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Christmas Cookies

If cookies are part of Christmas, then baking is part of Advent. If you think of baking as work, it's better not to do it. Hopefully you enjoy baking as much as we do, because tasty low-carb baked goods are hard to find in stores. And Christmas cookies naturally lend themselves to low-carb baking. You'll just need to replace the sugar with artificial sweetener, and almond flour actually works better for Christmas baking than wheat flour. Even if I were to go back to eating carbs, I would still use nut flours for my Christmas baking.

Plätzchen backen

Basic Cookie Dough

400 g_(16 oz)almond flour
100 g_(4 oz)gluten
375 gbutter
5 dessert spoonsliquid sweetener

Last Saturday we killed two birds with one stone. In addition to making Florentines (my favorites) as planned, we also baked two other kinds: chocolate walnut cookies and chessboard cookies.

All three kinds use the same basic dough, which we make with almond flour, gluten, butter, and sweetener. Unlike other types of dough, we don't let this one sit after mixing it, since it becomes more difficult to process with time. To roll out the cookies, sprinkle the table with almond flour, take a handful of dough, and roll it as flat as possible with a rolling pin. We cut out circles of dough with the rim of a champagne glass. (Thin glasses are especially well-suited to this, but be careful: they break easily, as my wife found out the other day.) Knead the leftovers back into the rest of the dough and roll out the next batch. Bake at 350° F ( 180° C) for 10 minutes.

After using up 3/4 of the dough, we had 4 sheets of 30 cookies. For the next step, knead 200 g_(8 oz) ground almonds and some butter into the remaining 1/4 of the dough. (If you use a lot of flour when rolling out the dough, you'll need more butter.) Divide the dough in half and knead 50 g_(2 oz) cocoa into 1 half. Divide both parts in half again and form each part into a long sausage shape (about the diameter of a quarter). Flatten the sides so that each stick of dough is square at the ends. Then stack the 4 long square-ended sticks 2 wide and 2 deep, alternating the ones with cocoa and the ones without cocoa.

Chocolate Walnut Cookies

60 gwalnut halves
50 g_(2 oz)low-carb chocolate


Chessboard Cookies

200 g_(8 oz)ground almonds
50-100 gbutter
50 g_(2 oz)cocoa


Florentines

200 g_(8 oz)slivered almonds
100 g_(4 oz)butter
300 g_(12 oz)Sukrin
100 g_(4 oz)candied oranges and lemons
300 ml_(1 1/2cup)Sahne
Lemon and orange zest, if desired

Press together firmly and then slice off 2-mm-thick cookies with a sharp knife. As with the Florentines, bake these at 350° F ( 180° C) for 10 minutes. The chessboards are finished.

Florentiner und KumpaneThe chocolate walnut cookies are quick and easy to make. We just made chocolate on the same day and used melted chocolate to stick walnut halves onto our basic cookies. The surprising thing is that the chocolate immediately sets when placed on the dough and remains solid at room temperature.

The Florentines are a little more complicated. We recovered lemon- and orange-infused Sukrin that we'd used in candying fruit. If you choose not to do this, you can add grated orange and lemon peel. Combine Sukrin and butter in a pan and stir over medium heat until they're lightly browned. Then add the almonds, lemon and orange zest, and a short time later the cream. Now you'll need to stir more intensely, since the cream boils easily. Continue cooking the cream-sugar mixture over medium heat until it reaches the consistency of honey. Then distribute it over the basic cookies and return them to the oven. The Florentines will be done after 5-7 minutes.

An absolute delight!

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