For the past 3 years, I have hosted a Christmas party, specifically intended to bring together friends whom I have missed all year, mostly due to busy university schedules and physical distance. I also do it because I love everything about the process—making the invitations, receiving the RSVPs, searching for recipes, seeing friends and, of course, making the food.
This year's Christmas party is going to be a little different. Not only am I no longer in university, meaning I see many of my friends more regularly and I have a bit more time for party planning, but this will be my first sugar-free Christmas party. Though I was sugar-free last year, my party wasn't—my opinions and philosophy were less defined then, and I was hesitant to push my food preferences on other people. However, my diet has now become quite natural to me; I no longer feel so self-conscious about my dietary preferences, and I want to communicate that sentiment through my party menu. So, this year's plan is to carefully select an assortment of sweet treats that do not suggest a feeling of restriction or complication, but are simple and satisfying.
I have not eaten a shortbread cookie since I dumped cane sugar...so sad. Worse, since my sweeteners of choice are typically in liquid form, I thought I would never experience their dry texture again.
I was wrong—a Christmas miracle has occurred! And it's only November. I bookmarked these Honey, Orange and Almond Shortbreads ages ago, and rediscovered the recipe as I re-organized my files. These cookies are the first officially chosen treat for my Christmas party—they are so crumbly and light; they stick to the roof of your mouth. I love them, and I hope my friends will too.
Since I followed the recipe process closely, and the ingredients are mostly already by weight, I am thinking there is no need for me to write out anything but my notes for future reference...
Notes for Honey, Orange and Almond Shortbreads:
- I used unroasted almonds—I don't like the flavour of roasted almonds
- I used a coffee grinder to make my almond flour
- I used whole wheat pastry flour
- I sifted my flour, cornstarch and almond flour to incorporate air and ensure my almonds were finely chopped
- I added an extra 5 grams of honey, bringing my total to 45 grams.
- I used vanilla extract in place of amaretto
- I tried both orange and lemon zest and preferred the bolder taste of lemon
- They only took 18 minutes in my oven