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Our Nice Category Winner - Orange Cranberry Pecan Shortbread

Orange Cranberry Pecan Shortbread

  • Submitted by: Johanne Friedman, Niskayuna
  • This is a vegan, gluten-free and free of refined sugar. These cookies are sweetened with maple syrup and include oats, almond flour and tapioca starch. Orange peel, dried cranberries and pecans provide the flavor.

Johanne Friedman, winner of cookie challengeFrom Johanne Friedman, Niskayuna

Why this cookie is beloved: Since I was a child, baking cookies with my parents and my brother was a sign of the holidays. A year and a half ago, I decided to become vegan, which meant that I would no longer eat my family’s traditional holiday cookies. Instead of seeing this as loss, I see it as an opportunity to experiment with developing my own recipes to keep the cookie-baking tradition alive. This cookie is a way to combine new values and old traditions.


Orange Cranberry Pecan Shortbread

Yield: Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 1/2 cup gluten-free oats, blended into a flour
3/4 cup finely ground almond flour
3 tablespoon tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried orange peel
1/2 cup dried cranberries, lightly chopped
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together coconut oil and maple syrup in a large bowl until a uniform texture free of coconut oil chunks is achieved.
  3. Mix in orange extract.
  4. Add oat flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, salt, dried orange peel, and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in dried cranberries and pecans until uniformly distributed throughout the dough.
  6. Chill dough in fridge for 10 minutes.
  7. Roll dough into 24 evenly sized balls and flatten out on baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are a faint golden brown.
  9. Cool on cookie rack.