About the recipes...

All recipes and ideas contain ingredients from the new IC diet "safe" list. Also, all ingredients are either low-oxalate content, or in small enough amounts where they can be considered low-oxalate. If there are any ingredients that don't fit these criteria, I have labled them, and you have the option to omit them from the dish. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Warm Christmas Memories

When I think of Christmas traditions, the one that immediately comes to mind is my mother and I making Christmas cookies in the kitchen when I was growing up.  The smell and warmth the baking cookies gave to the house was just heavenly.  We still make it a point to bake cookies every year, although it's now Thanksgiving weekend instead of early December since we no longer live in the same state.  This is a tradition that my mother shared with her mother, my mother shared with me, and something I plan on doing once I have children.

The first Christmas with my IC diagnosis was interesting.  All the cookies containing chocolate just seemed to jump out at me.  The funny thing about this was that I was always a vanilla and white chocolate fan, and never liked chocolate all that much.  I guess this was the classic wanting something that you couldn't have.  After sorting through my family recipe book, I started to see more and more of my favorite cookies that I could still eat, even with my IC.  Here are a few of my favorites.  I hope this will help you and your family start a Christmas cookie baking tradition that will last for years to come! 

Swedish Spritz Cookies:
*note-for these you need a cookie press.  You can get them at any home store, like Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  They come with multiple cookie shapes and recipes for you to try as well.  It's a great investment if you love making cookies.  My Mom still has her's from the 1970's*

1 cup butter softened (use the real stuff, it's Christmas!)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour (I prefer the unbleached all purpose variety)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1) preheat oven to 375.  cream butter and sugar.  beat in egg and extracts.
2) Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually beat into egg mixture.
3) Pick your cookie shape, I usually the wreath shaped cutter, or the Christmas tree cutter.  If using the Christmas tree cutter, you can add some green food coloring to the dough as desired.  This is optional.
4) Place dough in cookie press and press onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Decorate cookies as desired with sprinkles, nuts, etc...  Place cookie sheet on middle rack in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
5) Keep unused batter in fridge, the press works better with cold dough.
6) Remove cookies from oven and place immediately on cookie rack to cool completely.
7) repeat with remaining dough.

Russian Tea Cakes:  This cookie is my all-time favorite!
1 cup butter softened (again use the real stuff, it's so much better!)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cups finely chopped almonds (optional)
extra powdered sugar
1) preheat oven to 400.  Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla.  Mix in flour, salt, and nuts until dough holds together.
2) shape dough into 1 inch balls.  Place about 1 inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Place on middle rack and bake until set but not brown, about 8-10 minutes. 
3) roll in powdered sugar while warm.  Cool completely on cookie rack then roll again once cool in powdered sugar. 

**note-almonds are high in oxalates, but safe for the IC diet.  If you eat a couple cookies, the amount of almonds is minimal, and shouldn't irratate you.  Also, you can omit the almonds if you are very sensitive to nuts and the cookie will still taste great!** 

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