Saturday, July 4, 2009

gluten free "sugar" cookies

You've perhaps noticed that I haven't been posting very regularly lately. I'm going to blame it on summer. My preference over the past couple of weeks has been to spend my free time in the sunshine, rather than in front of the computer. Can you blame me? This means my 'to post' pile has been growing steadily over the past couple of weeks. This morning, I was flipping through the notebook in which I take notes on recipes, deciding which to post today. I chose this one because the star-shaped cookies seemed appropriate to celebrate today's Independence Day holiday.

When Marika and I have our weekly Bachelorette nights, one of our staples are Gianna's cookies. They are packaged sugar cookies that come in a variety of shapes (sharks, strawberries, footballs) and are sold at the local Mollie Stone's grocery. They are butter, sugary, and delicious. And they're made with white flour, white sugar, and probably a host of other non-nutritive items that I'm trying to avoid. So I set out to makeover Gianna's cookies into a replacement treat for our weekly get together.

I started with a sugar cookie recipe in one of my cookbooks and started substituting things. The resulting cookies turned out really tasty. The big differences between these cookies and your standard sugar cookies is the omission of gluten and refined sugar. Here's what I did:

Gluten Free "Sugar" Cookies

1 1/2 c. gluten-free baking flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 c. oat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 c. agave
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

2 Tbsp. cream cheese (I used vegan cream cheese, which worked well)
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. raw sugar (optional)

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, cream butter together with agave nectar. Add vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix well. Add additional flour if needed.

Form dough into a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove dough from fridge. Sprinkle counter with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/4-1/2" thickness. Use cookie cutter to cut shapes from the dough and place on cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until golden. Remove and allow to cool completely on wire rack.

Whisk cream cheese and maple syrup together in a small bowl until totally combined and smooth. Frost cookies. If desired, sprinkle with raw sugar.

Have a safe and happy fourth!

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