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I love to bake. LOVE to bake. Every year I make dozens and dozens of cookies – sometimes as many as 10 different kinds. When we started cooking gluten and dairy free several years ago, I mourned the loss of “regular” cookies with bright holiday red dye.
If you’ve followed our journey, you know that the most gains we ever saw – in sleep, behavior and eye contact – happened when we started to eat more whole foods – the kind without dyes, chemicals, gluten or dairy.
My mission was to find two or three kinds of really good GFDF cookies that our daughter could have – and this recipe made the cut. I love it because it makes about 2 dozen, which is a perfect amount for the holiday season. My daughter looks forward to these every year.
I also make the sprinkles, using organic sugar and India Tree natural food colors. The colors are a bit more muted than traditional holiday dyes, but they taste delicious, and I rest easy knowing what the ingredients are.
6 TBSP of a non-dairy baking stick (we like Earth Balance)
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg (lightly beaten)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour (make sure it’s the kind with a binder, like xantham gum)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
11/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 TBSP of a non-dairy baking stick
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or another flavor like peppermint or anise, if desired)
Water or dairy-milk substitute
1 cup of granulated sugar
India Tree natural food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking pans with parchment paper; set aside.
Cream the baking stick and sugar together until well combined. Add in egg and vanilla; cream together.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and combine well. (It will be a bit sticky; if you think it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour – but not too much as it will make it tough)
Form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Sprinkle flour onto a suitable surface, place the disk of dough on it and sprinkle a bit of flour on top. Roll the dough out to about a 1/4 inch thickness. (Because the dough can be a bit sticky – I sometimes lay the plastic wrap on top and roll over it)
Cut dough into shapes. Place cookies 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes (it will depend on the size and thickness of your cookies). I find that GF flour doesn’t brown as much as ‘regular’ flour, but these will get lightly brown around the edges.
Allow to cool completely before frosting and sprinkling colored sugar.
Mix powdered sugar, baking stick and vanilla until well combined. Add liquid 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency.
Prepare colored sugar
Place 3 TBSP of (granulated) sugar into a bowl. Add food coloring, 2 drops at a time and mix until desired color. Can be stored in an air-tight container.