Can you believe we are already to Day 10 of our 12 Days of Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies, being hosted by Maggie, of She Let Them Eat Cake? This event is flying by…with some amazing recipes so far (links to the recipes from the entire event are at the end of this post)! And we still have two more days to go. YAY!
Okay, quick! Think back to one of your favorite childhood holiday memories. Now make note of that memory. You will be quizzed on it later.
Although I have so many favorites, the first memories that come to my mind must have stood out the most. I remember…
Holiday caroling with my Mother’s Master Singers group through our San Francisco neighborhoods.
Parties at our house with copious amounts of food. Laughter. More singing. And did I mention the food?
Christmas programs with the Sunday School at church. My Mom directed most of them.
And cookies. More cookies than you can imagine.
I have vivid images of freshly baked cookies cooling on racks on the counter and cluttering every kitchen surface with their delectable temptings as my Mom prepared to package them up for family and friends.
And now…shockingly , I have become more like my mother than I ever thought. My own counters are spilling over with cookies as we get ready to share with our neighbors and friends this holiday season.
What I find to be even more humorous is that my own boys have figured out the art of cookie thievery that my sister and I mastered 30 plus years ago. I can turn my back for no less than a moment and discover this….
So today, for Day 10 of our 12 Days of Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies Event, I want to share my gluten-free adaption of one of my Mom’s holiday staples.
Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Icebox Shortbreads.
These were a mainstay in our cookie jar growing up and I think they are also the reason that my husband married me. He was keen on the fact that this union would also mean an unlimited supply of these cookies. Prior to going gluten-free, he was absolutely addicted to them. He could clear off a plate of these in a blink. And finally, this year, I decided that I would surprise him and try to re-create them to be gluten-free. I am not sure that he has quite given me the approval that they are as good as my mother’s gluten filled version, but we have all agreed unanimously that they are pretty darn stinkin’ good.
I actually have two methods of baking these, both using the same recipe, and both giving two totally different results.
One involves rolling them into logs, chilling for a few hours, then slicing into the rounds. This method produces the cookies that my husband so adores.
The other involves pressing the dough into a cake pan and baking, then turning onto a cutting board and slicing into 12 triangles. This method produces a very crunchy cookie that is PERFECT for dipping in coffee or hot cocoa.
Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Icebox Shortbreads
Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, and adaptable to be Dairy-Free and Nut-free
1/2 Cup Superfine Brown Rice Flour (I like Authentic Foods)
1/4 cup Almond Flour, such as Honeyville or Digestive Wellness (For Nut-Free: use Certified Gluten-Free Oat Flour)
1/4 cup Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Arrowroot Starch
1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened – Room Temperature (For Dairy-Free: use 3 Tbsp organic Spectrum Shortening with 3 Tbsp Earth Balanced Vegan Buttery Stick, softened)
1/3 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Grade B Maple Syrup, preferably organic
1. In medium bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, almond flour, cornstarch, arrowroot starch, xanthan gum, and cinnamon. Continue whisking until mixture is well combined and feels light.
2. In food processor, cream butter (or Dairy-Free alternative). Stop, scrape down sides, then add brown sugar. Cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Then add vanilla and maple syrup.
3. Slowly add in flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Scrape down sides once, then run food processor on medium speed until dough just starts to come together into a loose ball form. Remove from food processor.
4. Option 1 for Baking: Roll dough into 2 – 3 logs, 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours/up to overnight. Once chilled, unwrap dough and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place on cookie sheet, keeping spaced evenly, and bake in oven preheated to 325 degrees for 7-9 minutes. They will not look done but will firm up nicely as they cool. Let sit for 2 – 3 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool. This method should make about 60 cookies.
5. Chill the rest of the dough while each batch is cooking. You do not want the dough to warm up or they will spread.
6. Option 2 for Baking: Press dough into a 9 inch round cake pan that has the bottom only lined with parchment paper. Take fork and poke dough at least 20 times evenly all over the surface. Bake for 22-23 minutes in oven pre-heated to 325. Let cool for no more than 5 minutes, then carefully and gently turn cookie round onto cutting board (hold hand on cookie as flipping so that it does not thump onto board and break). Slice cookies while still warm into 12 even triangles, like the picture above at the top with the missing wedge.
So… from our family to yours, we wish you all a VERY….
Now, tell me the memory that you thought of at the very beginning of this post….I cannot wait to hear what it is. And while you are busy trying to come up with your answer, feel free to peruse the other cookie recipes from this event so far:
Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free’s Pistachio-Cranberry Biscotti
Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom’s Dairy-Free Fudge
Gluten-Free Life With Jen’s Chocolate Peppermint Wafer Cookies
The Mommy Bowl’s Peanut Butter Peck Cookies
She Let Them Eat Cake’s Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Gingerbread
Cook It Allergy Free’s Maple Spice Cookies
Adventures of A Gluten-Free Mom’s Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Carob Dipped Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Gluten Free Life with Jen’s Chocolate Cherry Oat Coconut Cookies