Christmas Spritz Cookies (With Homemade Food Coloring!)

Posted by on December 16, 2017 in Food, Drink & Nutrition, Health with 0 Comments

Image via Dr.Axe.com

By Dr. Josh Axe | Dr.Axe.com

 

‘Tis the season for cookies! The holidays are one of my favorite times for baking, and spritz cookies are the perfect treat to make. These yummy cookies are perfect for serving at Christmas parties, leaving out for Santa or giving as gifts. Gluten-free and delicious? I’m in.

What is the Origin of Spritz Cookies? 

Spritz cookies are available year-round, but they tend to be most popular during the Christmas season. Spritz cookies most likely originated from Germany; Spritz comes from spritzgebäck, which means “to squirt” in German. It sounds weird, but since a cookie press is used to “squirt” the dough on to a baking sheet, it makes sense. Spritz cookies come in all sorts of shapes thanks to the cookie press discs that are used.


Spritz cookies recipe - Dr. Axe

If you’re lucky enough to be in Germany during the holidays, you’ll find this cookie all over the Christmas markets. But luckily, you can also make a healthy version right at home.

Spritz Cookie Nutrition Facts

Traditionally, spritz cookies are made with just a few ingredients: butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, flour and salt. That would be fine if you just had one, but, trust me, no one has ever had just one spritz cookie! So, I set out to get the same great spritz cookie taste with healthier ingredients, and these gluten-free spritz cookies definitely fit the bill.

I’ve replaced plain, all-purpose flour with Paleo flour, making this safe for gluten-free cookie lovers. Instead of butter, I’ve used coconut oil, which adds that smooth, buttery taste without any dairy. It’s great for raising good cholesterol levels and helping keep your heart healthy. (1) Using coconut oil in place of butter also keeps these cookies vegan.

This spritz cookies recipe also lightens up the sugar load. Table sugar is tough on the body; it can send blood sugar levels out of whack, which increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and spells disaster if you’re trying to maintain normal blood sugar. (2)

So instead, we’re sweetening up this spritz cookie recipe with maple syrup. It ranks lower on the glycemic index and contains extra nutrients, like antioxidants, that regular sugar doesn’t have.


When you’re purchasing your syrup, be sure to read the ingredients list. You want to purchase one, ideally organic, that’s only got “pure maple syrup” listed. That means it’s not mixed with high fructose corn syrup or other added sugars. Hint: the pancake syrup sold in most supermarkets is not maple syrup!

Spritz cookies recipe - Dr. Axe

For extra fiber and protein, I’ve added flaxseed meal, which is just ground-up flax seeds. These small seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, improve digestive health and help you feel full. (3, 4)

Finally, you might wonder why you need beet juice and spirulina for this spritz cookie recipe. Well, we’re using these as natural food coloring. Traditional food coloring can be really harmful to your health, so I steer clear of them. Some studies have even linked food dyes to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. (5)

They can also cause allergic reactions. (6) In fact, one study found that in people with chronic hives, more than half were allergic to food dyes. (7) While the Food and Drug Administration maintains that food dyes aren’t anything to worry about, I’d rather not risk it.

Instead, we can give these spritz cookies gorgeous holiday colors with no scary additives. We’ll use nature’s own vibrant ingredients for a much better-for-you alternative. The green from spirulina and red from beet juice are perfect for baking festive cookies.

Spritz cookies ingredients - Dr. Axe

I think you’ll agree, when it comes to cookie nutrition, this spritz recipe is pretty awesome! Here’s what you’ll get in one cookie:

  • 75 calories
  • 2.06 grams protein
  • 2.26 grams fat
  • 12.69 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.7 grams fiber
  • 4.3 grams sugar
  • 0.667 milligrams manganese (37 percent DV)
  • 0.128 milligrams vitamin B2 (12 percent DV)
  • 0.104 milligrams copper (12 percent DV)
  • 6.7 micrograms selenium (12 percent DV)
  • 0.098 milligrams vitamin B1 (9 percent DV)
  • 0.647 milligrams vitamin B3 (5 percent DV)
  • 0.053 milligrams vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)

How to Make Spritz Cookies

Spritz cookies might look complicated, but they’re actually fairly straightforward. You do need a cookie press to make these. Most cookie presses are manual and feature a cylinder with a plunger on one end, and a disc on the other, which gives the cookies the different shapes and a professional look. Your cookies will look like they came straight from the bakery!

If you’re still getting the hang of your cookie press, you might want to do a few practice runs so your cookies look as good as possible before serving to company — you likely won’t have trouble getting help eating the “duds.”

Once you’ve got the cookie press nailed down, these spritz cookies are smooth sailing. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spritz cookies step 1 - Dr. Axe

In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 cup Paleo flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 teaspoons almond extract, 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, ½ cup water and beet juice.

Spritz cookies step 2 - Dr. Axe

Mix the ingredients together using either a hand-held mixer or manually.

Spritz cookies step 3 - Dr. Axe

Once the dough is mixed up, choose your cookie shape for the cookie press.

Spritz cookies step 4 - Dr. Axe

Spoon the mixture into the cookie press.

Spritz cookies step 5 - Dr. Axe

Use the cookie press to spritz the cookies onto a lined baking sheet.

Spritz cookies step 6 - Dr. Axe

In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 teaspoons almond extract, 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, remaining water and spirulina.

Spritz cookies step 7 - Dr. Axe

Repeat steps 3–5 with the green dough.

Spritz cookies recipe - Dr. Axe

Bake the cookies for 8–10 minutes. And you’re done! How easy was that?

 

 

Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Paleo flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1⅓ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons powdered spirulina (for green coloring)
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon red beet juice (for red coloring)
  • Spritz cookie press

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. RED SPRITZ COOKIES
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 teaspoons almond extract, 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, ½ cup water and beet juice.
  4. Mix thoroughly until well-combined.
  5. Choose cookie shape and then spoon mixture into the cookie press.
  6. Use the cookie press to spritz cookies onto a lined baking sheet.
  7. GREEN SPRITZ COOKIES
  8. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine 1 cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 teaspoons almond extract, 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, remaining water and spirulina.
  9. Repeat steps 3–5 with green dough.
  10. Bake for 8–10 minutes.

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