Christmas-time is here! Happiness and…cookies.
I don’t know what it is, but I have the Christmas bug bad this year. As soon as Thanksgiving was over, I was ready to whip out my Christmas playlist and deck the halls. It’s my third Christmas in NYC this year and the second Christmas in my Peter Cooper apartment with my dog and I think I’m just having the urge to nest. So, to satisfy these Christmas-y nesting urges, I have a to do list this holiday season. It is:
- Get advent calendar and take turns opening it and eating the chocolate hiding beneath the flaps
- Get tree and decorate it
- Go to the Union Square Holiday Market and browse
- Make roll-out cookies and decorate said cookies
- Blast Christmas music and sing along
- Have a pre-Christmas apartment Christmas party with holiday foods and desserts and wine
This past weekend, I completed #1,2 and 4. #2 was slightly stressful due to the OUTRAGEOUSLY overpriced trees that is the norm here in Manhattan. I don’t want to talk about how much we dropped to get a 4 footer. #4 was really important to me. I needed to make these cookies to prove to myself that being GF during the holidays is doable and delicious too. I didn’t want to make the dough myself because I’m a baby, so instead I bought the Gluten Free Pantry cake and cookie mix. I’ve had previously successful experiences with it as a drop cookie because it tastes completely gluten-filled and non-xanthan gumm-y. But, turning this mix into a roll-out cookie dough was not as easy as I thought and I had to enlist the help of my cookie baker friend extraordinaire, Caitlyn.
So, here’s the very delicious, but very tempermental recipe for roll-out sugar cookies.
1 package of Gluten Free Pantry cake and cookie mix
1 stick (8 tbs) softened, not melted, butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 rolling pin
Rice flour for sprinkling and coating the pin and counters
1/2 box of confectioners sugar
Mix your softened butter until fluffy in a large mixing bowl, and then add the mix. Combine it well before adding the two eggs. Then add the vanilla. Here’s your basic dough. If you were making drop cookies, all you’d need to do now and grab a cookies sheet and go. However, you’re not. Once the dough is completely mixed, form it into a ball, cover it and put it in the freezer for an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 and cover a easy to clean surface like your counter-tops with some bland gf flour (I used rice flour) Take your frozen dough out of the freezer and let it thaw just enough to be able to handle and start rolling out. Roll to about 1/4 thick. Grease a pan/cookie sheet with some oil and then lay parchment paper over it- the oil helps it stick. Grease the parchment paper.
The following may seem tedious, but we found after 1 botched batch of cookies, the best way to transfer the cookies to the pan and from the pan to a cooling rack, so please follow this carefully. Using a cookie cutter, “cut” your first shape, then without removing the cutter, take a spatula and carefully lift it onto the pan. Repeat until one pan is full. This expand a lot, so don’t crowd the pan. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes and while the cookies are baking, put the rest of the dough back in the freezer to keep hard; this dough softens quickly. When the cookies are done, let them cool 1-2 minutes on the pan and then remove them very carefully (we used a knife, not a spatula) and place on a rack/plate to cool completely. If you repeat this careful procedure with every batch, you should be fine.
While your cookies are cooling, prepare the icing for decorating. I made a simple confectioners sugar/milk glaze. Just add 1/2 box or more of confectioners sugar to a mixing bowl and add milk until your desired consistency is reached. Don’t let it get too liquidy or it will be hard to decorate with. Then separate your icing into different containers and add food coloring as desired. When your cookies are cooled completely, decorate away!