Gluten-free Swirl Cookies

These cookies are so fun, plus you can adapt the color depending on the holiday.  Obviously, these ones are ready for Valentine's Day.

In the stores, you see those slice and bake cookies with the terrible ingredients.  Now, you can have the same slice and bake fun without ruining your gut!  My virtual friend Becky from Quinoa & Cookies developed this recipe and I adapted it a little with booze!  Although it's gluten-free, you probably can sub the gluten-free baking mix for whole wheat pastry flour.

The almond flavoring in this cookie recipe really shines through, with both the extract and amaretto.  Although they look difficult to make, it's not so hard!  I like to use natural food coloring, so I used a combination of things.  I combined my Activz Beet Powder and some rosehip syrup I bought from a local store.  It's vegan and vegetarian friendly.  You can find it on Amazon here.  I'm playing with using it as a filling in some of my goodies!

There are a few steps in this recipe, but don't be intimidated!  It's not so bad once you get started!

Ingredients
Lightly adapted from Quinoa & Cookies

1 c. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum 
3/4 c. organic cane sugar
2 T. amaretto (try making your own!)
1 T. flax seed, ground
3 T. water (or more amaretto)
2 1/4 c. gluten-free baking mix with xanthan gum
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. almond extract
natural food coloring, as needed

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375°.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat.

In a small cup, combine the flax and water.  Stir and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes, until thickened.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening, amaretto, almond extract, and sugar.  Add in the flax mixture.  Be sure to scrape the sides as needed.  Slowly add in the gluten-free baking mix, salt, and baking powder.  Make sure everything is incorporated.

Divide the dough into half; place half on a sheet of parchment paper.  Leave the other half in the bowl and add your food coloring, about a teaspoon at a time, until you get your desired color.

Here's where the fun (tricky) part comes in: on one sheet of parchment, roll out the non-colored dough.  Set it aside.  Take the pink dough and roll it out on another piece of parchment.  Do your best to make sure they're about the same size.

Slide the rolled out pink dough on top of the white dough.  (These photos below are much more helpful than my words!)  Using your parchment paper as a guide, roll the dough into a log.  You want to make sure that your spiral is tight.  Slower is better.  

Once you roll your log, know that your ends will be wonky, no matter what you do - unless you're a baking ninja!  You can discard them or keep the little weird pieces; it all tastes the same!  Using a sharp knife, cut the log into cookies and place them on the baking sheet.

Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes.  I like mine a little softer in the middle, so make sure that you let them cool entirely on the cookie sheet.  They might be a little delicate to handle until they are fully cooled.

Enjoy these fun cookies for a special treat!

Cheers,
-Aileen