Recipe: Coconut Flour Jelly Cookies (Paleo/Gluten Free)

It is not a secret among our friends that Mr. Scrimp and I are huge fans of Dr. Who. I know, I know, we can get in line behind the entire rest of the Internet. On a typical Sunday afternoon, we can be found having some sort of tasty Sunday dinner with family and/or friends and then settling in on the couch to watch the latest episode on Amazon.  This week is the season finale, which means no more episodes for six months, and I decided to mark the occasion by experimenting with a grain-free version of Jammie Dodgers (aka The Eleventh Doctor's favorite snack).

Basically, yum.
A jammie dodger is essentially an English linzer cookie. Or, in other words, a shortbread-ish sandwich cookie made with jam. My mom taught me how to make linzer cookies when I was a little kid and I have very fond memories of them. However, eating things with lots of refined sugar and wheat flours does not agree with me, so I had to come up with a way to express my nerdy devotion that did not involve gluten.

Enter coconut flour!

These are gluten free and sort-of paleo. I say sort of, because I refuse to believe that cave men made baked goods using dried, finely processed coconut. Anyway, it's still pretty tasty, although there is definitely a nuttiness to these that is not present in real Jammie Dodgers and is provided by almonds rather than coconut in linzer cookies.

Ingredients (makes 1 dozen)

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flour plus extra if necessary
  • 1/2 cup cultured butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup palm or date sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Jam or jelly (I used raspberry habanero)
You will also need a rolling pin and two cookie cutters of different sizes.

Sift together all dry ingredients except sugar and set aside.

In a bowl, cream sugar together with butter and coconut oil (note: You can use all butter or all coconut oil rather than a mix, if you prefer or have dairy issues). If you're using an unrefined sugar, this may take longer than it does with white sugar. 

Add the eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until well blended. Add the dry mixture a little bit at a time until it is all added and well incorporated. 

At this point, you'll want to test your dough. Spoon a little bit of it up and roll it in your palm. Does it stick together nicely without crumbling? Awesome! If it is crumbly and doesn't want to stick together, add a splash of liquid or another little bit of coconut oil. If it is too moist and is so sticky that you can't roll it, add some more coconut flour. 

Once the consistency of your cookie dough is about right, set it in the freezer to chill for about 20 minutes. While this is happening, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, tidy your kitchen, and prepare a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper or butter. 

Note: You can roll this dough without chilling but because coconut oil becomes liquid as it warms up, it's really helpful to have the dough fairly cool while you work it because it can get very sticky. 

Using a rolling pin, carefully roll your cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it is a uniform 1/4" thick. I found it easiest to roll in small batches rather than trying to work all the dough at once. Gently peel the parchment paper away and begin cutting your cookies. You'll need to cut two large pieces for each cookie and then use the second cookie cutter to cut a small window into the piece that will form the top half of each. 

Using a knife or spatula, lift the bottom piece of each cookie onto your baking sheet and begin applying jam. I used about a heaping teaspoon of jam for each cookie and spread it almost all the way out to the edges but not quite. Then, very carefully put the tops of the cookies in place. You should have sandwich cookies with some sort of window through which delicious jam is peeking at you. 

Put in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cookies are starting to brown. Serve plain with tea or (as pictured above) with clotted cream and fresh fruit.  Delicious!

I really like these cookies but I will share one word of warning for people not used to eating coconut flour products--it is not going to taste exactly like what you would get with a grain flour. Coconut flour has a distinct coconut flavor and nuttiness to it, and the texture can be somewhat grainy and soft. 

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