It’s the most wonderful time of the year. One of my favorite things, cookies. I was never the best baker. My cookies and their “amazing” decorations will show that hehe but I know good food and these are good, really good. I served some at Thanksgiving and no one, could tell they were gluten free, they kept saying how amazing they tasted. These are based on a recipe from Cup 4 Cup. Their “Spooky Witch Fingers” LINKED HERE with a few changes. Their recipe is amazing, it is so yummy! However, bloody witch fingers are not so “Christmas” I decided to try this as a cut out cookie recipe. I am so glad I did. They are perfect just as they are but even better when with a few little additions. Their recipe calls for almond slices for fingernails and jam on the ends to make them look a bit like the are bleeding. Since bleeding doesn’t really say Christmas, I left both of them off. I also love vanilla, so I doubled the amount in their recipe. I also added cinnamon and nutmeg, not a lot but enough to give it that little something leaving your guest asking what was in that. Then I topped it with royal icing (I will include the recipe below, leaving the almonds and the jam off adding cinnamon and doubling the vanilla then topping with peppermint flavored royal icing)
I could go on and on instead here is the recipe.
Perfect Christmas Cutout Cookies Gluten free
Prep Time: Several hours but most of it is unattended
Cook Time: 15-18 minutes
Total Time: Several hours but most of it is unattended
Serves: 24 cookies*
2 cups (approx 280g) Cup4Cup flour** plus a little extra for rolling
1/2 tsp (1.5g) Baking powder
1/2 tsp (2g) Kosher salt
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg fresh grated
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
1 large egg at room temperature ***
2 tsp vanilla extract
Electric or stand mixer (unless you are developing Popeye arms)
Baking sheet lined with Parchment paper, silpat or a release agent
Baking rack (not required but recommended)
Rubber spatula or spoon
Various measuring devices
Bench scraper or spatula
Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl with a whisk or spoon and set aside.
In your mixing bowl, with a paddle attachment combine the butter and sugar. Your goal is to make it light and fluffy. It will be pale in color and if your butter isn’t quite cold enough it can take a while to happen but don’t give up. Scrape the bowl often. When it is so fluffy you think you are going to die, (which might be a shorter time if you are not using a mixer because, OMG, that would be painful) add the egg and vanilla, combine until smooth.
Now slowly, 1/4 (ish) at a time add the flour, mix, and repeat until it is all in there. Scrape it all out of the bowl into the middle of a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a disk with your hands. Wrap the plastic wrap around everything and put it in the fridge. It needs to stay in there at least a half hour but I have left it for a couple of days too (just let it sit a little longer when you pull it out).
Once it is chilled preheat your oven to 325º f (160º c) and remove your dough from the fridge. Then, break off about 1/3 of the dough and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness, making sure to use flour on your dough, rolling pin and cutters.
A trick I learned, don’t try and pick your cookies out of the dough instead remove the extra and use a bench scraper or spatula to move them to your lined cookie sheets.
These do not spread much so you can leave very little space between them on the baking sheet.
Bake until lightly golden brown on the edges usually between 15 and 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
Eat like this or top with your choice of topping. We used royal icing which is YUM and easy to make.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: covers 24 cookies
Powdered or confectioners sugar about 1 lb (I always buy the 2 lb bags and use what I need)
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Flavoring of your choice (optional)
Sprinkles colored sugar or food dye
Mixer with whisk attachment
Various measuring devices
Piping bag or zip top bags
Pour in about 3/4 of the sugar and add all 3 egg whites and cream of tartar, mix. When combined scrape down the sides and lift the spatula, if the mix comes off the spatula in ribbons it is too thin so add sugar a little at time mixing between until if sticks to the spatula without coming off. If it clumps then add water 1 tsp at a time until is the right consistency. Add your flavoring if you like. Most extracts will be need less that 1/8th tsp except vanilla, which will be 1 tsp. If you use peppermint add a few drops at a time tasting often it gets overwhelming fast. Also, if you are going to color the icing do it now, this part is up to your taste and the type of coloring you use.
Line the cup with one of the zip top bags opening it and folding it down the sides. Then divide the icing in half and place the 1st half in the zip top bag in the cup, zip it up and set it aside. This is the liner, you will use this to put a line around your cookies edge it keeps the next layer in place and ensures you get a flat icing that doesn’t run over the edge. The second half you need to thin, this is called the flooding layer, so you want to add water a teaspoon at a time until you get it back to the ribbon stage. Then line and fill the second Zip top bag.**** Line each cookie up (I placed mine on parchment paper) and edge each cookie by taking the thicker icing and running a thin line around each cookie, then using the thinner icing fill the centers. The edge icing keeps it from running but don’t over fill them. If it misses spots use a toothpick or icing spatula to work the icing into place. It might not look perfect at 1st but it will spread and flatten. If you want to add sprinkles now is the time to add it. Let the cookies set up until the icing is firm. How long this takes will depend on too many factors to tell. If you need to put them away before the icing is completely firm place them on a plate and cover them lightly, don’t stack them, they will stick together.
Serve and enjoy!
*(Depending on the size of your cookie cutter and your ability to refrain from eating them as you cook)
** Since the base recipe is from their site and honestly, I love their flour for baking, so this is what I used, however it should work for most cup for cup replacement flours.
*** If you forget to do this 5 minutes in a bowl of hot tap water will warm it perfectly.
**** There is probably a more efficient way to do this but like I said I am not great at this baking thing
Enjoy the mess we did!
DISCLAIMER C4C knows about and approved of the use of their link, however they didn’t pay me for the post and after I asked to post they offered to send me samples, when they arrive I will post and tell you what they sent.
UPDATE: Look what they sent!