For my entire life, Christmastime has been synonymous with baking. A tradition my mom started when she was in college, every year our lives are turned upside-down as we crank out tons of cookies. At this point, I’m thoroughly entrenched in cookie baking. A batch of mint meringues are in the oven as I write this, and I have containers of three different varieties of cookies sitting on my counter. It’s a bit time consuming and stressful, but it’s Christmas!
Everyone has these types of Christmas traditions, I think. And while not everybody bakes, everybody eats the seasonal treats. Case in point: my husband. A few years ago, for our first engaged-Christmas, I was handed his family recipes for the first time. For three years now, in addition to my traditional cookies I’ve been making his as well. Perhaps the most important of these cookies are the Christmas Trees. They are a traditional almond spritz cookie, only they have to be in the shape of trees. I suggested making wreaths instead, so we could tell the gluten free and regular varieties apart, and well, that idea just didn’t fly. So trees it was.
This year, though, I did make a small change: I made them vegan. I mean, I made the regular, traditional variety as well (I fear my head would have ended up on a platter if I hadn’t), but I decided to experiment. And while they weren’t identical to the non-vegan cookies, the vegan Christmas Trees were pretty good. In the future, I’d add more almond extract because, for whatever reason, they didn’t come out as almond-y. They were also a bit crunchier. But still, I was pleased with the result.
So, if you’re looking for a festive Christmas cookie, these are it. Just remember to make them in the shape of trees. Seriously. Anything else would just be wrong.
Christmas Tree Spritz Cookies
- 1 cup shortening + 2 tbsp water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed, dissolved in 3 tbsp water)
- 2 ¼ cup gluten free flour with xanthan gum
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp almond extract (as I mentioned, I’d probably use at least 1.5 tsp next time)
- Green food coloring
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, cream shortening with water and sugar until well combined.
- Add flax egg and almond extract, and mix well.
- With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture. Add in food coloring until you reach desired color.
- Fill press and press onto cookie sheet, and decorate with sprinkles if desired.
- Bake 7 – 12 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Yields 6 dozen
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