Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Cookies

Every year at Christmas, my Mom made my favorite cookies.  The soft white ones cut into fun shapes with icing and sprinkles on top.  They were one of the first to go after she became a celiac.  Something about being the only one eating gluten free took the motivation out of experimenting for her.  I think now that there are two of us (albeit in different homes), we are both a little more eager to make our favorites again.  This year has been a big one for experimenting and trying new recipes.

My mantra with cooking and baking gluten free has been that food shouldn't just taste good, it should taste equally good.  It should taste so good that non-celiacs take a bite and remark "Those are gluten free?!?"  On the flip side, when I try a new recipe or convert an old one to gluten free, I still have a bit of cautious surprise.  By that I mean that when I bake something gluten free and it works the way it is supposed to, I'm so delighted that I'm hesitant to ever tweak the recipe.  Just because it works, doesn't mean it is the best that it could be.  But it worked!  My hesitancy in tweaking the recipe to aim for perfection is simply that it might not work the next time.  I've had a fair amount of success in baking gluten free thus far, which isn't always the case for someone new to the gluten free world.  That said, I am certainly not an expert.

Back to Christmas cookies.  I attended the Bethleham walk at West Edmonton Christian Assembly this year with my husband, and it was lovely as always.  At the end they always serve hot chocolate and cookies, and I simply assumed I couldn't have any.  To my surprise, they had little baggies of gluten free cookies waiting in case anyone needed!  Little moments like this make me smile.  I got in contact with the lady who baked them, and she gave me a hint for making gluten free cookies... soy flour.  She recommended taking my favorite non-gluten free recipes, and converting them using 1/4 soy flour, and 3/4 GF flour mix of my choice.  Here are the results:
Foreground: Shortbread cookies
Background: Sour Cream White Cookies

Sour Cream White Cookies - Grandma's Cookies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup lard or butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups GF flour: 
    • 1 1/2 cups soy flour
    • 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
    • 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour/starch
    • 3/4 cup sweet rice flour
    • 3/4 cup potato starch
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream together butter and sugar
  3. Add sour cream, and eggs
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together dry ingredients
  5. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk, mix just until blended.
  6. Drop by the teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • Milk or whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Blend all ingredients together, add more milk or icing sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Shortbread Cookies

  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch OR potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Blend icing sugar, butter and vanilla together
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients
  3. Add dry ingredients to butter and sugar mixture
  4. Drop by the teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown

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