I'm very excited to be joining you today as part of Home For The Holidays, a special event created this month by one of my favorite bloggers, Shirley Braden, of Gluten Free Easily. Every day until December 23rd, a different blogger will be sharing a favorite holiday dish (gluten-free of course). Yesterday, Ricki at Diet, Dessert and Dogs shared her recipe for Chocolate Mint Truffles. Tomorrow, Stephanie at Gluten Free By Nature will be bringing us a special holiday treat. Three prizes will be given away each day, and thanks to Shirley and the generosity of this event's sponsors, there are three crazy awesome grand prizes. Yes, not just awesome, but crazy awesome (it's okay, you can roll your eyes at me for that). What are they?
- A VITAMIX blender. I almost wish I wasn't participating as a blogger so that I could win this!
- $150 Shopping Spree at Free From Gluten. Again, feeling a bit jealous over here.
- A gift package from Caveman Cookies worth $89. I've heard tell that those caveman cookies rock.
Now, before we get to the giveaways, I want to share my holiday recipe with you. I've been baking a lot of cookies for my upcoming gluten-free baking guides with Brittany Angell. But today, I wanted to make something close to home. My grandma always made cream cheese cookies for Christmas. For those of you who have never had a cream cheese cookie, they're soft and buttery and have just a hint of that sour cream cheese flavor. I wish I could describe them for you better, but that's the best I can do. Suffice it to say, if you've never had a cream cheese cookie, you're missing out. But now you don't have to! These cookies taste remarkably similar to my grandma's, and are free from gluten, dairy, eggs and soy. They can also be made without refined sugars. I made them a few times with different types of sugar, and I'll admit I preferred the cookies made with refined sugar...they tasted more like my grandma's cookies. But I also loved the cookies made with coconut palm sugar. Coconut palm sugar has a deep flavor with molasses undertones, but while I love the texture and flavor of those cookies, the palm sugar has a tendency to overwhelm the more subtle flavors of the cream cheese. So if you want a "cream cheese cookie," I would use regular sugar or perhaps something like xylitol. But if you like to use coconut palm sugar and just want a tasty cookie, go ahead and use palm sugar.
Cream Cheese Cookies (Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan) (Print Friendly Option)
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4 hours to overnight
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of one medium lemon
1/3 cup coconut flour (40 grams)
1/3 cup white rice flour (52 grams)
1/3 cup tapioca starch (40 grams)
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons psyllium whole husks**
6 tablespoons boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
- Rinse and drain the cashews, then blend them in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, shortening, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Blend until smooth.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Pour boiling water over psyllium husks in a small bowl, whisking the whole time to prevent clumping. Pour quickly into the food processor and blend. Add the flour mixture and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.
- Drop by the scant tablespoon onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart or use a piping bag to shape cookies. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet. They'll be softer when warm and need to cool before they can be moved.
*You can use any granulated sugar in this recipe, such as regular refined cane sugar or coconut palm sugar. Coconut palm sugar will darken the cookies to a caramel color, as shown in some of the photos above. The palm sugar also gives them a caramel undertone in flavor, much like brown sugar does. If you prefer the white color of traditional cream cheese cookies, you can use any white granulated sugar or sugar substitute, such as cane sugar or xylitol. Regular white table sugar will make them taste more like the cream cheese cookies you remember. Your choice...they're delicious both ways!
**Psyllium Whole Husks are different from psyllium husk powder. Make sure to purchase the whole husks, which can usually be found in your grocery store or drug store in the supplement aisle. The brand I buy is Yerba Prima. I would have tried these with ground chia seeds as well, but I ran out. I suspect that they would work fine with 2 tablespoons of GROUND chia seeds, but I can't say for sure. If you end up trying this, I would love it if you came back and left a comment letting me know how they turned out!
Now, for today's giveaway, we have three great books for you!
Dangerous Grains by James Braly and Ron Hoggan
Sugar Nation by Jeff O'Connell
Gluten Free Goddess E-Book: Best Loved Recipes by Karina Allrich
To enter to win these books (and be entered into our grand prize drawing):
- Leave a comment telling me what your favorite holiday dish is.
- Share this post on Facebook, twitter, or your blog. Leave a separate comment for each way you share it.
- Stumble this post. Leave a separate comment letting me know you did so!
How else can you join in on the holiday fun? Share your own favorite gluten-free holiday recipe on your blog! Grab Shirley's Home for the Holidays badge and play along with the rest of us!
DAY 1 Shirley Braden at gfe–gluten free easily … Nutmeg Shortbread Flats
DAY 2 Diane Eblin at The WHOLE Gang … Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Toffee
DAY 3 Heidi Kelly at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom … Gluten-Free Fritters
DAY 4 Ali Segersten at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
DAY 5 Sunny Busby at And Love it, Too!… GF, DF Chocolate Pecan “Toll House” Pie
DAY 6 Stacy Toth at Paleo Parents … Paleo Monkey Bread
DAY 7 Maggie Savage at She Let Them Eat Cake … GF, DF Candy Cane Ice Cream
DAY 8 Melissa McLean Jory at Gluten Free For Good …Red Chile Enchilada Casserole
DAY 9 Kim Maes at Cook IT Allergy Free … Cinnamon Bun Cake
DAY 10 Lexie at Lexie’s Kitchen ..Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters
DAY 11– Brittany at Real Sustenance... Gluten Free Babka Bread.
Friday, 12/9–Elana Amsterdam at Elana’s Pantry
Saturday, 12/10–Kelly Brozyna at The Spunky Coconut
Sunday, 12/11–Ricki Heller at Diet, Dessert and Dogs
Monday, 12/12–Me! Cream Cheese Cookies
Tuesday, 12/13–Stephanie Fourie at Gluten Free by Nature
Wednesday, 12/14–Jules Shepard at Jules Speaks Gluten Free
Thursday, 12/15–Silvana Nardone at Silvana’s Kitchen (and Easy Eats)
Friday, 12/16–Heather at Gluten-Free Cat
Saturday, 12/17–Carol Kicinski at Simply…Gluten Free
Sunday, 12/18–Alisa Fleming at Alisa Cooks
Monday, 12/19–Linda Etherton at The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Tuesday, 12/20– Stewart at Gluten Free Gigi
Wednesday, 12/21–Zoe at Z’s Cup of Tea
Thursday, 12/22–Lillian Medville at Lillian’s Test Kitchen
Friday, 12/23—Shirley Braden at gfe—gluten free easily