Growing up in Belgium, the approach to Christmas – particularly around the celebration of St Nicholas’ Day – contained a lot of biscuits. Speculoos cookies, to be precise. I love them. Oh-so-much. And I’m working on a good recipe for them for December 6th if I can. But I have been hiding another seasonal biscuit recipe up my sleeve that I’ve been desperate to share with you.
I stumbled upon these chestnut biscuits entirely by accident. I was making my sugar free pumpkin pie and ended up with too much chestnut pastry. Instead of throwing it out, I decided to bake it in cookie shapes, and it was delicious, albeit not particularly sweet. They even had a good snap to them which is usually pretty much impossible with sugar free biscuits!
A hop, skip and a tweak later, I found myself with a yummy chestnut cookie recipe. A delightful snap, a demure sweetness, a delicious flavour.
Chestnut flour may seem like an obscure thing to bake with, but if you are making sugar free baked goods, especially at this time of year, it is a perfect ingredient to have in your cupboard. It is full of fibre, high protein, packed with vitamin C and naturally gluten free. And its natural sweetness lends itself well to low sugar baking, as it reduces the amount of sugar or sweetener needed in the recipe. If you aren’t sure where to get hold of it, you can find it online here.
These biscuits are perfect for children to make, as you can make the dough in a food processor that little ones love pushing the buttons on! They can use Christmas cookie cutters for the biscuit shapes, and they’ll have fun drizzling chocolate over the top.
And then the whole family can enjoy eating them!
Delicious Christmassy cookies that are gluten free, crunchy, sweet and fun to make with kids, but are sugar free!
- 150 g (1 and 1/2 cups) chestnut flour
- 100 g (3/4 cup) gluten free or plain flour
- 50 g (1/4 cup) xylitol
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 110 g (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 medium egg
- 50 g (1/4 cup) chopped dark chocolate (at least 85%), optional
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Pulse the flours and salt a few times in a food processor until combined. Add the cubed butter and pulse again for 30 secs or so until the mixture resembles lots of different sized breadcrumbs (the butter should be incorporated but not completely - there should be some clumps). Add the egg and pulse until the dough just starts to come together (if it doesn't, add a few teaspoons of cold water one at a time until it does). Mould the dough together with your hands to forma ball, flatten into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
Roll out the dough as thin as you dare and cut out cookies with cutters. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15-20 mins, until golden round the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.
If doing the drizzle, melt the chocolate in the microwave until smooth, then drizzle with a teaspoon over the cookies.