is in the air! During my frequent visits to Starbucks my daughter
always has her sights on the pastry case, specifically these
beautifully decorated flower cookies. Always loving a challenge,
I decided to develop a recipe for gf flower cookies that were
not only delicious but beautiful enough to be wrapped up and
given as a gift. After a couple experiments with various icings
I achieved success! These cookies were so delicious that I
had to fight off my neighbors, friends and family to save
a few for a final photograph! I hope you enjoy this class
as much as my daughter and I did making these delightful spring-time
|Great Recipes Discussed
in This Class
Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe
|Techniques & Tips
You Will Learn in this Class
Choosing the right GF flour
Having the right tools
Making the dough
Preparing the icing
Icing the cookies
- Silpat baking mats
- Non-stick rolling pin
- Large flower shaped cookie cutter
- Cookie Sheets
Choosing the Right GF Flour
Choosing the right gluten-free flour makes
a significant difference in the resulting texture and taste
of these cookies. Several years ago, our pantry and freezer
were full of assorted gf flours and binders rice (brown
& white) flour, rice bran, potato flour, tapioca flour/starch,
xanthan gum and guar gum, just to name a few! We spent a lot
of time trying to achieve the right combination of flours
to create a great substitution for regular "all-purpose"
flour. I must confess, our results were less than desirable.
One day we decided to try the flour used in The Gluten Free
Pantrys Country French Bread mix. The results were perfect!
Immediately we abandoned our efforts to play food chemist
and filled our canisters with the Gluten-Free Pantrys
Country French Bread mix flour. Many people have said that
they would prefer to mix their own because it is too expensive
to buy a mix. I believe the opposite to be true. Instead of
buying 4 bags of various flours and binders, I only have to
buy one and it even comes in a 5 lb. bag. This flour works
great for nearly all baked goods as well as for general cooking
use (thickening gravies, sauces, breading and more). These
cookies are a great testament to this flour considering that
they require 3 cups of flour. Usually we recommend avoiding
recipes with more than 2 cups of flour but in this case the
recipe works, mostly due to the fact that these cookies require
2-1/2 sticks of butter. The more "fat" used in gluten-free
baking, often the better your results will be.
Having the right tools
A lot of experimentation went into making
a great gluten-free sugar cookie. We have found that if you
have the right tools the process is much easier. To begin
with, we use Silpats. These are mats made of fiberglass and
a food-grade silicone. You can find them in most kitchen stores.
They turn any cooking sheet into a non-stick surface and in
addition they also come in an extra large size. The extra
large size is ideal for rolling out this particular cookie
dough. We also have found non-stick rolling pins that make
rolling out the dough a breeze. You still have to flour your
surface with gf flour and occasionally flour the rolling pin
if you use these baking tools you will minimize the frustrations
caused by sticky dough.
Ingredients for Basic Sugar Cookies:
Makes about 2 dozen flower cookies
- 2-1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon gf vanilla
- 3 cups gf flour*
*see section above in choosing the right
Lets make the cookie dough:
Keep in mind these cookies require several
steps. At first it may seem overwhelming, however if you read
through the directions you will discover that each step is
Step 1: With an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar
and salt until creamy. Beat in egg yolks, lemon zest
and vanilla. On low speed, beat in gf flour, 1 cup at
a time, until just combined.
|Step 2: Divide dough into 4 equal pieces
and flatten each into smooth disks. Wrap separately in
wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30-45 minutes.
|Step 3: Preheat oven to
350°F. Lightly flour an extra large Silpat with gf
flour. Using a non-stick rolling pin, roll out one disk
at a time to a thickness of about _ inch.
|Step 4: Using large, flower shaped
cookie cutters, stamp out the cookie dough and using a
metal spatula, transfer flower cookies to a cookie sheet
lined with a Silpat.
Step 5: Bake the cookies at 350°F
for 10-15 minutes or until pale golden.
Step 6: Let cookies cool in the pan
for about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool
completely. Repeat process with remaining disks.
Making the icing:
I experimented with several different types
of icing for these cookies. The icing should be smooth and
hardened when dry. My first attempt was to use a basic royal
icing. This will work, however, you have to paint on the icing
with a pastry brush. This is not difficult, however throughout
this process I discovered an easier method to ice the cookies.
With this icing you can simply dip the tops of the cookies
in the icing and let the excess drain off. They dry evenly
iced and taste delicious! An added benefit is the icing is
much easier to make.
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 drops of pastel colored food coloring
(we used yellow & green and using a separate batch of
icing, pink & yellow)
|Step 1: In a large bowl,
mix the confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla extract
with a whisk until smooth. Remove about 2-3 tablespoons
icing and reserve in a small bowl; cover with plastic
|Step 2: Add 2-3 drops of yellow or
pink food coloring to the larger batch of icing and whisk
until color is incorporated.
Icing the cookies:
1: Place a baking rack over a cutting board or plastic
mats to catch excess icing. Working with one cookie at
a time, dip the cookie face down into bowl of icing, covering
the entire top surface of the cookie. Place the cookie
right side up on the baking rack and let the excess icing
drip off. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let the cookie
dry completely before adding the centers of the
|Step 2: Color the smaller
portion of icing with a drop of a different complimenting
food color; whisk until color is completely incorporated.
|Step 3: Place the smaller portion of
icing in a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off a tiny tip of
the corner of the bag. With a circular motion, ice the
center of the cookie until a "center" is formed.
|Step 4: Let the icing completely
harden before serving.
now have the most beautiful, and not to mention, delicious,
spring flower cookies for your family and friends to enjoy.
I guarantee they will never know they are gluten-free!