Sunday, December 18, 2011

OMG! It's An Allergy Free Sugar Cookie Recipe . . . and they're really yummy!

I'm in Austin this weekend doing some Holiday baking with my daughter Angela and we are having a blast!  Since we each have different dietary restrictions - I am allergic to wheat and cow's milk, she's a vegan - we needed to make some favorites that did not contain eggs, butter or wheat!

The first recipe we decided to tackle is a Holiday favorite the world around - sugar cookies.  So with just a little thinking we developed a cookie that can proudly stand next to any other sugar cookie!  They have that familiar buttery flavor, they are slightly crisp on the bottom and around the edges, yet they are still just a little soft . . . just like you remember!  

She was a bit skeptical about adding one of my favorite buttery flavorings - nutritional yeast - to the recipe, but decided that from now on it's going into every one of her cookie recipes!  Nutritional Yeast flakes are practically magical!  They provide a buttery, cheesy or chickeny (I know that's not really a word, but it fits) flavor to recipes when added in varying amounts.  In this case it provided an unmistakeable buttery flavor that's been missing from her vegan cookie recipes.  Nutritional yeast is wonderfully nutrient dense, so even a small amount boosts both the mineral and vitamin content - especially all important B vitamins - to any recipe!  

Angela wanted to give some cookies as gifts this year, but came up with the brilliant idea to make the cookie dough, roll it into logs, wrap them in waxed paper and allow everyone to bake them when they wanted an irresistible, freshly baked, still warm from the oven cookie!

So if you have friends or family members who could use a little Holiday Cheer, here's a perfect way to make their lives just a little more stress-free!  And if you have allergies or food restrictions, it's a perfect hostess gift anywhere you go!  

Here's the yummy recipe and Angela's gift giving idea . . .

Holiday Sugar Cookies
These wheat free, dairy free and egg free, yummy cookies are an allergy free delight!  They taste buttery, are slightly crisp around the edges, they can be sliced or rolled and cut into your favorite shapes.  The addition of a little nutritional yeast elevates these cookies from good to fantastically buttery!  Make some with your kids (or at least your inner child) today and decorate them to your heart’s content!
Yield – 5 dozen 2 1/2 inch rounds, 4 dozen shaped cookies, or 4 logs to wrap and share

3/4 cup softened butter or non-hydrogenated buttery sticks, we used Earth Balance
3/4 cup Spectrum palm shortening (it's also non-hydrogenated)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups white spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening, nutritional yeast, lemon zest and sugar. Beat in vanilla, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add flour into the creamed ingredients. Divide dough in half and roll into two 8-in. rolls; wrap each in waxed paper, twisting ends to seal.  Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.  Unwrap and cut into 1/8 – 1/4 inch slices.  Or on a lightly floured or sugared board, roll to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with your favorite shaped cutters.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees 12-14 minutes or until very lightly golden just on the edges.   Cool slightly in the pan (about 1-2 minutes) then remove to wire racks and cool completely before decorating.


  1. Isn't Spelt Flour considered a wheat flour? There's much confusion about that. Also where do I buy nutritional yeast and what is palm oil?
    We are new to this wheat free baking and cooking. I did try it years ago, but too many choices then, now there is not only me but my daughter who must eat wheat free.

  2. Congratulations on attempting Wheat Free Baking! It can be quite a challenge.

    There is a big difference between Wheat Free and Gluten Free. Many people cannot digest wheat due to the over hybridization of the grain that has taken place in an effort to dramatically increase the gluten content. However, there are many others that can tolerate the ancient varieties, including spelt and kamut. This is generally due to the lower levels of gluten.

    So if you have Celiac Disease or are completely Gluten Intolerant, then spelt flour is not a good choice for you.

    Nutritional Yeast is often called brewer's yeast. It is generally available in the bulk section of your local natural foods market or on line.

    The Palm Oil Shortening is made by Spectrum. It is NOT hydrogenated but it has the same thick, creamy texture as regular vegetable shortening. This makes it an excellent substitution in baked goods.

    I hope this answers your questions, if not please feel free to reach out again!