For all those readers who asked…here is a whole-wheat Christmas cookie recipe! Now even though these are made with 100% whole-wheat flour please know they do contain some refined sugar (in both the cookie and the icing). I do occasionally post recipes made with refined sugar because, in my opinion, a cookie that’s homemade from scratch is far better than the factory-made version (or something like a “slice and bake”). And Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without cookies for Santa!
When it comes to decorating Christmas cookies though there always seems to be one dilemma…food coloring. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that we like to avoid the chemically-laden artificial dyes. So what’s one to do? Last year, we pureed some naturally dyed candies to color the icing and shortly thereafter purchased some natural India Tree natural dyes for a birthday cake. This year I played around with adding tumeric and paprika (yes, from our spice cabinet!) and also used some naturally colored sprinkles that I found at both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Shawn, our team’s FB coordinator, said she dusted off her juicer to help her add some colors to her kids’ icing. No matter what you do to add some character to your cookies I can only hope you’ll feel the same as me: Those artificial neon colors just don’t look appetizing anymore now that I understand they are derived from petroleum and even require a warning label in some countries. What’s appealing about that? Naturally dyed cookies might not be as bright in color, but I think they taste just as good and, you be the judge, do these girls look like they are missing a thing?? :)
- 1½ cups whole-wheat flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold butter (1 stick)
- ⅓ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 teaspoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 7 - 8 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl fitted with an electric whisk cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes. While the mixer is going add the egg, cream, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
- With the mixer still going on low, slowly add the flour mixture until well mixed. Turn off the mixer and squeeze the dough together into a ball using your hands.
- Using a rolling pin roll the dough out onto a floured surface until it's about ⅛ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes and place them onto an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 5 - 7 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack (if you have one) until cool.
- Meanwhile, use a fork to mix together the powdered sugar and heavy cream in a medium sized bowl. Top cookies with a thin layer of icing and other decorations if desired.