These cookies take a bit of work, but in the end, they are beautiful (and really, really tasty!) Make them as a gift. Your friends will appreciate the effort. Or make them as Christmas tree decorations – just pierce the top of the cookie with a hole before baking and thread with small ribbon after they have cooled. Placed in front of a Christmas light, these really shine. PLUS you can eat them on New Years Day (and remember – they are really, really tasty)
To make a stained glass cookie, you need a cookie dough that doesn’t spread while baking. If the dough spreads, it will obliterate the stained glass window in the middle. I tried to refine our brown sugar cookie recipe by adding more gf flour and using shortening instead of butter, but by the time I got the texture right, the cookie itself was dry and powdery. Then I remembered a recipe I’d seen on Simple Gluten Free Kitchen for linzer cookies and I decided to try it. It worked great! The dough rolled out nicely, didn’t spread too much, and the result is a mild almond and vanilla wafer. Besides stained glass cookies, these would be great glazed or sandwiched with jam or Nutella or dipped in chocolate for a dessert fondu.
Looking for gluten free holiday recipes? You might also enjoy these other recipes:
gfandme’s best Thanksgiving recipes
Christmas eve dessert (Danish Apple Cake)
What you’ll need:
1 cup almond meal
½ cup + 2 tablespoons white rice flour
¼ cup potato starch
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag of life savers (or other gluten free hard candy)
What you’ll do:
In mixer, beat butter, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and combine.
Mix dry ingredients together in small bowl and slowly add to the mixer. When fully combined the dough will be soft and stick together. Remove from mixer, divide into thirds, wrap, and refrigerate until firm.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Remove 1/3 of the dough and roll it out to ¼ inch thick.
TIP: Rolling the dough between two pieces of parchment will keep the dough from sticking and will result in a smoother finish.
Cut out your rounds. We used a 2 ¼ inch diameter cutter.
Now cut out your centres. We used small cutters for the middle.
TIP: If you want to hang your cookies in a window, make a small hole in the top of the round using a fine pastry bag tip.
Remove the dough from the centres of the cookies. You can either bake these centres as small cookies or re-roll them with the rest of the dough.
TIP: I found that I could remove the centre with the small cookie cutter by pinching the cutter slightly as I removed it from the dough.
Place the cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
TIP: If your surrounding ring of dough is too narrow, this can be difficult to do without the cookies losing their shape. If this is the case, you can bake them right on the parchment paper on which you rolled them. Just move it onto a cookie sheet and you’re good to go.
Take a lifesaver and smash it with the handle of a butter knife or a meat tenderizer.
TIP: If you buy the individually wrapped lifesavers, you can smash them in their packages to keep the mess in check. These candies pretty much explode when they break!
Place the smashed lifesaver in the centre of a cookie. If you get candy on the surface of the dough, you can brush it off with a soft pastry brush.
TIP: You can combine colours and have fun filling in the shapes.
Bake for 10 minutes or until just turning golden on the bottoms.
Remove from oven and let cool before removing from the parchment. The candy centres will be molten!
Phot credit: gfandme.com
Living Gluten Free in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada