Valentine’s Day Heart cookies…. vegan and gluten free!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Might be a little late in the day to send this, but its Valentines still 🙂

Charlie had his school Valentines cake sale last week, and I wanted to do something appropriately themed and also vegan and gluten free, and without any nuts as school policy… tall order!!! I started looking around and found this recipe which looks so cute and simple to make, although cookies are one of the things I have not baked before… part of it maybe scared me having to roll it out, cut them and then add the icing on top…. well I have accomplished these and note to self I need to practice practice practice a lot more! With half term holidays this week I have promised Charlie that we will make some more, and he keeps telling everyone we are going to make a HUGE cookie!

Now this recipe called for a sugar free icing using powdered xylitol (pronounced zi-lo-tol), and I did not know what that was at first. Also with limited time before the bake sale I made my initial batch using regular icing sugar. Since then I have looked into what xylitol is and found an alternative sugar-free icing which I have bought to use. You can interchange which ever icing sugar you prefer to use, as the recipe quantities do not change. I did personally find that the regular icing sugar was so sweet in comparison to the cookie, no wonder the kids LOVED them so much!

A quick explanation, xylitol is a plant based natural sweetener, mainly sourced from corncobs and used in foods. The more technical side for your reference is that “xylitol has a very low glycemic index and doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin” which is one of the negative effects of added sugar. Lesson complete! You can make your own decision on which you prefer to use.

Feel free to mix up the shape or decoration for your version of these cookies – use a different topping like sprinkles, or add a few drops of food colouring to the icing and top the cookies in different colours. If your aren’t too concerned about the perfection of the cookies, then get the kids to help out decorating… I am sure my next attempt with Charlie will be hassle free and made with perfection!! 🙂

Let me know how they turn out! Good luck.

Ingredients:-

For the cookies:

  • 280 g gluten free flour
  • 140 g dairy free butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp agave nectar

For the icing/ decoration:

Method:-

For the cookies:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor* until it forms a soft dough. Refrigerate for half an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180oC and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper (you might need two baking trays depending on the size of your cookie cutter, mine made 30 cookies).
  3. Once the dough is firmed up, remove from the fridge and roll onto a lightly floured surface to approximately 0.5cm thickness.
  4. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut shapes and transfer to a baking tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.

* My food processor was packed away so I used our Vitamix and it was amazing how quickly all the ingredients mixed together.

For the decoration:

  1. Add the icing sugar to a bowl and mix in the water. Depending on your consistency that you want, you can add more water. Then add in the vanilla extract and mix well (how do you arm muscles feel now?!?!).
  2. Spread the royal icing onto the cookies and top with the freeze dried strawberries, or any topping of your choice.
  3. Allow to set for 15 minutes until the icing has firmed up then enjoy!

Enjoy!

This recipe is an adaption from Wallflower Kitchen website.

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