Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Cookies!

These are some of the many cookies that I made for Christmas, this year. I have a blast doing these each year. Now I make two versions: one with wheat flour and one, without. Gabe told me that I really could get by with just the wheat-free version and no one would know. Truly, they taste pretty darn close to one another. But I am a bit of a masochist, so I did two batches. The recipe that I have been using for years is from the Mrs. Fields Cookie cookbook. The secret is to not over work the dough and to add as little flour as possible. I am also careful to chill the dough for at least one hour so that it is nice and cold.
The wheat free version comes from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. I might get sued, but here are both recipes. I use the same frosting for both cookies...
Sugar Cookies (with wheat flour)

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt with a wire whisk.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer set on medium. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture. Blend on low until just combined. Do not over mix or the dough will be tough. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness and cut with cookie cutters.
Place cut-outs onto ungreased cookie sheets. ( I generally place them on top of parchment).

Bake for 13-15 minutes, being very careful not to brown. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface. Decorate with frosting (see below) and other decorations.

Sugar Cookies (Wheat/Gluten Free)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix (from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts)
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Add flours, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt; beat until a thick, smooth dough is formed.
Roll out dough between 2 large sheets of wax paper. Chill until very cold. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters, and chill again on a cookie sheet before baking.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until a very light golden color. Transfer to a wire rack and cool. Store in an airtight container.


Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix well.
Get mixture to the consistency of thick cream, add more sugar if necessary. Try not to let
the frosting be too wet or it will not set properly. Add 1 drop of food coloring and mix well.
Repeat for all other colors desired.

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