These guys are absolutely adorable–and they’re gluten, grain, and dairy-free, too! Grab your ugly Christmas sweater and make a batch, like, NOW.
Yield 2 dozen cookies
FOR THE COOKIES:
1/2 cup of palm shortening
1/4 cup of coconut sugar OR maple crystals
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup of unsulfured molasses OR yacon syrup
3 cups of blanched almond flour
2 heaping tablespoons of coconut flour
1 tablespoon of ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of allspice
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of clove
1 teaspoon of baking soda
A pinch of salt
Arrowroot powder, for dusting
FOR THE ROYAL ICING:
1 large egg white
2/3 cup of confectioner’s sugar
FOR THE COOKIES:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the palm shortening with the coconut sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure you routinely scrape down the sides so it’ll actually increase in volume.
To the bowl, add in the eggs, coconut milk, and molasses. Turn the speed down to medium and continue mixing until homogeneous, about 3 minutes more.
In a separate bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, baking soda, and salt. Make sure you break up any clumps with your hands!
With the mixer still on medium, gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, pouring in 1/2 cup of dry ingredients at a time. Stop the mixer when the dough is homogeneous, about 2 minutes later. The dough should be sticky to the touch but be able to hold together into a solid ball; it shouldn’t stick like glue to your hands. If it feels too wet, add in some arrowroot powder; if it feels too dry, add in more coconut milk.
Divide the dough into two balls and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to firm up for at least 2 hours, but the longer it’s in there, the better!
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take out one of your balls of dough and generously dust a rolling pin and a flat work space with arrowroot powder. Pour some arrowroot powder into a small shallow bowl, too.
Unwrap the dough and roll it out until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. DO NOT flip the dough over. It will fall apart and you will have to start all over again.
Dip a man cookie cutter in the arrowroot powder bowl and place it firmly on one of the corners of the dough. Gently rotate it back and forth to loosen, then pull it away from the rest of the dough. Slide a small knife directly under the cut-out to lift it off the counter and CAREFULLY place it on one of the prepared baking sheets.
Repeat until no space on the dough remains. Squish your dough scraps back into a ball, re-dip the rolling pin in arrowroot powder, and roll out the dough again. Cut out more men, then do it all over again! If your dough isn’t holding together, put it back in the fridge for fifteen minutes to cool off a bit.
Take out your other ball of dough and follow the same procedure as you did with the previous ball.
Bake in the oven until golden brown around the edges but NOT super firm, about 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate the sheet every few minutes so all of the cookies get even coverage. Bake them for less time than you think they’ll need.
FOR THE ICING:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg white on high until stiff but not rock-solid peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes, then pour in the confectioner’s sugar and continue whipping until light and glossy, about 3 minutes longer.
Scoop the icing into a pastry bag or a large plastic bag with a thin tip attached. Applying gentle pressure, add eyes, a nose, a mouth, buttons, and arm-and-leg squiggles to your cookies, then let them dry for at least half an hour before eating.