Heavenly Caramel Christmas Cookies–Yum!
Ok, I know you are going to think I’m crazy with this recipe because you start out baking graham crackers the day before so you can make these delicious holiday cookies. But, really, I’m not. I have been baking my own gluten-free graham crackers for a couple of years now, and they are the only graham crackers I like. Even as a kid I didn’t like to eat store bought graham crackers–they just tasted stale to me. Now, I bake gluten-free graham crackers about 5-6 times a year. We all prefer them, even the gluten-full people in the family!
This recipe is a throwback to some cookies from the 1980’s or so. Do you remember “Magic Cookies”? All were made on a rimmed cookie sheet, and they used sweetened condensed milk poured over all the ingredients, then baked. Well, the old recipe is just too full of prepared ingredients and things many people are now avoiding in their diets. This recipe makes a cookie that is part cookie but also part candy–that is why you cut them so small. Believe me when I say they go a long way on a holiday cookie tray! I have taken them to cookie exchanges and everyone wants my recipe. It’s good that I write a blog so they can have any and all recipes with my compliments! As you plan your holiday baking, why not try this as a new recipe to add to the celebration? Enjoy!
- 2 cups Baking Free gluten-free All Purpose Flour (248 g)
- ¼ cup Positively Free Instant Oats (pulse in blender to make a finer oat flour)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons butter, cold and in small chips
- 3 tablespoons very cold water (more if necessary)
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap mollasses
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups mimi marshmallows
- ¾ cups butter, cubed
- ¾ cups packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sliced almonds (I crush these with a rolling pin before I open the bag to have smaller slivers)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low. Add the chips of butter and mix on low. In a small glass measuring cup combine the honey, molasses and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients. Finally add the ice water--one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Add more sparingly if necessary.
- Gather the dough together, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or overnight. When ready to bake the crackers, let the dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. and line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll dough on floured plastic wrap to desired thinness (I did about ¼-inch) and cut into 3 X 3-inch squares. Transfer to prepared sheets and prick with a fork 3 or 4 times. Leave just a little room between the squares as they won't spread much. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Rotate cookie sheets so the back cookies don't brown too quickly. After 15 minutes, turn off the oven and open door slightly for 2-3 minutes. Close oven and let crackers cool in the oven--this will ensure a crispy graham cracker.
Makes about 24 crackers.
- To assemble cookies, Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15X10X1-inch baking pan with foil, letting the foil extend over the edge by 1 inch. Spray with cooking spray. Arrange graham crackers in prepared pan, breaking some to be sure to cover entire bottom of pan. Sprinkle with mini marshmallows. ( I used even more--almost the whole bag.)
- In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Spoon the butte mixture over the marshmallows evenly. Sprinkle with almonds and shredded coconut.
- Bake 14-16 minutes until browning--cookies will be rather liquidy but solidify up on cooing. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using foil, lift cookies out of pan. Cut into squares about 1½ inch, and then on the diagonal for triangles. Makes 6-8 dozen (small but very sweet) cookies.