Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

I know, the picture is clearly not a sugar cookie.  It is gingerbread and I will have a recipe for the tasty soft and delightful low sugar spelt gingerbread cookies soon, but really.... Is that maybe the best decorated cookie you have ever seen?  With the spur?  I don't even know how you eat that one.  Anyway, some friends and I got together for a cookie decorating party this weekend.  I was responsible for the Gingerbread variety and The Great Leslie Beck was responsible for the sugar cookies.  Since I am the one with special needs, I made a wheat-ful batch and a spelt batch, but I never expect others to bother.  TGLB, however, is always thinking of the peeps around her.  She made regular sugar cookies and these amazing Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies.  She adapted them from this recipe based on necessity and I will post the recipe as she made it below because they were amazing. I'm sure the original is amazing as well.

I feel like people always want to apologize for things being Gluten-Free.  Really, the only thing that I find typically needs and asterisk is bread.  Other than that, wheat is boring, boring, boring.  Gluten-free grains have way more complexity and flavor.  These cookies are the most delicious sugar cookies I have ever tasted.  Light, delicate and tons of flavor to stand up to delicious butter-cream frosting.

Note:  Leslie used a GF all-purpose mix by Avec Baking that was incredible.  If you are in Seattle, you can find it at PCC.  If you are not in Seattle, please think of this local company for an order. This flour was excellently balanced and xanthan-free.  If you are using your favorite GF mix in this recipe, please make sure it isn't just rice flour and tapioca starch or the flavor of your cookie will be very neutral.  If need be, replace at least 1/2 or 1cup of the flour you are using with either sorghum flour or amaranth flour to boost the personality.  I happen to also love garbanzo flour, but I know that is scandalous.  If you are making your own mix, please use 1.5 cups flours and 1 cup starches, like potato and tapioca.

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
  • 2 & 1/2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour mix (please see note above)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch fresh nutmeg

1. Place all the flours in a medium-sized bowl and whisk them together (if not using pre-mixed). Sift them through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl. Add the baking powder, and salt, then whisk together and set aside.

2. Stir the butter (or let the beater attachment of the stand mixer do it for you). Add the sugar and cream them together until they are just combined. Add the two eggs and vanilla extract and beat for a couple of minutes more. Throw in the pinch of nutmeg and stir one last time.

3. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet, one cup at a time until well mixed.  It should be a thick batter, not entirely stick to the touch, but not as stiff as traditional rolled cookie dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 375 and take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Don’t let it reach complete pliability. The dough should still be rather stiff from the refrigeration.

5. Roll out the cookie dough between two pieces of parchment paper. This dough doesn’t go paper thin, so you’ll have cookie with a bite to them. Cut out with your favorite shapes.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on your oven and how crisp you like them. Let them cool for 10 minutes before eating them. Let cool completely before using your favorite butter-cream frosting for fancy decorations!

Makes about 15 to 20 cookies, depending on the shapes.