Written by Foy of Foy Update – Garden. Cook. Write. Repeat.
Christmas cookies are sugary, rich, refined delicious bites of holiday goodness. When Diana, Miss Spain in Iowa, asked for cookie recipes that were natural and unrefined I paused wondering what I could possibly come up with. Turns out there are quite a few easy substitutions to naturally sweeten cookies.
You’ve heard of pecan sandies right? Well these are naturally sweetened walnut sandie cookies.
In addition to switching out brown sugar for evaporated cane juice and molasses, I also substituted:
- Whole wheat pastry flour for bleached all purpose flour
- Organic butter for regular stuff that comes laden with hormones
- Dark chocolate for semi-sweet chocolate
- Real salt for standard table salt
All these little changes make this recipe for Walnut Sandies a little more nice and a lot less naughty.
Don’t get me wrong these cookies are still sweet treats made with a cup of butter, dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts, but they have more micro nutrients and fewer processed ingredients. Plus they are tasty and inviting to eat.
Walnut sandies will be on my Christmas cookie plate this year. I’m going for a neutral palate. I haven’t got all the recipes worked out but as I do I will update my pinterest board here: Au Natural Christmas Cookies.
For more information on how to naturally sweeten your recipes check out Diana’s post A Simple Introduction to Natural Sweeteners and How to Use Them.
Naturally sweetened walnut sandies.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon real salt
- 1 cup organic unsalted butter, softened to room temperature.
- 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
- 1/2 walnuts, finely chopped
- In a food processor or blender process the 3/4 cup evaporated can juice until it becomes a fine powder. You can tell because it will become lighter in color and very fine. This will probably take a couple minutes of continues blending depending on the make of your machine. Only make as much powdered sugar as you need for the recipe, it clumps up if it sits more than a day. If you start with 3/4 cups of evaporated cane sugar you will have slightly less after powdering.
- Mix together the wheat flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Cream the butter, powdered sugar, molasses and vanilla until the color lightens and the mixture lightens in color. I use a mixer or you could also use a hand whisk or fork.
- Add the flour mixture to the cream mixture, add 1 cup of walnuts chopped fine and stir until combined.
- Make the dough into small balls of about 2 teaspoons each. Refrigerate the dough balls until chilled, about a half hour to over night.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the dough balls at least an inch apart and bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely. Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler or with 3, 30 second stints in the microwave.
- Dip half of the cookies in the chocolate and then the crushed walnuts. Place on waxed paper to cool. Once cool store in an air tight container for up to five days.
What cookies does your family make for Christmas?