for the crispiest marshmallow meringue. Refrigerate any leftovers for 3 days, the meringue will soften in the refrigerator, but they still taste great! PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE MACAROONS Don't forget to buy your doTerra Peppermint oil for this Christmas season.  It smells great and you can use it in your baking.

5 Cups Shredded Coconut (finely shredded, unsweetened) 6 Tbl Cacao Powder Pinch Real Salt 2 Tbl Coconut Oil 5 Tbl Real Maple Syrup 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 1-2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil Candy Canes (if not making a paleo version) 

Place the shredded coconut in a high speed blender, like a Vitamix. Turn the blender on to the lowest setting and process the coconut for a few minutes, until it starts to turn into coconut butter. There should still be pieces of shredded coconut, but the mass should start to be turning into a ‘nut’ butter consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and process just until combined. Over-blending will cause the dough to become oily. *If you aren’t concerned with the cookies being Paleo, add the crushed candy canes in at this point and mix in lightly. Use a scoop with about a 1 tablespoon capacity and scoop out rounds of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate cookies for 1 hour, or until set. Keep refrigerated. PALEO SPRITZ COOKIES I loved my grandma's spritz cookies when I was little.  The wheat would do a number on me now, so I'm glad there is this Paleo version.

6 tbsp grass fed butter or ghee, soft 1/2 cup maple sugar 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 tsp pure almond extract or an additional vanilla, if preferred 1 large egg room temp 2 1/4 cups blanched almond flour 3 tbsp coconut flour 1/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt


2/3 cup organic powdered sugar OR homemade paleo powdered sugar* 1 tbsp dairy-free milk of choice 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine the almond and coconut flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, set aside. Using a whisk or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until well combined in a separate large bowl. Add the extracts and egg; mix on low speed until smooth.  Add in the dry ingredients and stir well with a silicone spatula or spoon until a cookie dough forms. Place the dough in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes. You can also cover or wrap the dough and chill up to 24 hours. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You will use a cookie press to deposit the dough onto an ungreased, non-stick baking sheet. Allow dough to soften enough to place in the cookie press. You’ll probably have to refill it 3 times to make all the cookies. Using your preferred shapes, press dough onto cookie sheet using the instructions for your cookie press*. Bake 6 minutes or until set and beginning to turn light brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Place baking sheet in the freezer for a few minutes before starting the next batch, then repeat until cookie dough is used up.


For the icing, whisk together all ingredients to get a smooth consistency, good for drizzling. Drizzle onto cooled cookies and decorate as desired.

Other decorating ideas:

Melted dark chocolate, coconut flakes, clear sugar or whatever you like. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

* To make your own paleo powdered sugar, combined 1 cup maple sugar (or coconut sugar) and 1 Tbsp tapioca flour in a food processor or high speed blender and blend until a powdery consistency is reached.  Use just the amount of the resulting mixture specified in the recipe (2/3 cup) and save the rest for another use. BETTER THAN SCOUT COOKIES Don't let the ingredient list deter you from making these cookies.  They will be something special on your table.

1 cup Organic Walnuts 1 cup Blanched Almond Flour 1 cup shredded Coconut 2 Tbsp Flax Seed Meal 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon 1/2 tsp Baking Soda 1/4 tsp Sea Salt 8 whole Dates (Medjool) 1 whole Egg 1/4 cup Raw Honey 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted and slightly cooled (you may sub vegan or regular butter) 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips, melted, for decoration

Scout cookies are a grown-up version of the popular Girl Scout Samoa, and this homemade version will beat any samoa craving! In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade, pulse the walnuts 7-10 times until they are finely chopped. Transfer the chopped walnuts to a large mixing bowl and stir together with almond flour, coconut, flax, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of the food processor, combine the dates, egg, honey, vanilla and butter or oil. Process until smooth. If you still see flecks of date, that's ok, but make sure there are no large chunks left. Pour the wet (food processor) mixture into the dry mixture that you set aside and stir to thoroughly combine. Use an ice cream scoop to portion the dough into 4-tablespoon mounds. Use your palm to gently flatten the top into a thick disc. Place the cookies 2" apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 16-20 minutes (mine took exactly 18) until golden brown. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cookies are cooled, drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies. The easiest way to do this is to pour the melted chocolate into a small zip top bag, seal it, and snip the corner off of the bag so that you can use it as a piping bag. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.


Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. NUTELLA BLISS BALLS Take some time to read the ingredients on a store bought Nutella label.  You'll be surprised.  Skip that and make these.  This flavor will knock you out.

1 cup hazelnut meal 1 cup almond meal 3 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder 3 tablespoons almond butter 3 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat a frypan over medium heat. Add the hazelnut meal and stir continuously for 3 – 4 minutes or until fragrant and becoming golden. Pour the meal into your food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture is well combined and sticking together. Use your hands to press and shape the mixture into balls and place the balls in the fridge to set. Eat and enjoy.

Thermomix Method

Follow step one above. Place the ingredients into the bowl and blend at speed 10 for 8 seconds. Press and shape the mixture into balls. Place the balls in the fridge to set. Eat. Enjoy. Try something new for your parties this year using these recipes.  Get your family involved.  Buy the ingredients together and have everyone help in the preparation.  You'll have fun.

Here's to your health!  Happy Baking!



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