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Holiday Cookies! Fruit and Nut Thins

These remind me of Italian biscotti that I buy from my local bakery. They take a bit of care and attention to make, but they are 100% worth it and made with wholesome ingredients.!
Nov 27, 2016 | Joy McCarthy

This year, Chatelaine magazine launched a Holiday Cookie Exchange with a few foodie-obsessed friends like me. I shared a recipe for my Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies which is a joyous-reader fave! Have you made it? And the Chatelaine kitchen team sent me a recipe to try these "Fruit Thins" from their holiday cookie collection.

Of course in joyous style, I made a few modifications to make it friendly for the joyous community — YOU! The main ingredients I changed were instead of white flour I used spelt flour, instead of sugar I used to maple syrup, instead of butter (I’m not against butter I just wanted to make it as friendly for all dietary choices as possible) I used coconut oil. I also added some more spices like ground ginger and ground cinnamon. In fact, we could easily call these Spicy Fruit and Nut thins.

I also halved the recipe because it makes 40 cookies and I don’t know what I would do with that many cookies between Walker and Vienna and I — eek. It would be dangerous really! However, the recipe I have included below does make 40 cookies. If you want to make about 20 cookies instead, just divide every ingredient in half. It also makes it a bit easier when you get to the part where you slice the near-frozen batter because you don’t have to cut it crosswise.

These cookies really remind me of skinny biscotti. In fact, you could even bake them a little longer to make them even more like a biscotti-texture if you like!

I have to admit, I was really unsure how these were gonna turn out because I changed ingredients and also changed up the method a bit. They turned out AMAZING and will definitely be on my holiday cookie recipe list for years to come.

Just make sure no matter what, you use high-quality ingredients. I went to my local health food store and bought these organic hazelnuts, pistachios and sulphite-free cranberries (notice they’re not bright red). Shopping in bulk for these type of ingredients is a cheaper way to buy organic. Note: hazelnuts are pretty damn expensive, so feel free to swap with raw almonds instead :).

Desserts
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Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cup spelt or kamut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (There is more sugar in the original recipe - so you could add more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (original recipe says to peel them but I didn't -- I was being lazy)
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured dried cranberries
  • Optional: 1/2 cup orange peel (You could just use a cheese grater to get the zest from the orange)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line an 8 × 4-in. loaf pan with plastic wrap.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, spices and fine sea salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine water, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, nuts and cranberries.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.
  6. Place into the loaf pan you lined with a large piece of plastic wrap. Press the mixture down and make sure it's covered by the wrap. Freeze batter for 2 hours.
  7. After 2 hours, remove batter from the freezer. If you did NOT half the recipe, then you'll have to cut the batter into half crosswise (I know.. that sounds confusing, but you'll know what I mean once you make it). And then slice each cookie about 1/3 of an inch thick.
  8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place cookies on sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Notes

Makes 40 cookies. As per my notes above, I divided every single ingredient into half because 40 cookies would just be asking for trouble in my home, ha! Dividing some ingredients in half like the flour was a super odd measurement so I just ballparked it and it turned out perfect, so don't stress about it being 100% accurate.

By the way, taste the batter to make sure it's sweet enough to your likely. I significantly reduced the amount of sugar.

Enjoy these yummy cookies!

Joy xo

Nov 27, 2016 BY Joy McCarthy
8 Comments
Ashley   •   May 11, 2017

Hi Joy, Where is the recipe for these biscotti?

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   May 16, 2017

Maureen   •   November 26, 2017

Thank you so much for these recipes. Will make my Christmas very tasty indeed.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   November 27, 2017

Sandra   •   November 26, 2017

The Fruit and Nut Thins look delicous!! Do you think they would work with brown rice flour?

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   November 27, 2017

Ahuva Zauderer   •   February 5, 2021

I believe both spelt and kamiya have gluten. How can I make this gluten free? Thanks for all your great recipes.

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   February 5, 2021

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