December 14, 2006

Rolled & Cut-Out Sugar Cookies - Gluten-Free

One of my biggest challenges in cooking gluten free was making sugar cookies. Many recipes were too bland for my taste or the dough ran during baking and the shapes wouldn't hold. A tasty gluten-free sugar cookie recipe was becoming very important at our house as Christmas was drawing nearer. Many little batches of gluten-free sugar cookies were made, testing the various classic ways of making sugar cookies. This recipe is the winner of our little bake-off.

Traditionally at our house, Santa is left a plate of Christmas sugar cookies and a mug of hot chocolate. My kids really get into the spirit of Christmas. Not wanting the reindeer to feel left out, they require that a reindeer cookie is left for Santa's team. They very thoughtfully rearrange the living room so that Santa's snack is left on a small table by the tree. This arrangement is the best way for Santa, because he can snack while he puts out presents. Creative aren't they...

I've been stalling on making this batch of cut-out sugar cookies, as I wanted to go slowly so I could document and make pictures along the way. I've tried other methods to shorten the process, but without the same level of success. Although it takes a while, this method makes the best cut out cookie.

To begin, I got myself into a comfy cooking mood and set up some mental entertainment. My family joined me and we watched Redwall - Season 1, while we cut-out and baked cookies.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Recipe

1/2 lb butter
1 1/2 cups cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tb cream with a rounded 1 tsp kuzu powder dissolved in it
2/3 cup brown rice flour + 2 Tb
2/3 cup oat flour + 2 Tb
2/3 cup sweet rice flour + 2 Tb
1/2 cup almond meal + 2 Tb
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Note: Freezing or chilling the rolled dough packets comes before baking. Wait to preheat the oven until you are cutting out the cookies and placing them onto the cookie sheets.

Cream the butter, and then gradually adding the sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and cream with kuzu powder in it. Beat thoroughly. In another bowl, mix the all the dry ingredients together. Add this slowly to the butter mixture and blend well. If your dough is too soft add a little extra oat flour to stiffen the dough.

Divide into larger balls that you place in between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll the balls until the dough is between 1/8" and 1/4" thick. Then freeze the sheets making sure that they are lying flat in your freezer.

When the dough is firm remove from the freezer (one pack at a time) and peel the top layer of parchment paper off the dough. Put the top layer of parchment paper on your work surface and flip over the dough onto it. Then peel off the bottom layer. Proceed to cut out cookies. Work quickly before the dough thaws. The dough will probably stick inside the cutters. Use your fingers to ease the cookie shape out of the cutter. (Note: detailed cookie cutters may not work as the dough is still soft and may stick in the corners.)

Once you have cut out the cookies and placed them on the parchment paper lined cookie pan, roll the left over dough into a ball and place it between the previously used layers of parchment paper. Roll to a uniform thickness and then freeze again.

Make sure that the cut out cookies that are on the cookie sheet are still chilled and the dough isn't warm. When the warm cookie dough is baked it spreads more during baking than will the frozen dough and you will lose the cut out shape.

Bake at 325 degrees for 12 - 14 minutes or until golden brown.

The cookies are now ready for frosting and decorating.

As soon as the first batch of cookies cooled, my family swarmed the stove and at least left the parchment paper uneaten. I kept baking and here are some for you to see.

How did they taste? Great! The four family voters all thought the same thing. Our sheltie girl didn't get to vote except on the dough, which she thought was quite tasty. She kept hitting my leg with her head to remind me that she was patiently waiting for more.

Anyway, the cookies turned out with a nice crisp texture and the edges were just slightly blurred. I had trouble with the more detailed cookie cutters (i.e. snowflake, reindeer, angel), but the less detailed ones (i.e. gingerbread man, star, candy cane) worked just fine.

Hmmm...I'll have to work on getting the reindeer cookie for Santa.

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