So, I totally didn’t expect to have another Christmas cookie recipe for you this month, but these Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies actually baked perfectly on my first try. I just had to share! Consider this recipe my Christmas gift to you! 😉
Of course, I realize that Christmas is only 3 days away, but the good news is that these cookies are incredibly simple to make! In fact, the dough only takes 7 ingredients! The cookies bake beautifully, with crispy edges and slightly soft centers. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the delicious frosting recipe, colored naturally by food powders! The softly tinted frostings are versatile and could be used for any occasion, on just about any treat, like cakes or brownies.
While my Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies are a healthy AIP, Paleo, and vegan alternative to traditional cut-out sugar cookies, they are still the real deal! We seriously couldn’t stop eating them…which is why I’ll be making a THIRD batch this week! Hopefully we can restrain ourselves enough to save a few for Christmas Day!
These Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies come on the heels of another favorite cookie recipe that I debuted last week – Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies. The difference here is that my sugar cookies don’t require a gelatin egg or as many ingredients. You can throw the dough together in minutes and let it chill while you clean up!
Start your dough by creaming together either coconut oil or palm shortening in a mixer. Add in the applesauce (a great egg replacer) and mix to incorporate. Then, add the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, tapioca starch, and coconut flour. Mix a final time until you get a dough that doesn’t stick to the mixing bowl or your hands. Wrap the dough up in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes to chill.
Meanwhile, get your cookie cutting station ready to go! I spread out a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkled some extra tapioca starch on it, as well as on my rolling pin. Once your dough is chilled, dust it with a bit of tapioca starch and roll it out to about 1/4” in thickness. Cut your cookies out and place them on a lined baking sheet, with either parchment or silpat.
Bake your cute little sugar cookies for about 8-10 minutes, or until they are a golden brown color. Let the cookies cool for another 10 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Being on the autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet means that I can’t have any artificial flavorings or colorings. And even prior to the AIP diet, I still tried to avoid artificial ingredients as much as possible. My one exception was at Christmas, since my family always did cut-out sugar cookies and frosted them using traditional food coloring.
This year, I needed a natural approach to food dyes and my Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies were created in part so that I could test out some new food colorings. The first idea I had was to use organic matcha powder, since it has a pretty green hue. Matcha is Japanese green tea in powdered form, which is loaded with antioxidants. Not only does it make a delicious tea to drink, but the green powder worked like a charm to create green frosting for my cookies!
To go with the subtle matcha green frosting, I needed something red. Fortunately, I stumbled upon beetroot powder while I was ordering my matcha on Amazon. Since beet juice is used as a liquid dye, I figured the powder would work when mixed into a frosting. And, I was right! The beetroot powder didn’t quite yield a red frosting, but it came close. The magenta frosting made a cute compliment to the light matcha green color.
For my yellow frosting, I used a spice that has become a staple on my AIP diet – turmeric. It might seem odd to put a savory spice into a sweet frosting, but believe me, it works! And you really don’t taste the turmeric flavor much, if at all! It just blends into a pretty butter yellow.
All of the colored frostings use a palm shortening and honey base. For my white frosting, I used a mix of coconut butter and coconut oil. (You could also just reserve extra of the palm shortening frosting.) I personally love the flavor of coconut butter, so I melted a couple tablespoons with coconut oil to create a white glaze-like frosting.
Now comes the fun part: decorating your Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies! For easy piping bags, just use some small plastic ziplock snack bags and cut the corners off. I also just spread some of the colored frostings on my cookies with a knife. Use shredded coconut as an optional topping, too, or whatever else you like! If you’re not on the AIP diet, mini chocolate chips or white chocolate chips would be cute, too!
Friends, I hope you’ll give my Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies a try this Christmas! They have a honey graham-like quality to them and the frosting enhances the delicious flavor! You won’t believe how good these are until you taste them! They’re even better when you eat them while sipping my Paleo Gingerbread Lattes! 🙂
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Enjoy every moment of celebrating the holidays with the ones you love! A big thank you for following my food blog and for cooking along with me this year! Can’t wait for many more good eats to share with you in 2017! Cheers!
- ¼ cup palm shortening or coconut oil
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ⅛ cup applesauce
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6.5 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- pinch of sea salt
- ½ cup palm shortening
- 2 tablespoons raw honey (or maple syrup for vegans)
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut cream (to thin frosting, if necessary)
- ½ teaspoon matcha green tea powder
- ¼ teaspoon beetroot powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter
- ½ teaspoon coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup
- Cream the palm shortening or coconut oil with the coconut sugar in an electric mixer. Add in the applesauce and mix until incorporated. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together and doesn't stick to your hands or the mixing bowl.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll chilled dough on a surface lightly floured with tapioca starch. Flour rolling pin, too, if necessary.
- Cut out cookies and place on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer carefully to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the colored frosting, cream palm shortening in a mixer with a whisk until light and fluffy. Add in sweeteners and whisk to incorporate. If frosting is too thick, add in a tablespoon of coconut cream.
- Divide frosting into 3 small bowls and add matcha powder to one bowl, beetroot powder to another, and turmeric to the third. Mix each bowl well.
- For white frosting, melt coconut butter and coconut oil in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in honey or maple syrup, if desired.
- Pipe or spread frostings on cooled cookies. Place frosted cookies in freezer for 10 minutes, or until frosting is set. Store covered in refrigerator or freezer.
~If your frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon of coconut cream to thin it down slightly. If it's too thin, add extra palm shortening.
~You can add extra food powder to the frostings to deepen the colors, but keep in mind that the more you add, the more you might taste the food powder.
~For other natural food colorings, try grinding up freeze-dried fruits and veggies like raspberries, strawberries, or even spinach!
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