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IMG_2020Cookies at Christmas are not typically something difficult for me.  There are your cut-out and decorated shortbread cookies,

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the favorite spicy ginger lovelies (photo at very top of blog), chocolate snowballs, and naturally there are date bars.

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At your house there might be snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, rugelach, chocolate chips, peppermint brownies, or lebkuchen.  Maybe they’re all made from scratch or perhaps your inner baker had a little help from a mix or tub.  However you make them, you’re pretty sure they’ll work and even more sure they’ll all be eaten by New Year’s.

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But my sweet granddaughter needed cookies I didn’t know how to make. A wheat allergy was one thing. Gluten-Free products abound. But add to that allergies to dairy products (no butter!), peanuts (let’s go with no nuts at all–ok, that’s not too bad, right), or eggs (how to bake without them??) and I was in trouble.

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I began bass-akwards, I think. It’s just like me… I chose a naturally egg-free crescent cookie from FOOD AND WINE:  Vanilla Crescents’ recipe by Cindy Mushet,(Thanks, Cindy), eggs being the worst bug-a-boo to replace in any baking list.  You’ll recognize cookie names like Almond Crescents or Mexican Wedding Cakes (Russian Tea Cakes) and so on; none have eggs in the wheat flour versions.  So I tried the typical Cup-4-Cup GF flour, used the Earth Balance vegan “butter” sticks, and plowed ahead only to find a cookie I damned well couldn’t swallow it tasted so badly.  It looked good, it had good crumb, and it was worse than a dog’s breakfast. I wanted to choke. I did choke. Emily stuck out her tongue and screwed up her eyes something pitiful.  I threw them all away and began again, doing a bit of research first. As I should have done in the first place, you’re thinking.

below:  Meanwhile Tucker and Miss Rosie (aka Bo-Bo) wait for their Christmas cookies.

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I ended up with a trip to the grocery store on a nutty December 22 to find ingredients for my take on a gluten-free flour mixture I found on The Minimalist Baker’s Sugar Cookie Post, who had also used it (plus eggs, etc) for what sounded like phenomenal GF pancakes. I plugged that into the same crescent cookie recipe  though I didn’t make vanilla crescents at all.  What follows is a very simple cinnamon cookie that

  • tastes truly good,
  • maintains it shape (doesn’t crumble badly),
  • is simple to make, and
  • meets all of Piper’s criteria.

Merry Christmas, sweet baby.

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PIPER’S CINNAMON COOKIES–Gluten, Egg, and Dairy Free

makes about 2 dozen

Roll the cookie dough balls in this mixture:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat the “butter”with the powdered sugar for 5 minutes using an electric mixer until quite light; scrape down the sides of the bowl 2 or 3 times.  Beat in vanilla extract.  Slowly beat in the GF flour mixture and salt until well-combined and dough holds together.  In a separate small bowl, mix well together the sugar and cinnamon.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place balls two-inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Using the flat of your hand, press the cookies down into circles about 1/4-inch thick.

Bake one sheet at at time on the middle rack of the oven for about 8 minutes or until golden and firm.  Remove from oven, set sheet on a cooling rack, and let cookies cool totally on the sheet.  Using a thin spatula, take the cookie off the sheets onto a plate or a storage container.

*Gluten-Free Flour Mixture–You’ll have some leftover:

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup white rice flour
  • 2 cups GF oat flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To read about the mixture I based mine on, click here for THE MINIMALIST’S PANCAKE MIX.   Many thanks!!  I will admit I forgot to get the buckwheat flour and used more oat flour in its place; it worked wonderfully well. (Thanks, God.)

{printable recipe}

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Eat a new cookie,

Grandma