Making cookies for distraction and gift giving.
So with the holidays nearly here and me baking up a storm I haven't actually had time to write in my blogs about what I'm making since my first 2 recipes. I've been running around getting things done and looking after the girls and spending evenings thinking about what else to bake/make for the holidays. A few nights this week I had every intention of finishing up my baking but the darn couch figured out how to comfortably attach itself to my padded behind. But I am FINALLY finished baking these silly cookies. I could have said that a few days ago but my dear sweet hubby decided to eat some of the cookies that were meant for gifts so I had to make more. Then I had to keep the kids busy yesterday so we made even more cookies (the sugar cookies from an earlier blog).
I have always LOVED gingerbread cookies and was seriously afraid of not having any this year - being my first year as an official Celiac lifer - I searched for weeks to find a recipe. I found recipes for gingerbread cakes, muffins and bread but no cookies! How is that possible?!?! The I found a recipe to try. The cookie was good but seriously lacking in the gingery gingerbread gusto that I so love. SO I did what any baker worth their weight in rice flour would do... I faked it. I spiced it up a couple of notches and made them just right for me.
I must admit that it took a few attempts to get it "perfect" and this could be too strongly flavoured for some of you but if you like things spicy then follow the recipe as I have it below. (My hubby and I had to taste test several dozen cookies before getting it right - no way we're losing weight this holiday season - oh well). I love the gingery, spicy flavour so I had to add more spice to the recipe I found... Seems like I'm always adding more spice to recipes though. Being a newly diagnosed Celiac I am still trying to find the best replacement flours but I think I found on mixture that works really well for these cookies and other recipes.
A very simple gluten free, flour/starch combination only...
4.5c white rice flour
2c potato starch -NOT flour
1.5c brown rice flour
1c tapioca flour/starch
Sift it together a couple of times to mix it well.
It makes.... add it up people.... 9 cups of flour.
Store it in a tightly closed container. Put it in the fridge or freezer if you won't use it up within 1-2 weeks.
The recipe for the gingerbread cookies has been published on Recipezaar http://www.recipezaar.com/gluten-free-gingerbread-cookies-404573 but for those who'd rather not have to navigate away from my blog here it is.
2c gluten free flour (mixture as above or any one you have but make sure it it is flours and starches only no baking powder or soda etc)
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1 1/2 - 2tsp cinnamon
2tsp ground ginger
1/2 - 1tsp ground cloves
1/2-1tsp ground nutmeg
1tsp xanthan gum
pinch of salt
1/3c fancy (unsulfered) molasses
1/2c (dark) brown sugar
Bring all ingredients to room temperature before using.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Then add the rest of the WET ingredients. Mix together until completely combined.
In a separate bowl mix together all of the DRY ingredients and sift well a couple of times.
Add the DRY ingredients to the WET a little at a time until completely combined. Make into a ball.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Remove from the fridge and knead on a floured surface.
Roll out to 1/4 inch (5mm) thick and cut using your favourite cookie cutters. Yield depends on the size of your cookie cutters.
Bake at 350F (pre-heated) for 15-17 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then remove to cooling rack. They may be quite fragile if they were rolled too thin and therefore over cooked a bit... but they'll still taste yummy.
Let them cool completely before icing with your favourite hard setting frosting. I use royal icing made with meringue powder.
The pictures are of the cookies after my girls decorated them. I have included both the sugar cookies (from my earlier blog) and gingerbread cookies. I was trying desperately to keep the girls entertain as I had been out late the night before and needed to keep myself moving and them distracted. Se we made more sugar cookies and then decorated all of the gingerbread and sugar cookies. It was certainly a good way to keep them and me busy for upwards of 3 hours (with clean up and baking/cooling breaks worked in). It was also a good lesson in giving up control for me as I let the girls make and cut out the sugar cookies any way they wanted to. The dough is so easy to handle and doesn't toughen up with repeated rollings so I could let them make whatever they want where ever they wanted on the dough. They had a blast and I LOVED watching them play with their food. The icing on their noses was priceless.