When I was little the holidays were big… and when I mean big, I mean huge. After Halloween, we rolled into Thanksgiving and beautiful autumnal colors decorating the house. But the day after Thanksgiving it was go time. My mom and dad would haul out all the Christmas decor and lights from every hidey hole and crevice in the house. There were hidden cabinets in the entertainment room, drawers and cabinets in the basement and of course the attic. All the big ornaments and lawn decor lived most of the year in the garage, but the weekend after Thanksgiving those babies headed out into the sun.
Our house was so adnorned, inside and out, that a few years the Washington Post highlighted our home on the front page as “a winter wonderland.” People came from far and wide to view our home and still do to this day, though the adornments are slightly less than they used to be. Christmas light lovers lined up in cars blocking traffic just to get a glimpse of our home of lights.
Of course getting to the point of holiday cheer was a practice in patience and sanility as
the strings would tangle, break and even be cut by neighborhood kids. My mom actually put a sign on the fence that stated “Cut my strings? Smile your on camera!” The camera however, was not actually present, but the sign did enough to scare off the kids.
From there the spirit of the holidays continued in the kitchen. My mom was a cookie whiz and each year we filled tin after tin of various cookies for our house and to share with everyone around us. During the holidays we lived at the feet of my mother in the kitchen, gleaning all her baking skills. As my siblings and I got a little older we were put in charge of different parts of recipes, even a whole cookie batch on our own.
Now that I have my own children, we carry on those traditions in our home. While we definitely don’t have the lights and ornaments to get a line of cars in front of our house, we do bake up a storm during the holidays, especially cookies. Last year we had family visiting from Brazil and the girlie and her second cousin made sugar cookies together. You would have never known that her cousin didn’t speak a bit of english as they worked together to make sweet treats, rolling out dough, baking and decorating thier cookies.
So as our holidays are in full swing here, we are getting some new cookie recipes together. Of course I defer to the kids to see what thier cookie wishes are and this year I got one word- Nutella. The kiddo asked if I could stuff something with Nutella and while I love me some Nutella… I don’t so much love the junk in it, especially the dairy. So I started working on a “Not-ella” first and then moved on to what the actually cookie would be. A little messing around and we had a “Not-ella Stuffed Cookie,” which received rave reviews from everyone in the house, even grandma said that it was holiday cookie worthy.
These little beauties are a contestant in the Gluten-free Cookie Swap, so head on over to the page, look for the picture to the right and “like” it to vote for the “Not-ella Stuffed Cookie!” I appreciate the support!
- 1 3/4 C almond flour
- 1 C tapioca flour or arrowroot
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 C lard or palm shortening
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C coconut palm sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 C hazelnuts
- 1/3 C full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 C dutch process cocoa
- 3 T raw honey
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 3 T dark chocolate chips
- 1. Place hazelnuts on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the nuts become aromatic.
- 2. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- 3. To remove the skins from the nuts, simply shake the hazelnuts in a bowl using your hands to move them around getting the skins to flake off.
- 4. Once the nuts are pretty much skinless, move them to a food processor (or Vitamix, which we use) and on med-high speed blend the nuts until the begin to release their oils. This takes a little time, but slow and steady is the key. If the processor or blender is getting hot, shut it down for a few minutes.
- 5. Once the hazelnuts start to look creamy, slowly add (while the processor is running) the coconut milk. Process until creamy.
- 6. Add the honey and process to combine.
- 7. Add the cocoa and sea salt and process until its creamy.
- 8. Using a teaspoon measuring spoon, scoop out rounds of the spread equalling a heaping teaspoon.
- 9. Place scoop on a parchment lined plate making a total of 24 scoops.
- 10. Place in the freezer while you prepare the cookie dough.
- 11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- 12. Sift together almond flour, arrowroot/tapioca, baking powder and salt.
- 13. In the bowl of a stand mixer add lard or shortening and sugar. Blend on high speed until well blended.
- 14. Add vanilla and egg and blend until creamy, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl and blend again to combine.
- 15. One cup at a time, add the flour blend to the wet ingredients, blending to combine after each addition.
- 16. When the flour has all been added, scrape the bowl and blend again to be sure everything is combined.
- 17. Remove not-tella balls from the freezer.
- 18. With a half teaspoon, measure a small amount of cookie dough out onto the baking sheet. Place 1/2 tsp balls of batter on the pan about 1" apart.
- 19. Take from not-tella balls and press onto the small bit of dough.
- 20. Measure 1 teaspoon of cookie dough and place on top of the not-tell ball, spreading it over and down to meet the small bit of dough until the not-tella ball.
- 21. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookie are lightly browned.
- 22. Remove from oven and move cookies to a cooling rack.
- 23. If desired, make drizzle by melting chocolate chips and pouring the melted chocolate into a zip lock bag. Snip the corner (just a tiny bit!) and drizzle chocolate over cookies.
- 24. Enjoy!
- The drizzle is optional. If you have a hard time finding coconut palm sugar, another granulated sugar works for this recipe as well- white or brown. We like to keep it as unrefined as possible.