Sunday, January 10, 2016

Gluten Free Danish Christmas butter cookies.

 I used to love these cookies!  In those Christmas tins, all different lovely shapes in their individual papers.  WELL, this Christmas I decided that I should look into trying to convert a recipe to make them gluten/corn free.

Which meant a lot of testing the dough and cookie eating on my part.  (You're welcome) ;)

 After I did it the first time I had a pretty good idea what little changes needed to happen, but finally got around to doing the changes and final test tonight!  And, I've got to post about it before I forget.  (Next year I'll want to find this recipe again and what is this blog for except to keep track of things for me like this?)

Okay, THIS is the original recipe that I changed over.  If you don't have to be gluten free then just do that one.

And here's how I'm going to say how to do it. --

3/4 cup of almond meal
2 cups gf flour mix
1 cup sugar
1 & 3/4 sticks of softened butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract (gf of course)

preheat the oven to 350
Cream the sugar and soft butter together, add eggs and vanilla (I mix all this with just a fork in a medium mixing bowl and when I toss the fork and bowl in the dishwasher and you are still taking apart and cleaning your food processor/fancy mixer keep telling me how much quicker it is.) ;)
mix in the almond meal/flour loosely scooped.. don't pack and push the flour into the cup or it will be too dense and too much.
I used the flour blend pictured below, but if you use a different blend and it doesn't have xatham gum in it then you should probably add a tsp of xatham gum or something as well. 
Same thing with the gf flour mix.  Don't pack it, just fluff it into the measuring cup and smooth the top off to accurately measure.
(Don't chill the dough as this doesn't seem to help, but only hurts gluten free baking from what I've experienced.)
Use a cookie press like this one
On an UNgreased baking sheet 
(sprinkle with sugar before baking if you wish)
and bake for 10 to 15 minutes 
(start at 10 and then add more time to get the amount of color you like.)
Creaming the butter and sugar.  I love this part!
 The original recipe and many pastry recipes will have you chill dough.  I did try doing this and the second time skipped that step because I've found that chilling gluten free dough has a negative impact rather than a positive one.  So as soon as it's all mixed up, pop it into the cookie press and get to pressing and baking!  Also, note, I didn't bother with making it into a roll before putting it in the press.  I did that the first time and the second time just spooned it in and pushed it down tight and it worked just as well.
This is the flour blend that I used!  It already had a gum in it so I didn't add any extra.
 I took a short video to show how the dough felt.  It's moist and sticks super well to itself, but doesn't stick to me at all.  Very much like play dough, but lighter.
 I bought the cookie press that the original recipe recommended and once I got the hang of it it worked great!  It's actually super fun!  It did take a while and some blobs of dough that went back into the bowl till I got the hang of it though!  If you have trouble I'll see if I can find or make a short video about it to demonstrate.  I fiddled with it and almost gave up before I got the hang of it and then it was easy.

Sample of all my test subjects on the first go around.
Before baking you can sprinkle sugar on the tops of them as well.  Half the time I forgot to do this step, but it was pretty when I remembered.  :)

And that's it!  Super easy and not even that many ingredients!  Everyone has loved them.  They are a light (shortbread type crunchy) cookie (similar to Sandie's Pecan cookies, but less crumbly) which I think goes so well with tea parties!  Also the almond/vanilla flavor can be complimented by so much.  I might play more with this for Valentines day!

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