Monthly Archives: December 2019

Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies: Christmas/Holidays

The cookies shown are made with cookie stamps, but cookie stamps are not necessary in order to make these cookies. By simply pressing them in with a thumbprint, crisscrossed with fork tines, pressed flat with the bottom of a glass or any other creative way you can come up with to flatten them from balls  to disks will work. Look around for any textured glassware as a potential  pressed pattern, such as some of mine:

The recipe below is a variation of some which were in a leaflet that came with a cookie stamp. If you are not familiar with cookie stamps, they are generally made of ceramic with terra cotta with imprints on the bottom. The idea is to impress an image into individual cookies.

 

They are so darling, I could have collected a number of them, but I have limited myself to these, since good recipes are not easy to come by:

The biggest problem with cookie stamps is that most cookie recipes call for leavening, (generally baking powder and/or baking soda), and that causes the stamped images to become distorted.

As it is, even with the recipe below, the images are still not terribly clear, which is why I happened on the idea of ‘painting’ them.  Add powdered or paste colors to heavy cream as liquid colors make the ‘paint’ too thin.(Make the white more easily seen by adding white coloring or icing whitener.)
Use good, fine-point synthetic paintbrushes which can be sterilized, one for each color. Brush scantily along the risen images, just enough to bring the patterns out, and allow plenty of time for the cookies to dry thoroughly before putting them in any covered container or having them touch.

If you prefer to not use stamps, you may decorate with sprinkles, jimmies, peanuts or nuts.

(The most effective way to use the stamps, (or any utensil you wish to use), without  them sticking to the dough, is to lightly brush them with a bland vegetable oil or to use a vegetable oil cooking spray after pressing every 2-3 cookies.)

Flavorful Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

1  1/4  cups smooth peanut butter
(homogenized or well-stirred natural peanut butter; do not use “chunky” style)

1 cup white sugar or equivalent sugar,
-or-
3/4 cups brown or palm sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Beat the peanut butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the egg and beat until quite light. Add the extract and mix well.
The texture may not appear to be smooth, but roll dough by hand into glossy, uniform balls,  3/4 -to-1  inches in diameter. Place on ungreased baking sheets and stamp, press with a fork or glassware to a 1/8 inch depths. (At this point, if you are using decorations or nuts, add now.) Bake at 325F for approximately 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Do not overbake. Allow to cool completely before  ‘painting’. Dry thoroughly  and place in airtight container.

 

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GOOD, and Easy Gluten-Free Christmas/Holiday Cookies

Looking for really nice and gluten-free cookies for the holidays?  Here are two recipes that will impress even those who don’t need to go GF.

Of course, other than cookies, there are other gluten-free offerings which I will be serving, among them, quinoa-based dressing, rice pudding, cranberry relish and chiffon, (recipes in previous posts).

In a hurry, I decided that I could cheat by rising the temperature; unfortunately, that was a mistake, as they browned a little more than they should have. Leaving them in the oven for longer at lower temperatures will give you an even nicer presentation, however, depending on the sugars used, the colors could be darker, but none of these affect the flavors.

Both recipes are easy and need no prior refrigeration, rolling, cutting or icing/decorating afterward. A few sprinkles, jimmies, dates or nuts on top before baking is all that is needed to  make them a little fancier.

Also, both recipes feature dates. You may wish to experiment with well-drained maraschino cherries, Crasins in your favorite flavor or other dried fruits, feel free to do so. (I will be!)

Also, going with margarine in the second recipe makes both  dairy-free.

 

Walnut-Date Meringues

Whites of two large eggs

1/2 cup sugar, (white, coconut, date, combination or equal in stevia baking mix)

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped dates

Assorted sprinkles, (if using)
or extra dates or walnuts for decoration

Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar(s) and vanilla slowly and mix until the egg whites are solid white but not dry.
Fold in (or gently mix by hand) the nuts and dates.

Drop by small spoonfuls onto liberally greased baking sheets,(or use baking spray).

Decorate with sprinkles or extra nuts/dates.

Bake slowly in a 290F oven for about  2 ½ hours; (check after 2). You want them to be quite dry. Remove to rack gently and allow to cool completely. Place in airtight container.

 

Pineapple, Pecan and Date  Drop Cookies

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup light brown sugar,(or date or coconut sugar)

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla or natural butter flavor
or  2 tsp brandy

½ tsp cinnamon (optional)

1 ½   cup chopped pecans

1  ¼ cup chopped dates (or other semi-dry fruit)

1  – 15 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, well-drained

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

2 cups or equivalent of gluten-free flour, (I used 1 full cup quinoa flour and 1 scant cup banana flour)

Beat the butter or margarine, sugar(s) and eggs until light. Add the flavoring, baking powder and baking soda; beat well.
Add the pineapple, dates and pecans, beat on low or mix well by hand.
Beat in the flour(s).

Note: Quinoa, chickpea and some other flours have strong flavors of their own, which is why I mixed them in this recipe. Flavoring is essential, and a little cinnamon is very helpful in disguising the flavor of the flours.)

Let sit for 5 minutes.

Drop by small spoonfuls onto  baking sheets  which are greased or lined with baking parchment. Flatten slightly.

Sprinkle with jimmies, colored decorator sugars, extra nuts, dates or pieces of fruit used.

Bake in a 300F oven for 1 hour (or longer). The dough is wet and you want these cookies to dry out in the low heat of the oven, browned on the bottom and not soft. They may appear tough, or overly dry when cooled,  but will soften when placed in an air-tight container. As with tea breads and other baked goods with fruit, these taste even better after the flavors develop in a day or two.

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season, whatever you choose to celebrate and a wonderful 2020!