|Gluten Free Butter Cookies|
These tender Butter Cookies are just delicious. My grandmother passed down the recipe to my mother and I learned to make them as young girl eager to help out in the kitchen. Looking back I’m sure that my help was more of a hindrance. My mother always made me feel like a valuable asset as I was slowly learning the ropes.
For the past twenty-five years I've made these cookies for my own holiday gatherings. For the last six years or so I've been teaching my daughter all of the ins and outs of the recipe. This was the first year I’d be making them gluten free. Unbelievable they actually turned out better than the already perfect cookies I was used to. The texture was even more tender and delicate than before. Still they do have one shortcoming...
THEY ARE EVEN MORE TENDER AND DELICATE.
Likewise, they’re a little more difficult to work with. When handled by inexperienced hands, like my ten-year-old daughter they can easily fall apart. I’d also never try shipping these as a gift to someone unless you think your loved ones might enjoy a box of crumbs. Limitations aside I can honestly say you’d be hard pressed to find a better tasting cookie either gluten free or otherwise. These bites of heaven are freakin incredible. Don't even think of making them unless you have some type of back-up plan in place for you fitness regime to counteract the ramifications after you've polished off a few dozen.
The baker bows her head in shame. But you'll do better than I did right. Cause you've got incredible self control?
· 1 cup butter, 2 sticks
· 2 ¾ cups gluten free all purpose flour
· ¾ cup sugar
· 1 egg
· ½ tsp vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175 °C
2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. During the mixing process keep a rubber spatula handy to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well incorporated then mix in the flour until the mixture forms into a ball of dough. You might need to scrape it off the sides of the mixing bowl as you transfer the dough into another bowl then cover with plastic wrap and chill about ½ hour but don’t over chill since that may cause difficulty pressing them out of the cookie press.
4. Once you've pressed the cookies onto the baking sheet, sprinkle them with colored sugar and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
5. Another method is to roll out the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to a thickness of between 1/8 – 1/4 inch. I like to do this on top of a cutting board or baking sheet for easier transfer of the dough to the refrigerator later. Once the dough is nicely rolled out transfer the plastic covered sheet of dough to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up. Then remove the top sheet of plastic and use a cookie cutter to cut your shapes. Transfer the cookies onto the sheet pan. Sprinkle the cut cookies with colored sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes. When you’re finished baking all the cookies you can fill in the details with a do it yourself Ziploc pastry bag filled with a thick glaze made by combining powdered sugar and a few drops of water or milk.
6. A third method is to roll the dough into balls with about a ¾ of an inch diameter. Use your knuckle to depress their centers then fill them with your choice of jam and nuts and bake for 12-14 minutes.
7. You can also roll the dough into small logs about 2 inches in length. Bake them for 12-14 minutes. Once they’re cooled they can be dipped into melted chocolate and dusted with ground nuts or sprinkles.
Notes: If you’re not on a gluten free diet and wish to use regular all-purpose flour decrease the amount to 2 ½ cups instead of the 2 ¾ cups stated in the recipe. Don’t forget to let the iced cookies and the chocolate dipped cookies dry completely before storing them away.