I have been using the gluten version of this recipe for years to make spritz cookies, which are probably my favorite Christmas cookie, next to Santa’s Whiskers. Last year, I bypassed this one because I didn’t really know how to play with the various gluten-free flours yet.
That was last year. This is now.
In October, Ferrara Pan’s Red Hots were gluten free. So I picked some up back then with the plan to make these cookies. They may still be – I don’t know. I wasn’t taking any chances.
Also, you can certainly purchase colored sugar – but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper (and safer – what the heck is the “wax” that’s on the labeling of every package? Why does sugar need WAX?) to make your own. An added bonus is you can make only as much as you need. Just put a scoop of white sugar in a bowl, add food coloring, and stir (add more coloring to get your desired depth of color). Spread out on a plate to dry and you’ve got colored sugar to decorate your cookies with.
These cookies are very tender and buttery with a hint of sweetness and a kick (the red hot) at the end. If you have patience (I don’t), you can press the dough through a cookie press. I started out that way but the press mysteriously grew wings and flew when the dough wouldn’t stick to the cookie sheet.
Christmasy Butter Cookies
GF’d from the Vault
1 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Green decorating sugar
Red hot candies
In a medium bowl, sift together the white rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, sweet rice flour, baking powder and xanthan gum. Set aside.
In a mixer, combine the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the egg. Mix well. With the mixer on low (unless you like the ambience of flour on your walls and cabinets), add the flour mixture by spoonfuls until well combined. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge. Have a couple of nonstick cookie trays handy (ah…the reason for the dough not sticking with the press. Duh.). If you are using a press, now’s the time and heaven help you.
For the rest of us, scoop small amounts of dough and roll into 3/4″ balls. Place the balls about 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie tray. When you have filled the tray, use the pads of your fingers to gently press down the top of each ball so it’s flat and the cookie is about 1/2″ thick.
Sprinkle each cookie with green decorating sugar and place a red hot smack-dab in the middle. Bake for 8 minutes or until the cookies are just barely beginning to brown.
Makes 52 cookies.