As you know the Easter bunny is coming this weekend so I decided to make these cute little treats for the kids. In the days before clean eating my favourite cookie was Pecan Shortbread from the Barefoot Contessa. My mom and grandmothers also made lots of shortbread when we were kids. There’s one particular shortbread recipe from my grandmother that uses cornstarch to lighten the texture of the cookie so they almost melt in your mouth. I avoid using cornstarch and corn products so I thought I would use tapioca starch and see what success I had with the texture. It worked perfectly.
I used coconut sugar, also called palm sugar, and the flavour is unbelievably good. For sweeteners coconut sugar has one of the lowest glycemic indexes (GI) on the market. In fact, in comparison to honey with a GI of 55, coconut sugar has a GI of 35 while cane sugar is 68. Coconut sugar comes from the juices or sap of the coconut palm blossoms and has nutritional benefits that are greater than any other sweetener and has a caramel undertone flavour. What about the fructose content? Well, the good news is that while agave syrup is very high in fructose, coconut sugar is very low, varying between 3 and 9%. There have been many studies on how fructose effects the body and it is something that I am aware of.
Ava always asks for crunchy cookies and Aidan will take them however he can get them but neither really love icing so I won’t be icing these. I made carrots, bunnies and flowers and they are so cute.
- 2 1/4 cups almond flour
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup organic butter (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg (at room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add the butter and coconut sugar. Blend at medium speed until the butter forms a creamy consistency and is well blended with the sugar. Scrape down the sides and add the egg and vanilla. Continue to mix until well combined.
- In another bowl add the almond flour, chopped pecans, arrowroot or tapioca starch, baking soda and salt and mix to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until well combined. Remove from the bowl. Split the dough in half and flatten into a disk. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for a half hour to chill.
- Remove one package and roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a cooling rack.