Gluten Free Christmas Cut-Out Cookies
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
Ah, the holiday season!
The sweet smell of freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate in the kitchen, while the cold winds howl outside. Before going gluten free, I didn’t pay much attention to homemade cookies, I’d just grab my favorites at the store and call it a (sugar high) day. I remember trying to bake gingerbread men a couple of times with my sister when I was younger, mostly for the bonding time and getting into the Christmas spirit. But I have to admit, we made some pretty delicious cookies those times!
Now that I am eating a gluten free diet, naturally, I focus a lot more on making my own recipes so I can know exactly what goes in them. These cut-out cookies are gluten free and nut free, but they still have a nice nutty flavor thanks to a special ingredient – sunflower seed flour! I grabbed this flour randomly a few months ago, but haven’t really used it much. So when the gingerbread season came rolling around, I decided to pick it out of the cupboard and see what this baby can do. And let me tell you, it’s delicious!
When making this dough, I always start with cold butter that I’ve cut into small cubes. The butter will melt as I work the flour into it with my hands, and I will then make sure to chill the dough thoroughly before attempting to roll it out or cut any shapes. Also, make sure you flour your work station and your rolling pin, and be patient! I’ve had many a cookie break while trying to lift them (use a spatula to lift them and transfer them if they are too frail!) and I’ve responded in a very anti-holiday manner by using some not so nice words towards the poor broken cookies.
I do not use a lot of sugar in these because I prefer things to be less sweet than the average person, and since I also used royal icing and melted chocolate to decorate the cookies. If you are planning to skip the icing, or just have a generally sweeter tooth, you can up the amount of sweetener in this recipe. You can always try the dough as you make it, since there is no raw egg in it, and make adjustments as you see fit.
So let’s get baking!
150 grams butter
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons rice flour
3 tablespoons coconut flour
4 tablespoons sunflower seed flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cm knob of grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
Pinch of ground cloves
Take the chilled butter out of the fridge and cut it into small cubes. Add the sugar, salt, flours and spices and mix it thoroughly with your hand, until a uniform ball forms. It should be only a tiny bit sticky at this point, because the butter has started melting. If the ball is too sticky and not sticking together very well, add a tiny bit more flour and work it into the dough. Wrap the dough in saran wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the work surface by placing a piece of baking paper down, and flouring it. When the dough has chilled, take it out and put it on your work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and put the one you will not be working with back into the fridge. Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough to the desired thickness of your cookies (I’ve made mine 0.5 cm thick). Use your cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes (if the dough is sticking to them too much and your cookies are breaking apart, you can put a little flour on the cutters to prevent this) and transfer them to a plate and chill them as you work on the rest of your dough. When you’ve cut out all of the cookies, and they have had a moment to chill in the fridge again, set your oven to 165 degrees Celsius and bake until the edges are golden brown.
After the cookies have cooled down, you can decorate them. I decorated them by using royal icing, which requires mixing powdered sugar with egg whites. I colored the royal icing yellow by adding some turmeric powder, and I melted dark chocolate with coconut oil for decoration too.
I hope you try making these! If you do, please let me know how you liked them!