Holiday Baking: Two Butter Cookies from One Gluten-free Dough

sprinkle cookies and almond cookies, gluten-free

You probably associate special foods with the holiday season, and these memories can be powerful. What happens when dietary restrictions interfere with tradition? Well, we try to find good substitutes; and therein lies the rub!

My sister has been following a gluten-free diet for several years. I like to try out recipes that accommodate her and still are palatable to everyone else. Sometimes I’m successful, and sometimes not so much.

Working with gluten-free flours can be tricky, and adjustments must be made.  I was looking for a butter cookie dough that would taste like the cut-out cookies we made every year at Christmas. Some of my attempts were too chalky tasting (too much gluten-free all-purpose baking mix), while others couldn’t retain any shape (too much butter).

I found a happy medium with the following dough. The cut-out cookies still spread on the pan, so I decided to roll them in the sanding sugar rather than use cookie cutters. It worked, and they taste great!

Then, I added shredded coconut to the dough, figuring that it would add some bulk. I just kneaded the coconut into the same dough to make the almond coconut hedgehog cookies. Two delicious butter cookies from one dough – gluten-free. It’s a Christmas miracle!

gluten-free butter cookies rolled in sugar, and sliced almonds

Holiday Butter Cookies (Gluten-free)

Ingredients:

1/2 c. butter, softened

3/4 c. sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. all-purpose gluten-free baking mix

3/4 c. almond flour

Method:

Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment.

Beat butter and sugar together in mixer until fluffy.

Beat in egg and vanilla.

Sift in dry ingredients.

After mixing the dough, knead to form a soft ball.  Chill the dough for easier handling.

Form the dough into one inch balls and roll in sanding sugar (I like the larger size crystals).

red and white sanding sugar mixed together in bowl.
Mix large crystal red and white sanding sugar for a festive look.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake until bottoms are lightly browned, 10-15 minutes.

Cool on parchment. To keep cookies fresh, store in tins, or freeze. Makes about 3 dozen.

 

gluten-free cutter cookies rolled in sliced almonds

 

Coconut Almond Hedgehog Cookies (Gluten-free)

Ingredients:

Same as above, plus

1/2 c. shredded coconut

1/2 c. sliced almonds

Method:

Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment.

After mixing the Holiday Butter Cookie dough (above), add 1/2 c. shredded coconut and knead to form a soft ball.  You can chill the dough for easier handling, or just proceed with the recipe.

Form the dough into one inch balls and roll in sliced almonds. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake until bottoms are lightly browned, 10-15 minutes.

Cool on parchment. To keep cookies fresh, store in tins, or freeze.

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TeamFar Baking Sheet, stainless steel professional, non toxic, rust-free, dishwasher safe, $16.98, Amazon

Reynolds cookie baking sheets, pre-cut parchment paper, 22 ct., $2.94, Amazon

Chunky sugar crystals, Sweets & Treats Boutique, $6.00, Amazon

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