This month at Spain in Iowa, we are celebrating intentionally by slowing down and savoring every bit of Christmas that we can. Some of us are observing advent, making handmade gifts, and, of course, baking sweets and treats made with love.
My heart still melts when I think about the sweet treats my Abuela Isabel would send to my sisters and I from Spain each Christmas. Growing up without our grandmother was difficult but we rejoiced at the sight of the package we’d receive from her each year. We’d practically rip it out of the hands of the mailman delivering it.
My mami would carefully open the box only to have my sisters and I dash for the polvorones packed safely inside. I can still taste from memory the first delicate crumble as I bit into a polvoron cookie that I had waited an entire year for. As quick as my sisters and I ate the cookies, the memory of its sweet taste and of my Abuela who sent them still lives in my heart.
Cookies in the Christmas season create memories. That’s why at Spain in Iowa, we’ll continue to celebrate this month intentionally by sharing naturally sweetened, sweets and treats all month long. Visit this post to learn all about natural sweeteners and how to use them.
Naturally Sweetened Sugar Cookies
My children have made and decorated sugar cookies at church but this was the first time we’ve made them together.
I’m so glad we did. They had a blast.
The cookie recipe I used was from Bake at 350. I changed the ingredients a bit using freshly ground whole wheat flour and raw honey to sweeten.
They turned out wonderful. Not too sweet, yet, rich and buttery.
To frost them, I made a maple sweetened cream cheese frosting and together we decorated them with coconut flakes, raisins, and demerara sugar.
The kids were even more excited to find my sprinkles in my cake supplies that I had used for a photo styling job. I couldn’t say no. The boys used the sprinkles and had so much fun.
Does anyone know if you can buy natural sprinkles without the dyes in them? Since there’s still a lot of baking to be done, I’d like to get some, especially for the kids.
Naturally sweetened, whole wheat, sugar cookies. Not too sweet, yet, rich and buttery.
- 3 1/2 cups, freshly milled, whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 2 sticks (cold) butter, cut into chunks
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
- In a mixer, cream the butter and raw honey. Once the mixture has come together, creamed, add the egg and vanilla extract. Once combined, gradually, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined making sure to scrape the bowl. Do not overmix.
- The dough will be in masses, make sure to knead it together as you scoop it our of the bowl.
- Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes.
- Place on parchment lined baking stone or sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Allow to rest for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Once cooled frost and decorate.
Do you have any special memories of Christmas cookies? I’d love to hear them!