Wintertime Snack: Shortbread Wedges & Peppermint Hot Cocoa

This recipe is an excerpt from my Natural Cocktails e-book, which is perfect for the homemade mixologist who doesn’t want any fake colors or flavors in their cocktails.  I use this shortbread recipe as a garnish for one of the cocktails in the book.  And I think this peppermint hot cocoa would be amazing with a little Creme de Menthe added to it.

There is a line in The Polar Express where the narrator talks about the children on the train drinking hot cocoa “as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars”.  I always imagined what that might be like, snuggled up in my jammies on a magical train ride to the North Pole.  Immediately after making this cup of hot chocolate I was transported to that imagery again. This hot cocoa looks exactly like what I pictured as a child when I read that line in the book.  Paired with a simple homemade shortbread cookie, this is one of the most decadent yet subtlely sweet treats that I have made this season.

All you need for an excellent shortbread are clean, wholesome ingredients.  They will speak for you without any frills as long as you buy quality butter, salt, flour, and whole sweetener.  Grass-fed butter, yellow and nutrient-dense with vitamin K2.  Almond flour, ground fine with a gentle and slight natural sweetness.  Sea salt, unrefined with trace minerals still in tact.  Raw honey, fragrant and sweet.  Coconut flour, powdery and dense providing a crumbly texture in our cookie.

Ever since I discovered the simplicity of the shortbread cookie I have been a fan of it’s buttery richness and slightly salty crunch.  I love to keep shortbread basic, without even any vanilla in the dough.  My favorite shortbread cookie was made with sprouted flour originally, but since starting GAPS nine months ago I have found this almond flour to be the new front runner.  It has a nice subtle sweetness to it that I prefer.

Grain-Free Shortbread
makes one 9-inch round shortbread, cut into 12 wedges

1 3/4 cups almond flour (buy almond flour here)
1/4 cup coconut flour (buy coconut flour here)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)
1/4 cup honey (buy unfiltered raw honey here)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into small pieces (buy grass-fed butter here)
1 teaspoon vanilla (buy organic extracts here)

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Generously butter a 9-inch round pan or a glass pie plate.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt.  Pour honey over the top.  Add diced butter.  With a pastry blender, or with your hands, combine ingredients until they form small crumbs the size of peas.
  3. Press crumbly dough into the buttered pan.

  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges are nice and golden brown and the middle is set.  While still warm, cut the wheel of cookie into wedges with a sharp knife.  Let cool completely.
  5. Cut the wedges one more time to make sure they are completely loose.  Using a small spatula, lift the wedges out of the pan and serve.  Dip into peppermint hot cocoa, below.

Coconut milk hot cocoa laced with peppermint extract is an intoxicating contradiction of hot liquid and cooling mint oils.  Bitter cocoa powder is coaxed to play nicely with the touch of raw honey, and because coconut milk naturally contains coconut cream and coconut oil, the warmed and blended cocoa is very smooth and thick.

Use the best quality ingredients you can find, so that they will stand up on their own and create an experience as you consume them, not just sustainance.  Organic cocoa powder should not be processed with alkali (also called “Dutch-process”) like it’s commercial counterparts.

Coconut Milk Peppermint Hot Cocoa
serves 2
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (find coconut milk here)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (find cocoa powder here)
1/4 cup raw honey (find raw honey here)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (find clean organic extracts here)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (find extracts here)
  1. In a saucepan, gently heat coconut milk until warm.  Whisking constantly, gradually add cocoa powder and whisk until completely absorbed.  Add honey and stir until fully incorporated.  Add peppermint and vanilla, stirring to combine.
  2. Remove from heat and pour into heavy-bottomed mugs.  Serve with shortbread wedges, or another tea cookie or two.
See my resources page for more information about quality ingredients like vanilla and peppermint extracts and truly unrefined sea salt with all it’s trace minerals present.
Note: I am marking this recipe as vegan and dairy-free since you can make the cookies with coconut oil.  Enjoy!

This post is a part of Sunday SchoolMonday ManiaMake Your Own! MondayTraditional TuesdayFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayReal Food WednesdayThe Mommy ClubHealthy2day Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fresh Bites Friday, and Fight Back Friday.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
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  1. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

  2. Thank you, so much, Kendahl, for posting this. I just told a friend about it this morning and now I can link her to it! :)

  3. Been thinking of using almond flour sometime. Gosh, this looks so delicious I should try to make this. Bookmarked! Thank you for sharing.

    Followed and Liked your lovely blog. I am also inviting you to add your blog at Momma’s Lounge ( ) where you meet more mom bloggers, shout away, add your giveaways and business links and get featured by sharing your crafts, recipes and interesting musings. Following us back is deeply appreciated.

    Thanks and have a great day!

  4. What a perfect holiday snack. I would just love this sitting by the fire and looking at the tree. I think that is what I am going to do. Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  6. Can you expand on what is wrong with dutch-processed cocoa powder and what kinds you recommend?

    • Melanie, my first response when I discovered that there were two kinds of cocoa powder, 1) Dutch-process or alkali and 2) natural, was that I would automatically prefer the natural version. As I read more about it, I was even further convinced. The Dutch-process of alkalizing cocoa powder changes the pH of the cocoa to be less acidic, therefore making it easier to blend in and work with in baking. But it also removes antioxidants, also called flavanols, which I prefer to keep for my benefit. They say that natural cocoa is more bitter, but I say “delicious!” I would rather have my whole food in tact and then work with the flavors present (and they have worked out well!)

      Really I just recommend any organic cocoa powder you can find that has no additives like alkalizing agents. I get mine from Wilderness Family Naturals on my resource page here. They have a raw cacao powder that is awesome!

  7. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Miz Helen

  8. Do you think these would make good cut out “sugar” cookies? I’m looking for a recipe I like… been scouring all the real food websites…

  9. syreeta jayne says:

    this sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try the shortbread thanks!

  10. Hey Kendahl,
    I just want to let you know that my son surprised me by making this shortbread recipe and it was amazing! He was able to follow your great instructions and photos with no problem.The recipe came out exactly as you have it shown with your great photos.

    Thanks so much!

    • Jill, that’s so awesome! I really love it when there are lots of pictures, so I try to get as many as possible on here (even though I sometimes think it’s such a pain to get the camera out, but I’m always glad!) Plus, those cookies are delish :) I hope you enjoyed several!

  11. Nom! So, I can’t use almond flour because of allergies. Would you use the same amount of sprouted flour?

  12. Chandelle says:

    Yumm! I just used this recipe for a crust on a kefir cheesecake, it turned out perfect.

  13. Oh wow, this looks delicious. I can’t wait to share this with others. I was just thinking about peppermint hot chocolate this morning. Giving it a try this evening! :)

  14. I don’t mean to be ugly but I made the peppermint hot cocoa today and it was awful:(. I was so excited when I saw this post earlier and had everything to make this special treat. Maybe it is because I used raw cocoa powder but it was so bad I had to throw it all away which was costly as well..

    • Hmm, sounds like an ingredient issue to me. We love this stuff! I’m not sure how you can go wrong with flavored and sweetened chocolate coconut milk, but perhaps you didn’t use enough honey for your taste? Instead of throwing it away, I would have tried adding more honey, or assessing the ingredients I used to make sure I didn’t have a bad can of coconut milk or something…

  15. I just wanted to let you know, I used your shortbread recipe as a base for my pecan pie bars and it turned out fantastic! I love the shortbread itself, but with the gooey pecan mixture on top it’s quite the treat! I’m thinking I might do some more experimenting soon with a few other toppings. Thanks for all the great recipes!


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