Introduction: Gluten Free Almond Trees

About: I'm an American ex-pat living in Greece, I enjoy cooking, sewing and all crafts.

This recipe will be such a fun treat to make for a party or just for the kids to have and decorate. You can make a whole forest or about 20 to 24 trees.

Some of these Ingredients are maybe new to you so I will tell you why I am using them.

I am using Coconut oil because it has a higher cooking temperature and it gives the cookies a nice light chewy texture.

I am using Almond Flour because I may need to become Gluten Free in the New Year. I am not sure yet, but I have some test coming up with a doctor in January, so I am testing the water's and trying to find some really fun Gluten Free recipes.

Almond flour is a great substitute for regular All Purpose Flour, and it is really beneficial because it has more nutrients and fiber than regular flour.

When using JUST Almond flour in baking you need to use some form of binder and that is what the Tapioca Starch (Tapioca flour is the same thing) is for, if you can't find Tapioca Starch then I would suggest Corn Starch as a substitute.


2 Dozen or 24 Cookies

2 Bowls

Mixer, whisk, spoons, spatula, knife



Parchment Lined Baking Sheet


1/4 cup Shortening (at room temperature) (57 grams)

1/4 cup Coconut oil (in a liquid state*) (57 grams)

3/4 cup powdered Sugar (75 grams)

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons of Orange juice

optional: 1 tsp. of finely grated orange zest

2 cups Almond Flour (200 grams)

2 tsp. Tapioca starch

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

*Unlike other oils, coconut oil can be liquid or solid, it depends on the temperature of where it is stored. I keep mine in the cupboard in the winter time it is in a solid state, but during the summer my cupboard must get warm because then it becomes a liquid :)

Bake at 325° for 10 minutes

Step 1: Mixing the Ingredients

Take 2 Bowls

Mix together in the First bowl:

1/4 cup Shortening (room temperature), 1/4 cup Coconut Oil (liquid state) and 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar

Blend well by hand or with a mixer for 2 minutes till nice and creamy

Add the teaspoon of Vanilla and the 2 Tablespoons of Orange Juice to the mix

In the Second bowl gather the Dry Ingredients:

2 cups of Almond Flour, 2 tsp. Tapioca Starch and 1/2 tsp Baking Soda, Whisk the dry ingredients together.

Now Combine the Wet Ingredients with the Dry Ingredients, mix well until the dough forms, Divide the dough into 2 and using Saran Wrap Cling Film flatten onto a plate and place them in the Fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2: Extra Supplies

While your dough is chilling it is a good time to put your toothpicks in some water, you will need 20 to 24 toothpicks.

I wanted to show off the cutest cookie cutter that I have, isn't this fantastic, it makes 19 little trees at one time! Don't worry you don't need this if you don't have one, but definitely buy this cookie cutter if you ever see it at your super market!

Also get your cookie decorating supplies out, maybe some chocolates or chopped nuts, you can also make a nice royal icing at this time while you wait for the cookie dough to chill.

Royal Icing Recipe:
1 egg white beaten with 1 tsp. lemon juice, until frothy, then slowly add in Powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time (pre-sift the sugar so there are no lumps) You will use between 3/4 cup to 1 cup of powdered sugar until you get the thickness you desire.

Step 3: Making the Trees

Preheat Oven to 325°

Roll out your chilled dough about a 1/4"

Cut into 2" strips (5 cm)

Then using a toothpick or knife make a mark every 2", look at picture #2 to understand

The third picture shows you how to cut the tree shapes.

Step 4: Assembly

Take the toothpicks out of the water and place them on a paper towel.

Take 1 tree and place it on the parchment paper, press 1 toothpick in the middle of the tree, half way down, so half of the toothpick is sticking out.

Take a small bowl of water and dip your finger into the bowl to wet it a little and wipe the top of the tree with the toothpick with some water, then place a SECOND tree shape on top of the First tree shape, press down lightly and press all around the tree to combine the 2 trees together.

Squeeze the trees a little on the edges to give them some tree texture.

Space the trees evenly on the cookie sheet, they do spread a little so leave room for them to grow!

Bake for 10 minutes, (if using Gluten Free flour or All Purpose Flour, bake for 12 -14 minutes) you want them to be lightly brown on the bottom, but leave them on the pan, until they cool down, since Almond flour cookies have a tendency to crumble while still warm.

Step 5: Decorating

After the cookies have had ample time to cool, it is time to DECORATE!

Using Royal Icing pipe different designs, go for the simple little line zigzagging across, or fill the whole cookie with icing. Sprinkle some nuts on top or put some jam in the middle like a thumbprint cookie, add chocolates, coconut flakes, the sky and your mind is the limit.

Stick them in cupcakes for Individual treats, or place a whole bunch of trees together on 1 cake!

Step 6: Substitution Options

  • 3/4 cup of Butter to replace both the Coconut Oil and Shortening
  • 2 cups of Gluten Free Flour* in place of the Almond Flour
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour in place of the Almond Flour

*If you do replace the Almond Flour with a Gluten Free Flour (GF), be sure to check the ingredients because some GF Flours already have a binder and baking soda included, so you will need to take BOTH of those ingredients out of the recipe. Also when baking with these flours you may need to keep the cookies in the oven a little longer, 12-14 minutes.

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