Christmas baking is always about rich full flavours, dried fruit, oranges, spices, port, brandy all the good things but sometimes it is nice to make something a little simpler and these vanilla cut out cookies are sweet, crisp and work very well gluten free. This recipe is adapted for GF from Nigella Lawson’s recipe for cut out cookies.
Children will love these and this is a great recipe to make with kids, they will love cutting out the cookie shapes and really love icing the baked cookies. To make your life easy you could invest in a pack of squeezable tubes of icing but if mixing your own colors try to use paste rather than liquid color with your icing sugar if you can. If you are making these GF check any the ingredients of any edible decorations you might use, sprinkles etc to make sure they are GF.
90 grams of unsalted butter, softened
100grams of caster sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. I ran out of the good stuff and used what I could get in the local shop but when it comes to vanilla the quality and unfortunately the price of the extract does make a difference to the taste so get the best you can afford.
200 grams of Doves Farm Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Beat together the softened butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy
- Beat in the egg and vanilla, scrapping down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed. The mix will look curdled but don’t worry about this, it will all come together when you add the dry ingredients.
- Mix together the flour, gum, baking powder and salt.
- Sieve the dry ingredients in to the batter and mix gently with a wood spoon until everything is combined.
- You will have a fairly sticky soft dough, if you feel it is too wet ad a bit more flour but don’t add too much or the dough will be tough when cooked.
- Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and form in to a disc, wrap the disc in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven to Gas 4/ 180 / 325 f and about ten minutes before you want to bake the cookies take the dough out of the fridge so it will be easier to roll out.
- Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out to a thickness of 1/2 centimeter. If you are worried the dough might stick then you can roll it out between 2 sheets of baking parchment.
- Dip your cookie cutter in GF flour and cut out the cookies. Place the cookies on the baking sheet and place in the oven.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 12 minutes if you have two baking sheets of cookies you can switch their positions in the oven half way in to the cooking time to ensure the cookies cook evenly. You will know the cookies are done when the edges start to turn a pale golden brown but they will still be pale and bit soft in the centre. The cookies will firm up as they cool.
- Once baked leave the cookies to set on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- When the cookies are fully cooled ice them in what ever color or design you like.
Store the baked and iced cookies in an airtight container so they don’t go soft and remember to keep a few to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve, they will be a welcome break from Mincepies!