Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gluten Free Wednesday: Gluten Free Sugar Cookies with "Cream Cheese" Frosting

Happy Gluten Free Wednesday!

Since I've been working in a bakery, I've noticed that I really do not have much of a sweet tooth anymore.  I prefer fruit or fruit based cobblers or crisps for desserts, nothing overly sweet.  I am convinced that because I am inhaling all that sugar all day long it is actually making its way into my system anyway and my body is saying "no more!"  Regardless of how crazy that may sound, I really believe it!  Anyway, Hubby is definitely not in the same situation as me and wants dessert almost every day.  Seriously.  Sometimes he is pretty insistent about it, so I actually have to bake a little bit at home, which I don't generally like to do anymore, unless it involves testing for my upcoming Gluten Free Classes I teach at the Natural Gourmet Institute - which I am teaching tonight actually.  Here is the link to the class.  I don't mind savory baking, just not so much sweet baking at home. 

Anyway, I decided something easy to make that he would like and could grab out of the fridge as he liked was sugar cookies.  A little strange timing considering the month and time of year, but hey, it just means that I'll have to make some more in a couple weeks for Santa. :)  I do have to admit that I snagged a couple too, although I was more in it for the frosting than the cookie - it's something we make in our bakery, and is highly addicting!

Sugar Cookies:

Dropped and pressed sugar cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

Makes 2 Dozen

2 1/2 cups super fine white rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup earth balance
2 tablespoons flax eggs (mix 1/3 cup ground flax seeds with 2/3 cup water in a jar and shake until combined and measure 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  The easiest way to make this cookie dough is to do everything in the food processor.  Cream together the earth balance and the sugar until smooth - do not over mix.  Add the flax eggs and vanilla extract and quickly mix again.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together using the pulse button, pulse until all ingredients come together - do not overmix or the dough will become overly sticky.
4.  Remove the dough from the processor and place in a medium bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at leasthalf an hour.
5.  When dough has chilled, prepare a place to roll out on your counter top.  Sprinkle with flour, place 1/4-1/2 of the dough in the center of the floured surface, sprinkle with additional flour  and roll out to desired thickness (I like mine inbetween - not too thick and doughy, but not too thin and crispy).  Using desired cookie cutters, cut out pieces of the dough and place onto a parchment lined sheet tray.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden along the edges and slightly firm in the center.
6.  Once cookies have baked, remove entire sheet of parchment paper and place on a cookie cooling rack or onto the counter.  If you leave them on the sheet tray, they will continue to cook and possibly overbake, and no one wants an overbaked sugar cookie.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/3 cup earth balance
1/3 cup tofutti cream cheese
2-3 tablespoons soymilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lb. florida crystals powdered sugar

1.  In a medium bowl, place the earth balance, vanilla extract and soymilk.  Using a hand mixer, mix until ingredients are completely emulsified and smooth - it may take a little while and will be a touch messy with the milk, but it will come together.
2.  Add the cream cheese and mix together until just incorporated.  If you overmix tofutti brand cream cheese, it will separate and the frosting will become grainy.  Add the powdered sugar in two batches, mixing until the frosting is smooth.  Add enough powdered sugar until the frosting is the desired texture.  Place in the refrigerator for up to half an hour to set up.  Ice as desired.



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