Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day Goodies: Gluten Free, Soy Free Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentine's (a day early!).  And happy b-day to my baby brother, who is turning 23 today.  So young!

For this Valentine's Day I am going to be posting one recipe, even though there are many, many amazingly delicious goodies that I have baked for this holiday in the past.  It's funny to me how so many people are against Valentine's, saying it's a holiday manufactured by the greeting card companies to make money.  I was definitely one of those people before I got married.  That does not mean, however, that I go all out for Valentine's Day, but that I definitely appreciate it more now.  It gives me an excuse (not that I need one at all!) to make tasty heart shaped goodies, spend quality time with my Hubby and to take the time to tell him how much I really appreciate him. 

Gluten Free, Soy Free Sugar Cookies:

I am Adorable!  And Delicious!  And Gluten Free!!

Yields: 2 dozen cookies

1 cup earth balance
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup organi cane sugar
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 1/2 cups finely ground white rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside until ready to use.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the earth balance and vanilla extract and whip until soft and fluffy.  (If you don't have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer or if you also don't have a hand mixer, use some elbow grease to whip it together.)
3.  Add the sugar and flax eggs to the softened earth balance and continue whipping until the sugar has mostly dissolved.  Add all of the dry ingredients: the white rice flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and (optional) nutmeg.  Whip until the batter just comes together. 
4.  Lightly flour your work surface with additional rice flour and place the ball of dough in the center.  Sprinkle with a small amount of flour and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to your desired thickness (some people like a crispy sugar cookie, some like a doughy cookie - I like something in the middle.)  Just be sure that the whole rolled-out cookie dough is the same thickness.
5.  Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts and place on the parchment lined sheet trays.  These do not spread, so they can go pretty close to one another on the trays.  Bake 8-12 minutes, depending upon the thickness, and your preference for doughy or crispy cookies. 
6.  Allow the cookies to cool for several minutes before removing them to cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack. 
7.  Eat as is or prepare a simple vegan buttercream tinted with natural food coloring and spread on top of each cookie.  Yum!

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