For as long as I can remember I have loved all the holiday preparations leading up to Christmas. It has always been a time for creativity. When I was 14, I sewed and embroidered personalized Christmas stockings for the six of us in my immediate family, followed by requests from extended family. Over the next few years I made dozens of stockings and sold them each for $5 (and no, that was not my first job. That was delivering newspapers to 50+ homes for 2 years beginning when I was 11 years old). Stockings were followed by an array of Christmas ornaments, fabric gift bags and, in more recent years, natural cold process soap. And of course, Christmas has always included holiday baking.
Since last year my creative energies at Christmas include culinary nutrition approved cookie recipes, like Lemon Cookies, Sesame Praline Lace Cookies, Double Chocolate Quinoa Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, and these beautiful Raspberry Chia Linzer Cookies.
Recipe development is a creative endeavour, and like many creative endeavours, it can include a surrender to the outcome, especially when it comes to baking. Gluten free baking from scratch is a world unto itself and the likelihood of recipe disasters increases with gluten free baking, since it is such a finicky process. Rarely have I baked a gluten free sweet that tasted terrible, but I have had lots of outcomes in which the texture was really out of whack. My love and I could, would and have eaten a “loaf” with a fork or spoon because it was a crumbly mess but still tasted amazing. Sometimes I return to the drawing board and other times I feel so far off the mark I don’t know how to make it successful. That is where patience and perseverance come in. I have learned to approach creating from-scratch baking recipes with a beginners’ mind each and every time, prepared to learn, see things anew, and begin again if necessary. I’ll do the trial and error and when I get it right, I’m excited to share with you, like these Raspberry Chia Linzer Cookies.
Linzer Cookies are an Austrian and German Christmas tradition, made with buttery almond flour dough and fruit preserves filling. My vegan Raspberry Chia Linzer Cookies are made with coconut oil and gluten free flours and are filled with raspberry chia jam sweetened with maple syrup. These crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth cookies taste like a toss-up between sugar cookies and shortbreads. They look fancy but are easy to make. You could use date filling, chocolate spread or any kind of chia jam, but I love the fresh sweet taste and the look of raspberries in linzer cookies.
For those of us in Northern climates, coconut oil is nice and solid this time of year. If you live in a warmer climate and your coconut oil is soft or partially melted, chill the coconut oil before making these cookies.
Let me know if you make these. I’d love to hear about your cookie adventures. Happy baking and happy holidays!
Raspberry Chia Linzer Cookies
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup arrowroot flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1 cup coconut oil (must be solid, not too soft)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla (optional)
Raspberry Chia Jam
- 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Sift dry ingredients. Put dry ingredients into food processor. Add coconut oil and pulse until coconut oil is in small pea sized pieces throughout the dough. Don’t over pulse because it may heat up the coconut oil. Add maple syrup and vanilla and process until dough forms a ball.
- Divide ball into two smaller balls and chill at least 30 minutes.
- While dough is chilling, make raspberry chia jam. Measure raspberries and put in small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until berries release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add chia seeds, maple syrup and lemon juice and stir. Heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Jam will continue to firm up. Let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper, to about 1/8” thick. Cut out cookie tops using linzer cookie cutter with your choice of center cut out, or use a 3” round cookie cutter and a 1" cookie cutter for the cut out design in cookie tops. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Remove the center of the linzer cookie cutter. Roll out the second ball of dough and cut out cookie bottoms. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
- Let cookies cool completely. Once cool, spread ½-¾ tsp raspberry chia jam on each cookie bottom and add a top cookie, to make a linzer cookie sandwich.
- Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies.