I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, December 22, 2017

Snowflake Cookies

Hi! I did some Christmas baking this week, how about you?
I love to bake and wish I had more recipients for breads and cookies, but health is a virtue, sooooo---the days of me baking bread are over. Recently I was asked to make gluten free foods. The friends and family who do gluten free do NOT have celiac disease, this is solely a fad/ lifestyle choice/ paleo nonsense*. On the other hand, I enjoy trying new things!

*I should clarify calling paleo food ''nonsense'' just in case you guys are devotees. I became very disillusioned when Mel sent me a recipe for paleo Devil's Food chocolate cake! Or the other day, "paleo pumpkin spice triple cream latte". Right, Ancient Man would stop by Starbucks on his way home to the cave, enjoying non-dairy, non-flour yummies? I don't think so.

Anyway, I give myself a little holiday pep talk:  "New things are fun, don't insist on tradition, no one eats what you used to make anymore! In with the new, out with the old!" And I saw this mix for gluten free cookies at the grocery store:

I texted my friend, If I make these for Christmas, will you eat them? She said Yes! despite the fact that they have white rice flour, cornflour, sugar and assorted oddities added. Oh, okay...

I made the recipe with vegan soy free fake butter. And I used this lovely vanilla another friend brought me from Curacao. [but on close inspection, made in Mexico! huh!]

And miraculously found rice flour in my baking drawer for rolling out.

It was a little sticky but rolled out okay.  was so happy to use my new thrifted Snowflake cutter!

I put the cookies in the oven and OMG they swelled and ran and puffed up like little fat pillows, all remnants of snowflakeyness gone. I blame myself. The recipe called for one egg. I've been baking sugar cookies since I was 4 or 5 years old. I know that one must never put an egg in cutout cookie dough, because it puffs up and the shape is lost.

My personal heirloom recipe does not use eggs, just flour, sugar, ice water and baking powder. Pinch of salt

 Those  cookies stay sharp and perfect and cool down to crispy perfection.

Another issue, gluten is the substance that makes baked goods hold together. It makes bread both high and dense. In traditional bread making, low-gluten flours like rye and some whole wheat flour need gluten added to form an edible and visually appealing loaf. Of course if one is gluten intolerant, something baked is better than nothing, I'm sure!
So there I was with Blobs. I decided to quickly cut the soft but cooked dough again, into snowflake shapes and it worked.

Sort of. The cookies are very fragile, again maybe bec of no gluten?. I only got I think 8 whole ones out of twenty four made. And--they tasted awful,  with a nasty grainy texture.

As usual I was annoyed, was gonna dump them but no.

I wanted my friend to see I had tried for her special diet needs. desires. I wanted to please her. I kept the 8 best, then the next day I brushed them with egg white and dusted them with cane sugar.

As my dad would say about butter on artichokes, anything with enough sugar is pretty tasty, especially for me, as I almost never consume plain sugar. The sugar helped a LOT.

I also went back to the store and got two dozen tiny French pressed cookies. Classic and pretty [snowballs, holly leaves,and so on.] Yummy I expect.

And I got a jar of mincemeat! In the English blogs and novels I enjoy, people are always having mince pies for Christmas.

This mixture is rum and Pippen apples, much more appetizing than my mom's version that had dried fruit soaked in brandy, minced pork and beef and chopped suet! Just, just, eeeeew.  [I admit I never tried mom's version, though I liked the brandied hard sauce topping. I plan to make 6 little pies long with tomorrow's [gluten free] lasagna, for Christmas Eve!

Have fun weekend! Get the prezzies wrapped! Oh here are the gifts I made for girlfriends. Thermos bottles from S'well with little quilted carriers. Makes the bottles easier to hold and keeps them from rolling around on the car floor. The thermoses make an annoying hollow clang beyond what their size might imply.  .

PS Mel, maybe some quiet winter weekend I'll make my regular sugar cookie recipe for you and me to have our Snowflakes, as we had envisioned. Authentic!

Mo isn't into human cookies, though he loves a treat we call cranberry flowers, from Wellness at Chewy.com. here



gone to the beach....

 More cooky woes HERE   I just never learn, do I?