And, here we are at the ‘last’ Gluten Free Cookie for the Christmas season. This is a great dough that is loosely based on the Aunt Chick’s sugar cookie dough recipe. The flavor of the dough itself is enhanced by not only using pure vanilla extract, but it also includes almond extract. Sounds so simple, but it elevates the flavor of this to a new level.
Most of you are probably too young to remember this, but the recipe was included with a beautiful set of plastic cookie cutters – a Santa, Star, Christmas Stocking and a Reindeer. If you google these, you’ll see the most detailed, beautifully decorated cookies ever. And as I’ve mentioned before, I learned baking and decorating at an early age from my mother. She would make each of these with all the different colored sugars and royal icing and patiently spend countless hours decorating 100’s of cookies. And, when I have time (haha), I love to do this too.
But, this Christmas season, I chose to do a simple reindeer, but you need a bell cookie cutter to make that design believable. Where, oh where, is that bell cookie cutter? Missing in action. So…on to plan B. Everyone has a circle cutter, right? Circle it is. And, these are the two designs for 2015 – a ‘sort-of’ Santa and Snowman. And, of course, you don’t even need to go to this effort to enjoy this cookie. How about a simple buttercream icing and some of those cute Christmas confetti or Christmas colored sprinkles right on top.
Don’t limit yourself by only using this dough for sugar cookies. This gluten free cookie dough is my go to to make tart shells – things like mini key lime tarts, lemon curd tarts, pear frangipane, Cucidati, etc. etc.
Let’s get started…
Here’s a picture of what the dough looks like when rolled out.
Once the cookies are baked and cooled completely, it’s time to decorate. To make the Santas and Snowmen, you’ll need to make royal icing recipe here for a nice smooth icing that dries hard. This allows you to pack them up without ruining the decoration. This recipe makes 2 cups of icing.
For the snowmen, you’ll need the following colors of icing: White (about 1 and 1/4 cup), Black (about 1/2 cup) and Orange (about 1/4 cup) (of course, red plus yellow makes orange).
For Santa, you’ll need the following icing colors: Red (about 1 and 1/4 cup), Black (about 1/2 cup) and White (about 1/4 cup).
It sure helps if you have a pastry bag. I like disposables but, if you don’t have that,a small ziploc with a small hole cut out at the bottom would work.
For the detail, here are the tips you can use: #3, 4, or 5 Wilton tip would work for all.
To get red, it takes a lot of color. I like to use Wilton gel colors. This one is called Red-Red. There is no after-taste and it doesn’t dilute the icing like a liquid color does. You want to be able to control the consistency of the icing with water, not color. You’ll need one batch of royal icing, divided, for 44 cookies.
After you color the icing (which is the hard part), you want to start by piping a circle of icing around the cookie.
You may need to thin out the icing to fill in. Add 1/2 teaspoon water to 1/4 cup of icing adding just a few drops at a time until you get it to the consistency you want. The correct consistency is when a small amount dropped back into the icing takes a count of ten to disappear. While you’re working with the icing, be sure to cover it with a dampened paper towel so the icing doesn’t crust over. It happens quickly when exposed to the air.
After icing with the piping around the cookie and filling in, wait until the icing has dried a bit before adding the finishing details. The Santa gets a black belt – straight swipe of icing across the ‘belly.’ And, draw a white square in the middle of the belt to represent the buckle.
The snowman needs black dots for eyes and the mouth. The orange ‘carrot’ shaped nose is accomplished by holding the pastry bag at a 90 degree angle and, while lightly squeezing the bag, move your hand to the right and release before lifting.
It takes about 24 hours for the cookies to dry completely. They can be wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 6 months for longer storage.
A very Merry Christmas to you all!