Regardless of whether you stayed home, or made safe plans to travel home, I hope you all had a really lovely Thanksgiving weekend! We ourselves stayed home in Chicago, preparing for some exciting business news I hope to share in the next week or so. But onto what I know we’re all getting ready to jump into head first: Holiday Festivities, which includes baking, or more specifically for me, cookies!
This summer & fall have been EXCEEDINGLY busy for baking! When the weather gets colder, it only makes sense, though I will say baking in the summer was quite a challenge! My key takeaway is DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF HUMIDITY! For the first time ever, I experienced color bleed into my white icing, and I couldn’t figure it out until I thought about the humidity and heat waves I was shipping cookies out in…so of course, all my small area white icing started to turn pink if they were near any black or dark icing. So odd, but once I froze them and shipped them with a disposable cold pack, they arrived in pretty much perfect condition, but still, I think this coming summer I’m going to push/recommend minimal dark colors for summer cookies.
One of the other new challenges I’ve faced with my orders has been dietary restrictions. I love me a challenge, so I got to work on reworking my recipe to accommodate the gluten and dairy-free orders with flying speed! The baby set was gluten-free and the pokemon cookies were dairy-free (eggs & regular flour were used). There was NO difference in their ability to hold up in shipping/moving, SO I’m super thrilled to be able to offer my cookies to all of you, no matter WHAT you’re dietary restrictions may be.
I also got to attempt vegan cookies, but I’m not sure I have the recipe totally figured out, but you never know, I could have something out next week! Stay tuned!
Hoping all of you reading this are staying safe and well!
— Cooking Maggie
Gluten-Free AND/OR Dairy-Free Sugar Cookies
Ingredients – Makes Roughly 20 4″ Cookies (more if cutters are smaller)
- 420g Pillsbury Best Gluten Free Flour (use regular flour if only doing dairy free)
- ½ tsp Bob’s Red Mill Xanthum Gum (for gluten-free cookies ONLY)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 sticks of Country Crock Plant Butter with Olive Oil* (use regular butter if only doing gluten-free)
- 200g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 380°F.
- Sift/mix together flour, xanthum gum (if making gluten-free), baking powder, and salt, set aside.
- In a small dish whisk together egg and vanilla extract, set aside.
- In a mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar, about 5 minutes, scrape the bowl twice.
- Gradually add vanilla egg mixture, beating anywhere from 30 seconds to minute until well mixed in.
- Now gradually in 3 additions add flour. Lower the speed of your mixer to low. Scrape the bowl well after the last addition and mix until dough comes together.
- Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to desired thickness (lift the top sheet up as need to prevent crease lines).
- Place sheet on a baking tray and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Afterwards, gently peel/remove the bottom sheet from the down to ensure no sticking when cutting out shapes.**
- Cut out as many cookies as you can, then reform the dough, reroll & rechill. Repeat steps 8 & 9 till you run out of dough. Chill the cutouts in the fridge for about 10 minutes, or in the freezer for 5.
- Bake on the sheets you used to freeze the dough for 10-11 minutes, depending on the oven, turn the sheet once halfway through the baking.*** You’re looking for a golden brown bottom.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-7 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.
- Store in the airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze undecorated cookies between pieces of wax paper in a large freeze safe container, for up to 3 months.
- Decorate cookies as desired – I use royal icing!
* Trick #1: Your butter does NOT need to be room temp! If straight from your fridge, which is what I use, I cut the stick into 8 tablepsoons, then cut each slice into quarters (so a large rectangle into 8 squares, then each of those squares into 4 smaller squares). You’ll beat the butter/sugar for a little longer than normal, but it still works!
** Trick #2!!!! Rolling out the dough between parchment paper first and then freezing saved SO much time and made reworking the dough so much easier! Also, do remove both sides of the parchment paper gently before you start cutting the cookies out! It will prevent stickage!
*** I did one batch at 11 minutes, and a few of them started to catch, so I think 10 minutes is better, but that’s also dependent on your oven. Add a minute or two until the bottom is golden brown.