Since coming off of GAPS, I’ve been toying around with lots of different foods and cooking methods to figure out exactly what foods make me feel the best. Or, rather, what foods make me feel the least worst, since pretty much all food makes me feel bad–it’s just a question of how bad. I landed on a dairy and grain free diet (I make exceptions for sushi) that is also free from refined sugars. I bake with nut flours and honey, and cook with small amounts of organic meat, generous amounts of high-quality fats, and tons of veggies. I don’t really like to label this diet, because then it becomes a narrow set of rules to follow and I well know how depressing that is, but it is a mostly GAPS/Paleo/SCD diet.
And then I decided to take it one step further, and start transitioning the entire family to this diet. Mostly for ease of cooking and meal planning, but also because my kids have my genes, and if I can spare them a digestive disorder down the road by feeding them well now, so be it.
All of this was well and good. And then…..the holidays came.
Now, I’m willing to make different treats, healthier treats, treats without refined sugar–but there must be treats. And I’m pretty sure that my kids would agree with me on this one.
Hallie Klecker saves the (holi)day with her new cookbook, Super Healthy Cookies. I really can’t tell you how excited I was to receive this cookbook* and start cooking from it. The recipes cover every kind of cookie from bars and balls, to fancy cookies, to drop cookies, even biscotti. There are cookies suitable for holiday gift giving (Orange-Scented Chocolate Biscotti, German Chocolate Cake Bars, and Chocolate Covered Mint Patties) and cookies to put in the kiddos’ lunchboxes (Quinoa Cranberry Orange Cookies, Almond Butter and Jelly Cookies, and Banana Raisin Walnut Cookies). And–ready for this??–they are all gluten-free, dairy-free, and totally delicious.
The Sweetie Pie has a thing for no-bake cookies with nut-butters so we started with the No-Bake Rice Treats, which got enthusiastic thumbs up as an after-dinner dessert.
And then, since I’m a sucker for anything ginger, we tried the Cocoa-Kissed Ginger Macaroons. And just to gild the cookie, I mixed up a batch of the Really Easy Chocolate Drizzle, which I used for dunking instead of drizzling. So delicious. We didn’t share these with the kiddos at all, poor things.
But our family’s favorite cookie so far has been a new take on the classic Pecan Sandies. I can’t remember a Christmas at my Grandma’s house without Pecan Sandies, so I get a little nostalgic over these. Hallie’s Almond and Pecan Cookies taste so buttery that I can’t believe there’s no butter in them. And they are nicely crunchy, just like a Sandie should be.
I plan to be cooking goodies from Hallie’s recipes all month, because I can’t imagine Christmas without tins of cookies sitting around on the counters. And this year, they are cookies that I can feel good about feeding to myself (no cheating on my diet restrictions!) and my family (no sugar crashes!). This makes my holidays all the more merry and bright.
Hallie gave us permission to share her recipe for Almond and Pecan Cookies. Go mix up a batch (or two….or three….). Promise you won’t regret it.
P.S. If you’re intrigued by Hallie’s cookie recipes, you’ll love her first cookbook, The Pure Kitchen. I’ve only had time to cook one or two recipes from it, but it holds great promise. And I have about half of the book dog-eared (always a good sign!)
These are a paleo take on the classic Pecan Sandies. Makes about 30 cookies.
Source: Super Healthy Cookies by Hallie Klecker
- 2 cups blanched almond flouer
- 1⁄2 cup raw pecans finely chopped
- 30 pecan halves for garnish
- 3 Tbs coconut sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
- 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 Tbs Grade B maple syrup
- 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs unsweetened applesauce
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, chopped pecans, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, maple syrup, olive oil, and applesauce. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to form a dough.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a log about 6 inches long and 1 1/2-2 inches in diameter. Wrap both logs in plastic wrap and freeze for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the frozen logs of dough and slice each into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets. Gently press a pecan half into the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.