These Whole-Food Cut Out Cookies are simple to make, requiring only 1-bowl and 5 ingredients. Naturally sweetened, whole-grain and perfect for decorating!
The first year that my family started a whole-food lifestyle our first deliberate “cheat” came in the form of cut out cookies smothered in globs of colorful icing (red dye and all). Seriously.. is their anything more festive than cranking up the Jessica Simpson Holiday station on Pandora (<– no judging!), donning festive aprons, tasting frosting straight from the beaters, and getting to work on creating 237 cookies in assorted Christmas shapes? Skipping the tradition… Grinch status for sure.
Funny part… I don’t even like the taste of these sugar loaded cookies. Once my 6 year old/ “self-designated-sprinkle-applier” finishes loading each cookie with no less than 6 assorted sprinkle types, they are so sweet it actually makes my teeth hurt. Nope, decorated cut-out cookies are definitely MORE about the experience and LESS about the actual outcome.
So, last Christmas, I made it my mission to create a real food holiday cut-out cookie recipe. 7 batches of test cookies later, I did. Do they taste like their traditional counterparts? Not exactly. Does the whole-grain spelt flour make the cookies darker? A bit. Is the dough tougher to handle? Maybe a smidgen. Does it matter? Not to me and most importantly.. NOT to the boys.
They. Didn’t. Say. One. Word.
These cookies are crispy on the outside, soft in the center, and have just a hint of sweetness from the honey. They are yummy in their own right. Best part, they are free from white flour, processed ingredients, and all refined sugar and oils.
1 bowl, 5 ingredients and no artificial ingredients. Why would you give these a shot?
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
Prep: The cookies dough can be made a day ahead (and is actually easier to work with when chilled).
Make Ahead: These cookies can definitely be made in advance. I like to spread the festivities into 2 nights. The first, we mix the ingredients, cut out the cookies, and bake. The second night we frost. This gives the cookies a chance to cool and firm up before they are manhandled by the kids.
Freezer: These cookies are great for storing in the freezer. Just bake according to directions, allow and allow cookies to cool. When cool, arrange cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until frozen through. Remove baking sheet and store cookies in an airtight ziplock bag. When you are ready to decorate, remove from freezer and allow the cookies to come to room temperature.
- 2 cup salted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2½ cups spelt flour
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients using the paddle attachment.
- Divide dough into 2 parts. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Remove first half of dough from fridge and roll out on a floured surface until it is about a quarter of an inch thick.
- Cut with cookie cutters and arrange on baking tray. Cookies will expand slightly, so leave room between. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes on a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
- Cool on a baking rack.
- Repeat with the second ball of dough.
- This dough is stickier than traditional sugar cookie dough. I found that making sure it is completely chilled before rolling it out was very helpful.
- Make sure not to skip freezing the cookies for 20 minutes prior to baking, this helps combat “expansion.” You know, Reindeer that look bloated and shapeless.
- Spelt Flour is becoming more common and I am able to find it in my local grocery store. I always look for the Bob’s Red Mill Brand.
- Christmas Cookies pair perfectly with Super Food Hot Chocolate.
Don’t spend the time making whole-food cut out cookies and then slather them with icing colored by artificial dyes. Check out my post “How to Make Natural Food Coloring for Christmas Baking” or just download my Free printable “Dye Naturally.” I stuck the recipe for these cookies on there as well!
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