When I think about Christmas, I’m always brought back to fond memories of me as a child making these cute Christmas cookies with my mom.
It was a yearly tradition, until I got too old to ask about them. But since my visit home we were randomly sparked with inspiration to dig out Aunt Patty’s Christmas Cookie recipe and bake them for old times sake.
Complete with matching aprons [mine was from when I was little], we were excited to start baking.
As we were reading over the recipe card, we remembered what makes these cookies Christmas-y is the obvious red and green colored dough.
We thought it would be a fun challenge to see if we could make these same cookies without using food coloring, but using something more natural and healthy to color them instead.
After racking our brains for a few minutes [don’t freak out], we came up with these two ideas for red and green.
BEETS and SPINACH
We weren’t sure what the outcome would be, but felt pretty confident that we could pull off a Christmas cookie that would even make Aunt Patty proud.
So we gathered our ingredients and quickly got to work.
Aunt Patty’s Christmas Cookies
adapted by Linzi Alabama & Mama Lotus
- 3 1/2 cup Flour
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- Natural green coloring: 1 bunch of fresh spinach
- Natural red coloring: 1 beet
Step 1: Make the natural red food coloring
Cut off skin of one beet, and add it into juicer. Easy natural red food coloring!
Step 2: Make the natural green food coloring
Throw one bunch of fresh spinach into your food processor and chop until the spinach is shredded into small flecks.
Step 3: Prepare dough
- Cream butter & sugar
- Add egg and vanilla & almond extracts –beat until fluffy
- Blend in flour and salt
Step 4: Split dough in half and separate into two bowls.
Step 5: In one bowl add your the spinach flecks to dough and continue to beat until dough is well mixed.
Step 7: Roll the dough into small dough balls
Step 8: Take the small dough ball and roll it out into a snake like form.
Step 10: Brush the dough with egg white and sprinkle with sugar before putting into the oven. Bake at 350 10-12 minutes.
Step 11: Set on wire rack to cool
Step 12: Don’t forget to leave some for Santa, accompanied by a glass of his favorite wine. 😉
The aftermath: These cookies are naturally a little dense and not as sweet as a regular cookie anyway. But we were hoping that the natural food coloring wouldn’t influence the taste too much.
Only one way to find out…
We did a little taste test on my dad, brother, and even J. Alabama to see what they thought of the cookies. [We did not disclose the beets & spinach until after they told us their opinion].
They all said they tasted pretty good, and reminded them of a biscotti. They liked the cookie because it wasn’t too sweet and said they would be perfect paired with a cup of coffee in the morning.
When we told them about the spinach and beets they laughed and said they would have never even known.
Our healthy and naturally colored Christmas cookies were deemed a success! 🙂
Hope you all enjoyed our twist on Aunt Patty’s Christmas cookies, we sure did.
Have a Merry Christmas!