Ingredient: Brown sugar
Cookies

Pecan Cookies – gluten, dairy and egg free

Pecan cookies - A Free From Life

Few things are more comforting in life than the smell of freshly baked cookies (fresh baked bread and ground coffee are up there too). It’s home, it’s childhood memories and a great big hug all wrapped into one.

‘Free From’ cookies don’t have to be tasteless, dry or gritty and just because you have to avoid gluten and dairy, doesn’t mean you can’t experience that same home-baked, fresh cookie experience.

The ideal mix of crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle, this cookie recipe is gluten, dairy and egg free, but is so tasty, I’d put money on no one telling the difference, or even caring for that matter.

Pecan cookies - A Free From Life

This recipe includes chopped pecans, but if you want to make it nut free, just change this part of the recipe for something else, such as raisins or chocolate chips. The combinations are endless, really. You can take out the cinnamon and add ginger, substitute the vanilla for almond essence or for a citrus flavour, add orange or lemon juice.

Pecan cookies - A Free From Life

These are so easy to make, my 10 year old made a batch all on her own. She used dark chocolate chips, instead of nuts or raisins and kept the cinnamon. It was a lovely combination.

Pecan cookies - A Free From Life
Pecan Cookies - Gluten, dairy and egg free
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
14 20 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
14 20 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Pecan cookies - A Free From Life
Pecan Cookies - Gluten, dairy and egg free
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
14 20 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
14 20 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Weigh out the flours, baking powder, bicarb and cinnamon and mix together well. Set aside
  2. Cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon or electric whisk. Add the golden syrup and vanilla extract
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar and continue to beat to until the mixture is incorporated into a soft dough
  4. Weigh out the pecans and chop, either by hand or in a coffee grinder. Add these to the dough and mix well
  5. Take desert spoonfuls of the dough and make into a round before putting onto a baking tray (lined with non-stick parchment paper) and flattening with the back of your hand
  6. Bake at 180C/Gas 4 for 12 minutes or until golden
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Cookies

Christmas spiced place name cookies

Christmas spiced place name cookies

Day three of my make ahead Christmas recipes is for Christmas spiced cookies.

Christmas spiced place name cookies - A Free From Life

There will be ten of us around the table on Christmas day and I like to make it look extra special for the big occasion.

This year, I’m trying something different to the usual place name holders by making them edible! These Christmas spiced cookies were fun to make because I let the children decorate them (yes you read that right, I relinquished the control on this one). With our collection of angel, snowman, Christmas tree and star cookie cutters, we were able to make some lovely little place names that the guests can eat if they feel that way inclined (or can fit anything else in).

Christmas spiced place name cookies

These are wheat free, as I made them with spelt flour. They are also dairy free.

A variation of gingerbread, I used mixed spice instead of just ginger, to give the lovely blend of spices that remind us of Christmas and I’m hoping they’ll make an interesting addition to the table. That is, if you can see them amongst the crackers, selfie masks, napkins and little stocking cutlery holders. Perhaps it’s over the top, but who cares? It’s Christmas.

Christmas spiced place name cookies - A Free From Life

 

Christmas spiced place name cookies
Christmas spiced place name cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
10
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings
10
Cook Time
10 minutes
Christmas spiced place name cookies
Christmas spiced place name cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
10
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings
10
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas 4 and grease and line two baking sheets
  2. Sift together the flour, bicarb, salt and mixed spice
  3. Rub in the butter to the flour mix, until you get a texture resembling breadcrumbs
  4. Add the sugar and mix well
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg and golden syrup
  6. Use a fork to whisk in the egg and syrup to the mix until it starts to form a dough, bring it together with your hands if necessary
  7. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to about 3mm thick and cut out your shapes, taking the extra and re-rolling until all the dough is used up.
  8. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden
  9. Leave to cool completely before decorating and for a finishing touch, dust with icing sugar
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Gluten and dairy free pecan cookies

Gluten and dairy free pecan cookies - A Free From Life

Try these gluten and dairy free pecan cookies for a tasty after school treat

Now the kids are back at school, I find myself thinking once more about packed lunches and afternoon snacks. Sunday is the day for preparation in our house and that usually involves turning my kitchen into a mini bakery. I make at least two or three different things, thinking that will see us through the week.

Of course by Tuesday or Wednesday there’s nothing left, something that’s inevitable when you offer up home baking to a family of five. My gluten and dairy free treats go down well with everyone, not just my intolerant son and these cookies are no exception.

pecan-cookies-4

When I made these pecan cookies for the first time last week, they went down such a storm, I ended up making two batches. They really were very easy to make though, taking just 10 minutes to prepare and 12 minutes to bake.

Gluten and dairy free pecan cookies - A Free From Life

I like to experiment with different gluten free flours and I highly encourage you to give it a try. The difference in taste you get compared to the shop-bought blends is staggering. Not that I’m criticising commercial gluten free flour blends, it’s just that they tend to use rice flour and I’m not a fan. I don’t like the grittiness you get and I personally believe there are much tastier gluten free flours out there.

Gluten and dairy free pecan cookies - A Free From Life

This recipe uses a combination of sorghum flour (my favourite gluten free flour) and chestnut flour, which I thought I would try out. I’ve used chestnut flour before in a gnocchi recipe and found it worked well. I thought the nuttiness of the chestnuts would complement the pecans in this recipe. I’ve also used tapioca flour, which is my starch of choice. Whenever you blend gluten free flours, the recipe works much better if you combine the flour with a starch. You’re aiming to recreate the gluten effect and starch can help with that. You can find out more about baking gluten free from a previous post I wrote.

If you’re worried about buying a new flour, using it once and wasting the rest, don’t be. If my experience is anything to go by, these cookies will become a family staple and before you know it, you’ll have used up the whole bag!

Gluten and dairy free pecan cookies - A Free From Life

Gluten and dairy free pecan cookies - A Free From Life
Gluten and dairy free pecan cookies
Print Recipe
Gluten and dairy free pecan cookies - A Free From Life
Gluten and dairy free pecan cookies
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/Fan 160C
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then add the syrup
  3. Measure the flours into a separate bowl and add the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well
  4. Add the mixed flour to the butter/sugar/syrup mix and stir or beat together to form a sticky dough
  5. Put the pecans in a blender and pulse until roughly chopped
  6. Add the pecans to the dough and stir to incorporate
  7. Grease a baking sheet
  8. Place walnut-sized balls of the dough on to the baking sheet, with space in between. Makes approx. 15 (no need to flatten them)
  9. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden
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