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Einkorn Holiday Cookies

It’s time to bake holiday cookies and Carla has completed four new recipes, including two classics and one traditional Italian cookie. For the best results, here are some things to keep in mind.

Baking cookies is a bit of a science and measurements really need to be precise, especially when baking with einkorn flour. We recommend you measure the ingredients, especially the flour, with a kitchen scale. If you do not have a scale, remember that 1 cup of all-purpose einkorn flour measures 120 g when it is spooned into the cup and gently leveled. Do not measure the flour by dipping the cup into the bag, that will result in too much flour. And don’t press down on the flour once you’ve filled the cup, just level off the top.

The eggs we use weigh 55 g on average. If you have a scale, weighing your eggs will give you the best results. All cooking times were tested in a static oven, so do not bake the cookies with a convection setting or they will overcook.

Rugelach– A little bit of research taught us that traditional rugelach was made with sourdough and sour cream, and that’s how we created this recipe. If you prefer not to use sour cream, you can substitute cream cheese and you can also omit the sourdough starter. Carla created a meatless mincemeat filling, which we think is to die for, but if you are pressed for time, you can also fill these cookies with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, jam, raisins and walnuts. The dough can be rolled out to a 12-inch round, cut into 16 triangles and rolled into a croissant-like shapes, but they are large. We imagine you might give these cookies as a gift, so we prefer the smaller rolls.

Italian Chocolate Esse– As are most cookies in traditional Italian baking, the Chocolate Esse cookies are plain and simple, yet delicious, and their beautiful pattern is enamoring. The cookie dough is typically piped out into a closed ‘S’ pattern, and half of the cookie can be dipped in melted chocolate. White chocolate creates a beautiful contrast and adds richness. As an alternative, you can pipe the dough into a round and then pressed them together gently like a sandwich cookies with a white chocolate filling.

Gingerbread Cookies– This recipe is pretty straight-forward and easy, as long as you chill the dough and lightly flour your work surface. You should also dust the top of the dough or rolling pin, as needed, so the surface of the dough remains smooth. We opted for a very simple icing, made with just powdered sugar and milk or water for decorating.

 

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Rugelach

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients

For the Pastry Dough

  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose einkorn flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) sourdough starter, optional
  • ½ cup (113 g) sour cream (preferred) or cream cheese
  • Egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon of water)

For the Filling

  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup currants
  • 1 apple, peeled and cut in small dices
  • Juice and zest of one orange
  • ½ cup (55 g) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ½ cup cherry or strawberry jelly

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. With a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour mixture until sandy. If you are adding sourdough starter, work the starter into the dough with the butter.
  3. Add the sour cream or cream cheese and squeeze the dough in your hands until it comes together.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface about 10 times until smooth.
  5. Divide the dough in two pieces and form discs. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you are using sourdough starter, place the dough in the refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone matt.
  7. To make the filling, add all of the ingredients except the jelly to a medium saucepan.  Cook the filling on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes more.  Turn off the heat and stir in the jelly.  Let cool for 15 minutes or refrigerate along with the dough for up to one day.
  8. Remove a piece of dough from the refrigerator and let it soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  9. Roll the dough to a 20 x 7-inch rectangle. Spread the filling on top of the dough all the way to the edges. Roll the dough tightly widthwise. Cut a 1-inch piece off of each end, then cut the dough into twelve 1½ pieces. Place the cookies on the baking sheet spread 1-inch apart, with the seam down.
  10. Brush the cookies with the egg wash.
  11. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  12. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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Italian Chocolate ‘Esse’ Cookies

Makes 16 S-shaped cookies or 8 sandwich cookies

For the cookies

  • 1¼ cups (150 g) all-purpose einkorn flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (90 g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, beaten

For the milk chocolate frosting

  • ½ cup (85g) white chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone matt.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract for 2 minutes, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low for 10 seconds to combine. Add the egg and beat for 30 seconds. Add the remaining flour and beat for another 10 seconds until the dough is smooth.
  5. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch #6 open star pastry tip.
  6. Press out the dough in closed S or a circle shape that is 2 inches in diameter onto the prepared baking sheet. If the dough is hard to push out of the pastry bag, let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to allow for the butter to soften a bit.
  7. Bake for 17 minutes.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to a cooling rack.
  9. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water without letting the bowl touch the water. Stir frequently until the mixture is melted. Allow to cool for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Dip half of the cookie lengthwise into the melted chocolate and place on a cooling rack to set up. If you have baked rounds, brush each flat side with melted chocolate, let them cool for 2 minutes, then assemble into sandwich cookies.
  11. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

HH0A0574 HH0A0563HH0A0589Gingerbread Cookies

Makes about 40 cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose einkorn flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup (168 g) molasses
  • ¼ cup (55 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large egg

For the icing

  • ¾ cup (94 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk or water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the butter, molasses, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Add the egg and whisk together until well combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix until the dry ingredients are no longer visible. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove one-third of the dough from the refrigerator. Dust a piece of parchment paper lightly with flour, then roll the dough out to a rectangle that is ¼-inch thick. Cut out the cookie shapes. Lift up the excess dough and refrigerate it until you are ready to make the next batch. Slide the cookies and the paper onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the edges of the cookies begin to brown. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then move to a cooling rack. Bake the other batches.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and milk or water together to form a thick paste. Transfer the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a #2 tip. Decorate the cookies.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

 

15 Responses to Einkorn Holiday Cookies

  1. Jan Roche says:

    Dear Carla,
    I am learning to bake with Einkorn to improve the health of my family. When you describe your daughters health issues I felt as if you were talking about my daughter Brenna. She has been suffering with migraines and alopecia for years. The doctors did not think it was a big deal. One said she would grow out of it while the other wanted to administer steroid injections into her scalp. Determined to help Brenna, I began researching alopecia and discovered it’s linked with gluten sensitivity. At this point I decided it was best to work on strengthening her immune system. At the age of 12 she chose to become gluten-free but was feeling deprived of baked goods. I taught her how to
    make gluten-free baked items but was concerned with the lack of nutritional value while using tapioca starch cornstarch, potato starch, rice flour etc. A friend told me about Einkorn and directed me to your website. I was very excited to find Einkorn in my favorite natural food store.
    I am making a Lemon meringue pie for my husband. Do you have a suitable recipe for a 9.5 ” piecrust using the all-purpose Einkorn flour. I tried to use the crust recipe included in the Spiced Apple Cranberry Pie shown on your website. The chilled crust looked beautiful until about five minutes into baking when I looked through the door to discover the crust had melted down the sides into a buttery goop at the bottom of the dish. Clearly this recipe has too much butter for the amount of flour. I hesitate to try again until I have a proven recipe. Einkorn flour is expensive and I do not like to waste such a fine ingredient. I am hoping to repurpose the failed batch to make Choux pastry. I will let you know how it turns out.

    Frustrated but hopeful,

    Jan Roche

  2. Dee says:

    Do you have a recipe I could follow for spritz cookies using Einkorn flour? I want to make traditional cookies using a cookie press, but am not sure how to tweak the spritz cookie recipe.

  3. Marilyn Lorenzo says:

    These rugelach are the best I’ve ever made! The dough is very forgiving to work with and baked up tender and flaky even though I had to do extra squeezing to add more sour cream because the dough was initially too dry. The filling was delicious and because it was thicker and stickier than plain jam, it did not run out of the cookie as much as the filling typically does when baked. I would recommend letting the dough rest in the fridge for a few hours–my second batch was easier to roll out and held a rounded shape better than my first batch. I also added a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top of the egg wash for a little extra sweet crunch. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  4. Carmen Maybee says:

    Carla,

    For the gingerbread cookies I would like to put the dough into the silicone mat that has the gingerbread men in it, instead of rolling the dough. Do I have to change the consistency of the dough, or could I just put it directly in the silicone mat?

    • jovial says:

      Hi Carmen- I think this would be fine. We have not tested it with this, so I can not say for sure- but i would give it a try!

  5. cathy canto says:

    I would like to make the chocolate “esse” cookies vanilla. Could I omit the cocoa powder and add more einkorn flour?

  6. Rita Morrow says:

    Granddaughter Kate and I made the gingerbread cookies this year as her leave out treat for Santa. The recipe made delicious and pretty cookies.
    I was a little worried about how moist the dough was but after chilling it worked well.

  7. Carol says:

    Dear Carla,
    A friend introduced me to Einkorn flour. I made a hamantaschen recipe that’s perfect with regular white and whole wheat flours. I substituted Einkorn flour and they spread out like a pancake. They tasted really buttery and delicious, but didn’t hold a shape.

    Can you tell me what the trick is when substitting Einkorn flour in a cookie recipe?

    I’m anxious to try your Rugeluch recipe!

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