I originally made these for Christmas six years ago and named them “Coco-nutty Cookies,” but before long, they become known around my house as “The Christmas Cookie,” as in: “How many batches of The Christmas Cookie are you making this year?” or: “Do we have more of The Christmas Cookies in the freezer?” or the dreaded: “Who ate the last Christmas Cookie?”
As you can tell from the picture above, I don’t always follow (my own!) rules: sometimes I use pecan halves instead of chopped pecans; shredded coconut instead of flake; almond extract instead of vanilla; I swap out the cup of nuts for a cup of dark chocolate chips. Every year, I make two or three variations, and every year, we’ll swear that one combination is our absolute favorite (cranberries & pistachios!)…until we try another batch (dates and almonds and pecans!), and then that is the new favorite.
The only word of caution I would give about mixing up your mix-ins is to add your mix-ins one at a time and be careful that there is still a good ratio of batter to mix-in. I have sometimes had the problem where I add too many goodies and then there isn’t enough batter to keep it all together, and the cookie gets dry very quickly.
These are really easy to make gluten-free, since they have very little flour to begin with; just swap out the flour for your favorite gluten-free flour or flour mix.
The Christmas Cookies from Yellow Rose Greatest Hits
makes about 3 dozen
1 tablespoon flaxmeal
3 tablespoons soymilk or water
1/2 cup softened non-hydrogenated margarine or organic shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup organic oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dates
1/2 cup flake coconut
1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
sea salt for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flaxmeal and soymilk in a glass and set aside for five minutes.
Cream together margarine, sugars, flax mixture, and vanilla. Add flour, oats, baking powder, and salt, and mix well. Stir in dried fruit, coconut, and nuts.
Drop by spoon onto baking sheets and flatten slightly with a fork.
Optional (you might want to skip if you’re making these for kids): sprinkle by hand a few granules of sea salt on top of each cookie.
Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to baking racks to cool completely. These are best when they’re still warm. Store in an airtight container with a piece of bread to keep them soft.