This year, my extended family spent Christmas at my grandparents’ house. Christmas is always a hard time of year for my diet, because I want to eat all those wonderful gourmet foods that my mom has been preparing for years and years. But put me in a place where other family members are preparing the food and I’m a good four hour drive from the nearest ingredients that I might be able to use to make some good copycats and… I’m going to have problems.
One of my favorite Christmas cookies that Grandma makes has always been her anise cookies. As I was sitting there moping about not being able to eat that initial tray of gluteny cookies and chemical-and-sugar-laden chocolates, Mom suggested that I try I make something I could eat. At this point, it would be good to mention that this was the day after an 18-hour drive, and I was more than exhausted and not in a good mood. In other words, I was just trying to make everything harder on myself. But I took out my limited stash of ingredients that had arrived from Vitacost, and sat down to figure out what I could make.
A couple pounds of flour. Check. Chia seeds. Check. Gelatin. Check. Xylitol, coconut sugar, maple syrup. Check. We had some palm shortening, and of course basic things like baking powder and salt. Grandma had some extracts.
Oookay. Mom and I talked through making cookies. Apparently it’s a 4:2:1 ratio of flour, sugar, and fat typically. So I dove in and followed that.
As I looked through the various flavorings I had, I decided to do the anise cookies. Super simple and taste really good. Okay, I want them to look as pretty as real anise cookies. So I decided to use xylitol as my sweetener, since it wouldn’t add any ugly brown color to the cream-colored cookies.
They turned out delicious! They’re a little more dense than the typical anise cookies, but the flavor and texture was overall very nice. I was glad to add a little of our traditional Christmas to my limited menu for those days.
Note: Make sure that your 1-to-1 gluten free flour has xanthan gum in it. If not, you'll need to add 1/4 t. of xanthan gum.
INGREDIENTS Oven @ 350* F
1 c. 1-to-1 gluten free flour
1/4 c. xylitol
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 c. palm shortening
1/4+ c. water
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. anise extract
In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, cream palm shortening and xylitol. Add anise extract. Mix dry ingredients into the wet, 1/3 c. at a time. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough feels similar to silly putty when you roll it.
Cover baking sheet in parchment paper and roll dough into pecan-sized balls. Place 1 1/2 in. apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until mostly firm to the touch. Let cool, or eat warm!
I grew up eating my Mom's amazing gourmet cooking. And then something happened. Almost two years ago, I became very sick. After lots of testing, the types of food I could eat became very, very limited. My mission now is to try to make good, affordable, easy, allergy-friendly food! All of my recipes, therefore, will be gluten free, dairy free, bean free, egg free, and cane sugar free. Most of my recipes will be paleo, Whole30, and/or keto friendly.
I am not (yet!) a certified nutritionist of any sort. Anything I say about health or nutrition is simply from my own research, and I would advise you to research before taking any of my advice.