We’ve made it half way through February! This month has flown by, and spring is almost here :). I heard birds chirping outside my window the other morning and it instantly lifted my spirits. I know January and February can be a tough time of year in the Midwest due to weather, but if you think about it there are so many fun things during these months to beat our winter blues. We have football, the holidays, award show season, and best of all Valentine’s Day! I am definitely a romantic and all about LOVE :), therefore fully enjoy this day. I have spent a handful of V-days single and others in a relationship. I will say I actually enjoyed a lot of my single Valentine’s Day experiences because I was able to focus on myself for a day. Life frequently feels too busy and we often neglect or own needs…but its always important to check in with ourselves and see how we are doing.
Being in a relationship on Valentine’s Day is also lots of fun! I will say though…I have had my fair share horrible V-Day experiences. I appreciate my boyfriend and our relationship even more today due to some of my past disasters :/. You can’t appreciate good without the bad right :)?!
Like I mentioned above, you do not have to be in a relationship to celebrate Valentine’s Day. To me the day is about love for anyone and anything in your life. For you this may be your kids, parents, sibling(s), dog, cat, girlfriends, etc. Most importantly remember to give yourself some love on this special day. Take some time to acknowledge how great you are and do something for yourself! Take a hot bath with fancy soap, enjoy some good wine, take a workout class, get a pedicure, spend time reading a good book, go for a walk, journal and reflect, engage in a hobby you love or one you’ve meant to try, or maybe bake for yourself :)? I do it all the time!
The colder months keep me baking more than usual. I was recipe testing last week and had a strong urge to create a grain-free sugar cookie. With Valentine’s Day approaching I naturally felt the need to incorporate chocolate, and ended up with these soft, pillow-like chocolate sugar cookies! In the past I have not been overly successful in my gluten-free sugar cookie attempts. I have tried making them with a gluten-free 1:1 flour, but often have trouble getting the dough to come together well. It frequently crumbles or cracks upon rolling no matter how long I chill it, or how much butter I use. Last week I broke the cycle and came up with a recipe I just love :).
The cookies are good on their own, but I wanted to take them up a notch and incorporate some pink/red valentines day flare. My boyfriend’s mom makes amazing jams, and luckily had a jar in my pantry. I also had some coconut butter, which I am just crazy for. I have used it in some of my past recipes and cannot get enough of it. The raspberry jam and coconut butter are heavenly together. Coconut butter will firm up on its own when it cools as it returns to it’s solid state. This makes for a great filling because it keeps the cookie together well.
I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day week full of lots of LOVE :), and make sure to sneak in some time for baking!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10-12 minutes
Decorating Time 20-30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Makes 6 sandwich cookies, 12 individual cookies, 2/3 cup filling
• 8 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter, softened at room temperature (1 stick)
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 large egg at room temperature
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (preferred)
• 1 cup lightly packed almond meal, blanched
• 1/4 cup coconut flour
• 1/4 cup cocoa powder (dutch or regular work in this recipe)*
• 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/3 cup raspberry jam (or jam of choice)
•1/3 cup coconut butter, melted and cooled *
•1 tablespoon coconut flour
• 4 oz dark chocolate or chocolate of choice (preferably Bakers Bar or other melting wafer/bar). Chocolate chips do not melt well
• 1 teaspoon solid/soft coconut oil
White Chocolate Drizzle
• 2 oz white chocolate (again preferably not chocolate chips)
• 1/2 teaspoon solid coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment or a Silpat.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer), cream butter and sugar. Beat for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla paste/extract. Scrape around bowl with spatula to ensure mixture is well combined.
3. In a separate medium size bowl, sift coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Stir in almond flour. Gradually add dry mixture to the butter mixture in 2 additions. Again finish with a spatula to ensure mixture is well combined.
4. Allow the cookie dough to sit for 10 minutes. This allows the coconut flour to thicken the mixture some.
5. Using a standard cookie scoop, portion dough onto the prepared baking sheet. I baked 8 cookies per sheet.
5. Bake cookies for 4 minutes. Take them out at this point and use a flipper/turner to flatten the cookies some. Do not smash them, just a gentle push. They will not spread well on their own. Return cookies to the oven and bake another 6 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.*
6. Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool on baking tray for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
7. Warm coconut butter as directed below under recipe notes. Remove jar from hot water bath and allow to cool (~10 minutes).
8. If your jam/jelly is runny consistency use as is. If it is thicker, place in a microwave safe bowl, or in small saucepan and gently warm it to a thinner consistency. This only takes about 20 seconds in the microwave (recommend power level 8), or few minutes on stove top. Be careful if using microwave as it will burn/smoke easily.
9. Place coconut butter and jam in a small bowl and combine via spatula. Stir in 1 tablespoon of coconut flour. Allow filling to rest for 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken some.
10. Spread a couple tablespoons of filling on the bottom of one cookie, making sure to not push it too close to the edge. Place a second cookie over-top to sandwich the filling. Push down softly until mixture spreads towards the border, but not all the way. Repeat until all cookies are complete. At this point I place the cookies on a plate in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. This helps the filling solidify and hold them together well for dipping. Make sure the cookie feels firmly held together before you start dipping. Can return to fridge for another 15 minutes or so if needed.
11. Heat dark chocolate and coconut oil in microwave safe dish in 20-30 second increments on power level 8 until melted, stirring in between cycles. Repeat with white chocolate. Put dark chocolate in a small glass or mug big enough to dip in. Dip one half of the cookie into chocolate. If it does not reach half way up the cookie, push the cookie up towards the side of the bowl to help raise the chocolate up. Set on a plate to dry. Repeat with remaining cookies. Place cookies in fridge for 5-10 minutes to help chocolate set.
12. Gather some melted white chocolate in a spoon and drizzle over the cookies, as pictured above. You can also use a plastic piping bag (just make sure chocolate is not hot if you do this). Garnish with toppings of choice. I used hemp seeds, heart sprinkles from Fancy Sprinkles and rose petals. I have the petals linked under my baking products page. Have fun decorating these anyway you like, and feel free to change up the chocolate. They would be pretty dipped in white chocolate too!
Happy Valentines Day everyone!
*Coconut butter is very firm in the jar. It resembles a peanut butter that separates with the oil on top. The difference is it will be solid, rather than runny. I find it easiest to place a saucepan filled with a few cups of water on medium-low over your stove top. You do not want to boil the water, rather warm it. Remove the jar lid and any plastic labels from the coconut butter jar, and place it in the pan with water. I usually put in enough water to reach half way up the jar. Allow the jar to rest in warm to very warm water for a few minutes. You slowly will be able to start stirring the mixture shortly after it heats through (it will soften up towards the bottom of the jar first). It will have a consistency similar to tahini. Now you can measure and carry on baking!
*You can use cocoa powder, dutch processed cocoa powder or cacao powder. The baking soda/cocoa, baking powder/dutch cocoa rule does not matter in this recipe. You can learn more about this rule in my science of baking page if interested.
*When I remove anything I bake from the oven, or open the door, I always turn the oven up 5 degrees after closing the door again. You can actually lose a lot more heat than you think when opening the door even quickly. When the oven beeps again telling me it reached 355 I turn it back to 350. This simply ensures your oven temp is going up after you expose it to the outside environment. I find my baked goods turn out better and are more accurate with the recommended cooking time. Just a little tip :).
*If you do not have coconut butter, or care for it, you can replace this with regular butter at room temperature. I have not tried this yet, but would cream together 4 tablespoons room temperature butter, 1 tablespoon coconut flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar sifted and 1/4 cup jam (would not need to thin).