Cherry Ribbons [V, GF option]

Vegan cherry ribbon cookies from The Spoon + Shovel

This past weekend was my parents’ annual holiday open house, and as usual, my mom and I went overboard on the cookie prep. I made double batches of chocolate crinkles and triple ginger, as well perfecting a cashew cream cheese rugelah recipe (which I’ll post soon) and a Christmas staple I’ve been making since college: cherry ribbons. These icebox cookies are as festive as they are delicious, and it’s not Christmas without gorging on a handful of them! 

Ingredients:
Filling:
½ C. dried cherries
⅓ C. cherry preserve
1 T. sugar
⅛ t. almond extract
Dough:
2 C. flour (gf options here)
¼ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
¾ C. sugar
⅓ C. coconut oil
⅓ C. dairy-free butter or margarine
1 flax gel egg
2 ¼ t. vanilla extract
½ t. almond extract

Prep time: 30 min. + 90 min. in freezer
Cook time: 10-20 min.
Yield: ~ 3 dozen

-Combine cherries, preserve and 1 ½ T. sugar in a food processor until you have a relatively smooth paste.
-Cook cherry mixture in a small saucepan on high until bubbling, 5-7 min, stirring constantly. 
-Remove from heat and add ⅛ t. almond extract. 
-Transfer to a bowl and cool in the freezer while you prepare the dough.
-Combine the coconut oil, butter and sugar in a stand mixer until smooth.
-Add the flax gel, vanilla and almond extract and mix well. 
-Add the baking powder, salt and flour and mix well.
-Remove dough from mixer and divide into 4 equal pieces; I take a sharp knife and cut the dough in half vertically then horizontally.
-Line a 4”x8” loaf pan with a piece of aluminum foil, then cover foil with wax paper.
-Spread one portion of dough into the bottom of the loaf pan, then cover with ⅓ of the now-cooled cherry mixture. Repeat twice more, then spread the final piece of dough evenly across the top.
-Fold the wax paper over the dough, then the foil. Place in the freezer for at least 90 min to set; I often freeze it overnight for convenience.
-Preheat your oven to 350 F.
-Remove the dough from the freezer and take off the foil and wax paper.
-Place the dough on a cutting board and cut off the sides using a sharp knife; you can cut these to size and bake, they’re just not as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of the batch.
-Cut the dough in half longways, then vertically at ¼” increments.
-Place strips on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 10-14 min or until edges are beginning to turn golden brown.
-Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a rack.