Wednesday, December 19, 2012

gluten-free christmas cookies - almond, orange, clove

gluten-free christmas cookies

For me, Christmas cheer means cookies, and I'm not about to leave my gluten-free friends out in the cold. With bright orange, warm clove, and sweet almond, these got the ultimate thumbs-up -- total (joyful) annihilation -- on tree-trimming day.

A basic, chewy snickerdoodle recipe is a lovely start for cookies with no wheat flour -- it's forgiving as ol' St. Nick himself. (Let's hope Krampus isn't around.) If you have a preferred flour other than rice or coconut (even wheat), it'll probably work -- just keep the total flour input at 1 and 1/3 cups.

Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup almond flour (store-bought or home-ground -- grind first, then measure)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar (if you don't have this, omit the baking soda and use 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder to substitute for both)
1 orange worth of zest (~1 tbsp)
scant 1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt

8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tbsp fresh orange juice


METHOD

Set our your egg and butter and get out your nonstick baking sheets -- or prep regular ol' ones with parchment paper, a baking mat, or a good coating of butter and a tapped-even sprinkle of flour. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Measure your dry ingredients (zest, almond meal, coconut flour, rice flour, salt, and leavening agent/s) into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

In a larger bowl, add your butter and sugar. Using an electric beater on medium speed, cream them together for 2 minutes. Add your egg and orange juice and beat for another minute to incorporate them evenly.

Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix by hand to combine. It'll be fairly wet and sticky. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each to allow for spreading.

Bake for 8-10 minutes -- check 'em at 8. When they're done, they'll be golden around the edges and will look dry on top. Also, they'll be more springy than mushy if you poke the top with a finger.

Leave 'em on the baking sheets for a couple minutes to firm up, then remove them to a wire rack until they're cool enough to eat. Or store, I guess. These keep in a sealed container for two or three days, though they'll lose some of their crisp. Try layers of parchment paper between the cookies to preserve crispness.

If you'd like to make the dough ahead, you could seal it up and refrigerate it for up to a week or freeze it for up to 3 months, then bake on demand.

gluten-free christmas cookies

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