So GoodDec/Jan 2014 Issue

Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies

These festive treats—all of them gluten-free—will make your season bright.

[Updated May 15, 2015]

These cookies are sure to be a big hit at your place. With simple-to-follow instructions and delicious results, they’re a great way to start a baking tradition that’s fun and safe for everyone in your household and on your guest list.

If you’re new to baking cookies with alternative ingredients, these recipes are a great place to start. Here are some tips for success.

■ Read through your recipe carefully before you start baking.

■ Bring all ingredients to room temperature unless otherwise indicated in your recipe.

■ Gluten-free cookie dough can be sticky. Chill the dough in the refrigerator before rolling it out between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper. If necessary, chill the cut-outs before transferring them to your cookie sheet.

■ Check your oven temperature with a baking thermometer. Oven temps can vary, impacting baking times.

■ Don’t peek. Opening the oven door while your cookies are baking risks deflating them.

■ Wait for your cookies to cool before touching them. Gluten-free cookies tend to crumble if handled when hot.

These cookies will bring comfort and joy—plus, plenty of good taste!—to your holiday celebrations.

Photo by Cara Reed

Photo by Cara Reed

Christmas Lights Cut-Out Cookies

MAKES 2 TO 3 DOZEN COOKIES

These shortbread cookies are an easy substitute for traditional roll-out sugar cookies. They have buttery flavor and a nice crispy crunch. Plus, they’re fun to decorate. Make these festive “lights” or use your favorite cookie cutter shape.

1½ cups butter or dairy-free alternative, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 cups brown rice flour
1¼ cups sorghum flour
½ cup potato starch (not potato flour) ½ cup arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
-White Icing
-Gluten-free decorative sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in orange zest.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, arrowroot starch and xanthan gum.

4. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter and sugar mixture to form a dough.

5. Between 2 pieces of parchment paper, roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness. If dough sticks to the paper, lightly flour both sides of the dough and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before trying again.

6. Using a 3½- to 4-inch Christmas light cookie cutter, cut dough into cookies and transfer to prepared baking sheet. If cut-outs are too sticky or soft to transfer, chill them for 5 minutes and try again. Gather scraps together and cut more cookies until all dough is used.

7. Place cookies in preheated oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes or until done. (Baking time will vary depending on the size of your cookies.)

8. Take cookies from the oven and cool on the cookie sheet for 1 minute before removing.

9. Decorate with White Icing and gluten-free sprinkles when cookies are completely cool.

Each cookie contains 141 calories, 8g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 20mg cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 6g sugars, 1g protein, 11Est GL

TIP Cookie cutters shaped like Christmas lights (3½ to 4 inches in size) are available online at amazon.com.


Photo by Cara Reed

Photo by Cara Reed

Rudolph Cookie Pops, Gluten-Free

MAKES 12 POPS

Start a tradition. These cute no-bake wonders are a simple way to make fun holiday treats. Kids love to participate in the easy assembly. See our Shopping List (left) for gluten-free, allergy-friendly ingredients.

1½ cups sunflower seed butter or peanut butter
¾ cup powdered sugar
24 gluten-free mini cookies, divided
1 recipe White Icing
24 mini chocolate chips
12 pieces gluten-free small red candy of choice
24 gluten-free mini pretzels
12 popsicle sticks

1. In a medium bowl, mix sunflower seed butter and powdered sugar until well combined.

2. Place 1 teaspoon sunflower seed butter mixture on one side of 12 cookies. Set 2 mini pretzels side by side on top of each for “antlers.”

3. Place another teaspoon of sunflower seed butter mixture on the other 12 cookies and sandwich cookies together in pairs.

4. Gently place a popsicle stick into each cookie sandwich. Freeze cookies 10 to 15 minutes.

5. To make “eyes,” place 2 small dabs of White Icing on each cookie “face.” Top each dab with a mini chocolate chip. To make the “nose,” place a red candy on each “face,” using a dab of White Icing to glue it in place.

6. Return cookies to the freezer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to set.

Each pop contains 297 calories, 19g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 188mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 13g sugars, 8g protein, 12Est GL.

Photo by Cara Reed

Photo by Cara Reed

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men

MAKES 2 TO 3 DOZEN

Here’s the essential holiday cookie. The wonderful aroma that fills your kitchen while they’re baking is reason enough to make them. This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

½ cup butter or dairy-free alternative, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 egg
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
½ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
½ cup arrowroot starch
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until fluffy and light. Add molasses and egg and beat until thoroughly combined.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, arrowroot starch, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.

3. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture to form a dough.

4. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill in the refrigerator about 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper into 1/8- to ¼-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut dough into gingerbread men. Pick up cookies with a metal spatula and transfer them to prepared baking sheet. If cut-outs are too sticky or soft to transfer, chill them for 5 minutes and try again. Gather scraps together and continue cutting cookies until all dough is used.

7. Place cookies in preheated oven and bake 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute before removing.

8. Decorate with White Icing and gluten-free decorative sprinkles, if desired.

Each cookie contains 94 calories, 3g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 13mg cholesterol, 89mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 6g sugars, 1g protein, 10Est GL.

For Egg-Free Gingerbread Men, omit 1 egg. Mix 1 tablespoon flax meal with 2 tablespoons hot water. Add to recipe in step 1 to replace 1 egg.


Photo by Cara Reed

Photo by Cara Reed

Chocolate Snowball Cookies, Gluten-Free

MAKES 2 DOZEN

These ooey, gooey cookies are like little chocolate cakes. So delicious, they won’t last long. This recipe can be made with egg replacement.

½ cup brown rice flour½ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
¼ cup arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter or dairy-free alternative, softened
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips, optional
½ cup powdered sugar

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, arrowroot starch, baking powder and salt.

2. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Add cocoa powder and egg and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla.

3. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mixing until ingredients are combined and form a dough. Fold in chocolate chips, if using.

4. Place dough in the refrigerator and chill 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

6. Place powdered sugar into a shallow bowl.

7. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Scoop dough out by 1 tablespoon-size pieces and form each piece into a ball. Roll balls in powdered sugar to coat completely. Transfer to prepared cookie sheet.

8. Place cookies in preheated oven and bake 13 to 15 minutes until done. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet before removing.

Each cookie contains 117 calories, 4g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 19mg cholesterol, 82mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 11g sugars, 1g protein, 12Est GL.

For Egg-Free Chocolate Snowball Cookies, omit 1 egg. Mix 1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer powder with 4 tablespoons water. Add this mixture in step 2 to replace 1 e gg.


White Icing 

MAKES ½ CUP

This simple recipe doubles as “glue” so that sprinkles and other decorative add-ons adhere to cookies.

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon water, more as needed

1. Combine sugar and water, stirring into a thick paste. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to adjust “glue” to desired consistency.

Each tablespoon contains 29 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 7g sugars, 0g protein, 5Est GL.

Food blogger Cara Reed (forkandbeans.com) specializes in creative ways to bake without gluten, dairy and eggs. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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