It’s that time of year. The night is clear and crisp, anticipating fluffy snowflakes. And inside, the family room glows in warmth. The Christmas tree twinkles in the corner, and the aromas of baking permeate the air. While the roast cooks, the kids help with dessert: little hands sticky with flour, carefully pressing star-shaped cutters into the dough.
Fragrant with cinnamon and cloves, these spicy crisp cookies are a European Christmas tradition. They’ll be enjoyed after holiday dinner by the crackling fireplace while Mom plays carols on the piano; and the next morning with a mug of hot chocolate, as gifts are excitedly unwrapped. Free of wheat and white sugar, they are also a healthier option amidst the indulgence of seasonal baking.
125g corn flour
175g rice flour
125g organic vegetable margarine or butter
140g rapadura sugar (unrefined cane sugar)
100g almond meal
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1. Carefully combine the flours, sugar, almond meal, and spices. Add in softened butter, cut into small pieces. Work the butter into the flour, rubbing with fingertips until the mixture reaches a fine crumb texture. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring briskly.
2. Once the dough comes together, form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a cool place or refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 180° C. Place dough on a floured surface. Dust rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to ½ cm thick. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter or a glass and place on a lined cookie sheet.
4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy!
Styling by Claire Shi
Photography by Laure Fu and Gaelle Didion