Have you ever seen the movie Amadeus? It’s my favorite movie of all time. The following is a scene where the composer Antonio Salieri, looking at the impeccable first drafts of Mozart’s compositions, marvels at the perfection of the work. He recognizes the hand of God.
“He had simply written down music already finished in his head. Page after page of it as if he were just taking dictation.”
I have to agree with Salieri that God was clearly involved in Mozart’s musical genius and used him to grant us amazing beauty in the form of his compositions. I could write a thesis on how God has provided mankind with many blessings of beauty and how those things point us back to Him. But this is a recipe post and right about now you are probably wondering what in the world this has to do with Paleo shortbread cookies! Well…..you see, I can relate to poor old Salieri. At one point in the movie he laments how, in his view, God has not granted him genius but has, instead, cursed him with the ability to recognize genius when he encounters it. This frustrates Salieri and causes him to hatch a plot against Mozart.
While I am not hatching any plots against others who happen to be more artistically talented, I do find myself at times feeling a bit envious of their abilities. When I see works of great artists, or hear amazing music or read brilliant poetry I long for a similar talent. This is also true when it comes to crafts. I can appreciate the crafts of others but have never been blessed with the crafting gene. HOWEVER, today I feel as though I have finally overcome my deficit in a small way with the following paleo shortbread tea bag cookies!
This recipe falls into the category of dessert/treat AND craft. (Look out, Martha Stewart!) It would work really well at a tea or a wedding or baby shower. The paleo tea bag cookies could even be used as party favors. They are grain free, gluten free, nut free and sweetened only with maple syrup and a small amount of sugar in the dark chocolate coating.
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or ghee or butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (I used double vanilla)
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of fine ground sea salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- 3-4 ounces dark chocolate
Instructions for Paleo Shortbread
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and combine using a fork to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
- Turn out the “dough” onto a large piece of parchment or wax paper. It will be very crumbly.
- Press the dough together to make a solid piece. Use your hands and a rolling pin to roll out to a flat disk, approximately 8 inches by 10 inches and about 1/8 inch thick (maybe slightly thicker – see photos).
- Cut out a piece of the parchment paper into the shape of a tea bag. Lay the tea bag template down onto the dough.
- Cut out the tea bag shapes using a knife.
- Use a spatula to very carefully move each tea bag shortbread piece to a baking sheet. (I use one lined with Silpat.)
- Once the shortbread cookies are on the baking sheet you can use one end of a wooden skewer (or similar) to make a hole in the top of the cookies.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Once the shortbread cookies have cooled slightly you can move them to a wire rack.
- Use your wooden skewer to make sure the hole in each cookie goes all the way through. (You will be putting a string through it.)
- While the shortbread cookies are cooling completely you can start melting the chocolate. Place the chocolate pieces in a ramekin and heat in the microwave in short time increments and stirring occasionally until just melted. (It should not be boiling hot.)
- One by one, dip each completely cooled shortbread cookie into the ramekin with the melted chocolate. Allow any excess chocolate (is there such a thing?) to drip off.
- Place the chocolate coated cookies back on the lined cookie sheet and put it in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to harden the chocolate.
Instructions for Paleo Shortbread Tea Bag Craft
- Cut one piece of 10-12 inch thread (we used embroidery thread) for each shortbread cookie. Double the length over and thread both loose ends through the hole in the top of the cookie. Take those two loose ends and thread through the loop end so that it looks like the photo below.
- Use a craft punch or scissors to cut out a custom shape in card stock. (I estimate ours was about 1 inch squared).
- Use small stamps or make custom designs on one side of the card stock cutouts. (You will need twice as many cutouts as you have cookies.)
- Use a glue stick to cover the blank side of one of the card stock cutouts. Place the two loose ends of the thread onto the sticky paper. Cover the blank side of another cutout and seal both cutouts together, securing the two thread ends inside.
These paleo shortbread tea bag cookies are pretty sturdy. I had no trouble keeping them in tact while putting everything together. Of the 15 that I attempted to make, not one of them cracked apart. All of them ended up looking great. The cookies are not super sweet but I think they mimic real shortbread fairly well. The coconut flour tends to be very dry and the arrowroot can make recipes taste powdery. But the butter (ghee or coconut oil) and the moisture from the maple syrup seems to counteract that aspect nicely. I used 85% dark chocolate which made for more of a bitter chocolate taste. I actually think 70% dark chocolate would be ideal but it really depends on your taste.
My boys and I love to have tea after school. Check out our favorite tea time snack - Chocolate Paleo Snack Cake. They were both pretty psyched to have some fancy cookies for tea time. If they were at a formal gathering I hope their manners would be slightly better than what occurred here today!
Special thanks to my friend Pamela for all the help she gave me in putting together the tea bag cookie craft and for lending me some props for the photos. She is the one with the real crafting talent!
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