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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