Yesterday, I came up with a solution for the Christmas tree/The Gidge problem. I swung by the local dollar store on the way home, loaded up with cheap cinnamon and applesauce, and went home to make ornaments.
It’s actually pretty easy. You combine two 2.12 bottles of cinnamon with 1 cup of applesauce, mix into a dough, roll it out, and cut into shapes (poke holes in the tops using a straw in order to hang them later). Then you have to either let them dry for days, flipping several times a day, until they are dry all the way through, or you can do what I did, which was heat the oven to 250 degrees, throw them in there, and let them dry with some help. I tried the hang-out-and-dry method, but because of my allergies and Vester’s asthma, I keep humidifiers running at all times throughout the house. So when you have 50% humidity going on, that’s not exactly the best environment to dry out dough.
One of the ladies at the beauty parlor I go to (believe me, it’s a beauty parlor, not a “salon”) has a bow-making thing so she made me a huge bow to go on top of the tree.
The ornaments are dry now and I have to run back to the dollar store to get a ton more ribbon (I bought some that says “I believe in Santa” that’s red, white and silver – the normal colors of my tree) so I can get the ornaments strung in preparation for hanging. Oh, and we need to put screws in the tree base so I can put down my tree skirt.
Did I mention that before? Mysteriously, when the tree was taken back downstairs last year, the screws that tighten the stand disappeared. So our tree is waving in the breeze right now. I caught Baby climbing the inside the other night because the whole thing was moving.
Anyway, once the tree is done, maybe I will feel like hauling out the rest of the indoor decorations.
The weather has been uncooperative this weekend as far as outdoor decorating goes. When I went to my GF support group meeting this morning, it was cold. When I left the meeting at about noon, it had been snowing a bit but was changing over to sleet. It took me 45 minutes to get home because I couldn’t drive any faster than 30 mph the whole way or the SUV started to slide.
It’s now 7:46 PM. I took The Gidge out to go potty a few minutes ago and it’s raining. On top of snow and sleet. The deck and brick patio are sheets of ice. I have a very bad feeling about this – remember, I have advanced osteoporosis and am the biggest klutz in the world. I am tempted to see if The Man can find a sled downstairs or in the shed so I can PUSH myself across the deck.
After drying out the last of the ornaments this morning, I made my first attempt at de-glutening my Santa’s Whiskers recipe. I will say that it took a lot longer to chill than the gluten version so I ended up chucking it in the freezer for an hour (after refrigerating for 6) to get the dough firm enough to slice without mushing the log.
Success once again! The only thing I would do different is add more vanilla extract, so I increased the amount in the recipe below.
From The Vault
The amounts may seem weird here – this is a third of the original recipe because I am the only one that eats these cookies, so I sure as heck don’t make the whole batch.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/16 tsp baking soda (a good pinch)
1/16 tsp kosher salt (a good pinch)
1 tbsp milk
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 cup maraschino cherries, drained well and finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar on medium speed for two minutes. Add the baking soda and salt. Beat until combined and then add the egg, milk and vanilla.
Sift together the white rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, sweet rice flour, and xanthan gum. Slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture, beating well. Add the chopped cherries and mix well. The dough will turn pink, so don’t freak.
Now comes the fun part. This used to be pretty simple. And then there are gluten-free flours.
Place a large piece of waxed paper on the counter. Scoop large spoonfuls of the dough into a log-type shape. Sprinkle all available surfaces with coconut and press it into the dough, gently. Once you get the top and sides done, use a rubber scraper or spatula to carefully lift the dough in order to get coconut on the bottom. Once the entire roll has been coated in coconut, use the waxed paper to roll it into a 1-1/2″ by 8″ to 9″ log. Twist the ends to seal and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, but overnight is probably better. Or you can put it in the freezer until the dough is firm to the touch but not frozen solid.
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment.
Remove the dough from the fridge and slice it, using a sharp knife, into 1/4″ slices. Lay the slices on the baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until the coconut has begun to toast, the edges are barely browned, and the middle of the cookies seem firm to the touch.
Makes about 36 cookies.