Even though I’ve lived in New Zealand for well over a decade, this time of year is still so alien to me. It’s a time for sickly sweet mulled wine, for hideously great knitted jumpers with misshapen reindeer on the front, for nights by the fire and eating, eating and more eating.
Those things don’t sit well with bikini wearing, blistering heat and beaches (especially the bikini wearing).
Now, I do love the quirky contradiction that Christmas here brings. I love the look of jandals and Santa hats (even though it’s a total fashion crime), I love BBQ’s on the deck (with the perfect charred steak) and I love the notion of a huge, sand filled holiday to celebrate the end of one year and welcome in another – it’s fantastic.
But for me, it’s just not the magical time I remember from the Northern Hemisphere (even if a white Christmas day barely ever occurred).
Today, to welcome in the Christmas spirit (despite the sandals weather outside), I filled my house with the spirit of the holidays and made gingerbread cookies. Sugar free, paleo gingerbread cookies – of course.
Served up with peppermint tea, this combo of strong aroma of ginger playing with my senses transported me back to London evenings in December (watching James Bond repeats and not sleeping much at all).
And with my first bite of biscuit, in the midst of a balmy Auckland summers day, it started to rain.
I don’t know that I’ve ever been so happy to hear the sound of rain cut the heat of summer.
For a moment, it was a real slice of Christmas, on the wrong side of the world.
- 2 ½ cups of almond meal
- ¼ cup of coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of ginger
- ¼ teaspoon of ground gloves
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 65g melted coconut oil
- ½ cup of rice malt syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- Zest of ½ and orange
Mix all ingredients together (I used a food processor) and wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to harden for a couple of hours.
Preheat oven to 160C (fan forced)
Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to about 1cm thick and cut out (I used nifty Christmas tree cutters).
Bake your cookies for about 10 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown on the edges.
Take out and enjoy with a cup of peppermint tea and the sound of rain.