These simple pecan-almond flour red white and blue cookies get extra crunch from chopped pecans and just a little sweetness from coconut sugar. They remind me of the Pecan Sandies I used to snack on in my old glutinous days, but these are light, gluten-free, vegetarian and easily made vegan.
With just six ingredients, these are quick to mix together. You don’t need a food processor or any other tools than a bowl and spoon. It’s just a question of mixing the nuts and nut flour into the butter and then adding the seasoning.
You could, however, speed up the process by chopping your pecans in a food processor and then adding all the other ingredients. The bowl and spoon are a little easier to clean up, so it’s a trade-off.
For this batch of 24 cookies, I made up the basic dough, then divided it in half and then the other half in half again. Each smaller portion got some food coloring, while the larger portion remained plain. Before I baked the plain cookies, I placed pecan halves onto six of them.
The cookies spread very little when baking, so you don’t have to worry about placing them close together.
Cooling your cookies
These cookies develop a wonderful crunch during baking, then cooling, that you want to preserve. Be sure to transfer the cookies to a rack about 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven. Let them cool further so that they don’t get soggy on the bottoms.
After the 5 minutes, they are cool enough to the touch that I usually transfer them from the parchment paper to the rack by hand. That way I can feel if they are firm enough to move, and don’t risk knocking off the edges with a spatula.
Alternatives to food coloring
According to an article in Healthline, “food dyes can cause allergic reactions in some people and hyperactivity in sensitive children.” However, they say, “most food dyes are found in unhealthy processed foods that should be avoided anyway.”
We use the natural food colors sold by Wilkins. Wilkins’ red food coloring is made from beet juice and the blue is from spirulina. The colors might not be quite as vibrant as the artificial dyes but that’s ok with me. That way I can take the cookies to a potluck (when we can have potlucks again after the coronavirus) and not worry about who might eat them.
You can make this recipe without any food coloring but in that case, you could garnish your cookies. I suggest one of two decorations. Either place a pecan half on top of each cookie or roll the baked cookies in powdered sugar. In this batch, I didn’t use the powdered sugar because I wanted the colors to show through. Besides, we find them sweet enough with the coconut sugar.
Storing your cookies
I place my cookies into glass containers, or if I need to use a plastic one, I’ll line it with waxed paper. Placing the cooled cookies (if there are any left) into a container and refrigerating them helps them stay crunchy.
I hope you have a chance to try this recipe, and leave me a comment if you make some of these tasty cookies!
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Pecan Almond Flour Red White and Blue Cookies
- 2 cups finely ground almond flour
- ½ cup softened organic butter ghee or vegan butter
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup finely chopped pecans
- Red and blue food coloring Watkins liquid
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar optional, see instructions
- Extra pecans for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or two pans if 24 cookies will not fit onto yours).
- Mix almond flour, softened butter, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl until a slightly crumbly but cohesive dough forms. Once combined, mix in chopped pecans.
- Use a cookie scoop or spoon to measure out tablespoons of the dough and shape into balls, then flatten into rounds. Arrange the rounds as close as 1 inch apart on the sheet as they will spread very little. If you are placing pecans on top, press them gently into the dough before placing them into the oven.
- To make the swirl patterns, take a spoonful of each dough, press the three spoonfuls together, form into a cylinder, then pinch off tablespoons of the cylinder. Form into balls and then flatten.
- Bake the cookies for 20 minutes or until they start to turn light golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a rack to cool 10 minutes more.
- If desired, place 2-3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl and roll each cookie until coated.
- Let cookies cool and enjoy.
- Store any leftover cookies in the fridge to maintain crispness.
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