Puffy-n-Sweet Gluten Free Sugar Cookies- Gluten, Dairy, Egg and Soy Free

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Puffy-n-Sweet Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1  1/2 cups sweet rice flour superfine

1  1/2 cups certified gluten-free oat flour

5 teaspoons aluminum free double-acting baking powder

pinch of salt

1  1/2 cups Earth Balance (soy free version) margarine

Drop of McCormick Imitation Butter Flavor

1  1/2 cups white sugar

1  1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract

4  1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer

6 Tablespoons warm water

Frosting:

5 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup Earth Balance (soy free version) margarine

Drop of McCormick Imitation Butter Extract

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

7-8 Tablespoons coconut or rice milk

Directions:

Measure flours by lightly scooping them into the measuring cups and placing them in a large bowl.  Never pack down gluten-free flours.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients and whisk all the dry ingredients together thoroughly.  In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg replacer and the warm water until frothy.  Set aside.  In another larger bowl cream the margarine, imitation butter extract, sugar, and almond extract.  Add egg replacer to creamed sugar and mix together.  Gradually add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  The dough will be pretty thick.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle of the oven.  Roll dough on floured (rice flour) surface until almost 1/2″ thick.  Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter that is no larger than 2″ wide.  The cookie cutter should also be at least 7/8″ deep to be able to cut through the 1/2″ rolled dough.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes or until cookies are set and cracking but not brown.  Combine frosting ingredients with a mixer adding the coconut (or rice) milk gradually until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.  Frost cooled cookies and have fun decorating!  Store the cookies in an air tight container.  Un-frosted cookie leftovers may be frozen.

Thoughts and Tips:

At last!  A puffy, soft gluten-free sugar cookie that tastes like a REAL sugar cookie!  After scouring recipes for some time, I finally found some recipes that I could tweak and modify to be gluten, dairy, egg and soy free.  It was difficult to find a way to make gluten-free sugar cookies that weren’t flat and hard as a rock.  But this recipe finally breaks the crunchy barrier and rides into soft sugar cookie heaven.  I made a batch for the first time at Christmas when our 2 college kids were home (hoping and praying that they would turn out).  Well, that batch was devoured in the first couple of days the kids were home.  So we decided to make a couple of batches as a family.  Boy!  Was that a zoo!  Instead of nice “Christmas” shapes we ended up with Star Wars, gnomes, and any weird shape they could come up with.  We did have a good time making and eating them though.  My college daughter, who is gluten-free, was thrilled to have real sugar cookies.  I think she said she gained 6 pounds over Christmas alone.  My college son, who is NOT gluten-free, did not complain one bit that he HAD to eat gluten-free cookies!  He just HAD to eat practically half the container.

TIPS:  The first tip is to make sure that you measure the gluten-free flours by lightly spooning the flour into the measuring cups.  I usually put a baking tray underneath the bag of flour and measuring cup and lightly scoop with the spoon and then gently scrape the excess off with a knife.  Then I use the tray to pour as much of the excess back into the bag of flour.  That stuff is expensive, I don’t want to waste a bit of it!  Just make sure you don’t take the measuring cup and scoop it out of the bag.  That will pack it down and your cookies will be too dry.  You may be wondering what is “sweet rice flour superfine”?     Sweet rice flour is a stickier flour.  I usually buy the Authentic Foods brand which is ground superfine.  You can usually find it at your local Health Food store.  Always make sure that your oat flour is “certified gluten-free”.  Some people with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance can’t tolerate oats at all (even certified).  Others are fine with the certified gluten-free oats.  The Earth Balance margarine is also available at most local Health Food stores.  They have several different versions of it.  If you are soy-free, the red carton is the one you want.  I’ve found that if my local Health Food store doesn’t carry something, they are usually open to ordering it or making a special order for you personally (although you usually have to buy an entire case).  You will use most of your container of the margarine for the cookies and the frosting.  You may also be wondering why the “drop of imitation butter extract”?  I find that the flavor of the margarine is not very buttery.  Just one drop will help with that buttery taste that you need in a sugar cookie.  The almond extract and the imitation butter extract that I use is the “McCormick” brand because they say “gluten-free” right on the box.

After you’ve chilled your dough and are ready to start cutting out your shapes you’ll need to make sure that your cookie cutters are not too big.  I found that if you have cutters that are larger than 2″ wide the cookies end up way too big.  I know that they seem like really small cookie cutters (at 2″) but the cookies end up puffing up a lot in the oven and will be much bigger than the 2″ of the cutter.  It’s much better to have more cookies that are smaller with this recipe.  You also need to make sure that your cookie cutter is deep enough.  I have several cutters that are only about a 1/4″ deep and they won’t cut through dough that is almost 1/2″ thick.  Make sure that your cookie cutters are at least 7/8″ deep.  Also place your cookies about an inch apart on the tray because they do puff.  Don’t overbake these cookies.  They are done when they are set and cracking on the surface (after about 8 minutes of baking).  These cookies should not be browned at all.

Store these cookies in an airtight container.  They stay fresh for about a week.  I like to freeze some in small baggies for sneaking out of the freezer at future times.  I freeze them with the frosting and everything (just out of pure laziness) but they freeze better without frosting and then frosting them with fresh frosting when they’ve defrosted.

These puffy -n- sweet sugar cookies are great for Valentine’s Day, Christmas or any occasion!  I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!

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Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nut & Yeast Free Rice Crispy Treats

Tastes just like the Original Recipe

Tastes just like the Original Recipe

 
 Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nut and Yeast Free Rice Crispy Treats Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. box Gluten-Free Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal (brown box)

One and 1/4 package Kraft Jet-Puffed Large Marshmallows (one package plus 10 large marshmallows)

1/2 cup Spectrum Palm Shortening

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Imitation Butter Flavor

VARIATIONS:

Post Fruity Pebbles with one package Kraft Strawberry Marshmallows

Post Cocoa Pebbles with one package Kraft Regular Marshmallows

DIRECTIONS:

Microwave the palm shortening in a very large microwave safe bowl until melted.  Add butter flavoring and mix.  Add marshmallows and microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir.  Add the cereal and stir until well mixed.  Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan with greased hands.  When cool cut into squares.  ENJOY!

You CAN have a treat that tastes just like the original recipe!  This recipe is based on one of the easiest- yet most universally loved- treat among kids and adults alike.  Now that Kellogg’s has come out with a gluten-free version of their Rice Krispies cereal you won’t be able to tell the difference from the original gluten/dairy version and this recipe.  I did get “brand-specific” in this recipe for a few reasons:  Most of the gluten-free crispy rice cereals are fairly tasty, but not quite the same texture as the brand name Rice Krispies.  Make sure you get the brown box that says it’s gluten-free.  The original Rice Krispies cereal in the blue box has malt in it.  The reason for the Kraft marshmallows is two-fold:  The Kraft brand specifies that their marshmallows are gluten-free (most marshmallows are) but also the Kraft marshmallows seem to be puffier and melt better in this recipe.  The palm shortening can be any brand (I just found it easier to find the Spectrum brand in the stores.  Health Food stores and some large grocery stores carry this item).  Palm shortening is a great non-dairy substitute for butter or shortening in most recipes.  In this recipe I added a half teaspoon of the imitation butter flavoring which gives the palm shortening that buttery flavor that is missing from not being able to use real butter.  The McCormick brand of imitation butter flavor has “A gluten-free food” written right on the box.  (You can find the imitation butter flavor along side the imitation vanilla extracts and other extracts in the baking aisle at the grocery store).  I use this butter flavoring quite often in other recipes.  I like to mix it with the dairy/soy free Earth Balance margarine to give it more of a buttery “kick” on baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or popcorn.

You may be wondering what is “one and 1/4 packages of marshmallows”?  One package of Kraft large marshmallows is about 40 marshmallows.  I used about 50 marshmallows in this recipe-a whole package plus a handful of 10 more large marshmallows.  With the smaller boxes of cereal such as in the variations- Post Fruity Pebbles and Post Cocoa Pebbles- you only need one package of marshmallows (everything else is the same).

There are so many variations with this treat.  One of my favorites is to melt Enjoy Life (gluten, dairy, soy free) mini chocolate chips and spread on top of the regular or chocolate crispy treats.

This treat is so scrumptious that no one will know that they are gluten, dairy, soy, nut & yeast free (unless you tell them)!Gluten Free Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles

Basic White Sauce or Cream Soup Base-Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free (Optional: Corn Free)

Unsweetened Coconut Milk is your Best Friend

Unsweetened Coconut Milk is your Best Friend

When I think of comfort foods, I think Ahhhhhh!  When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (coupled with a gluten intolerance, dairy, soy, egg and yeast intolerances) I thought that the world of taste was gone forever!!!!  I had stepped into the world of “can’t”.  I can’t have this, I can’t have that…so I went on a quest.  My quest was for substitutes for the foods I couldn’t eat.  Not just “substitutes”, but TASTY substitutes.  Substitutes that would make my dishes taste close enough to the originals that I could bring them to a potluck and no one would know they were modified.  Being an artist by trade (and to the core) I put my creativity to work.  This is one of the first substitutes I came across (and my favorite).  Unsweetened (light) coconut milk.  I thought for sure that I’d only be able to use unsweetened coconut milk in baked goods because it would have that “coconut” aftertaste.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it rather mild with NO aftertaste.  Which makes it the perfect choice to mimic milk (perfect texture too).  I’m not talking about the cans of coconut milk that you buy on the shelf at the grocery store.  Those are pretty high fat and do have that coconut aftertaste.  I do have GREAT recipes using the canned coconut milk too.  (But that will be on a later day.)  The coconut milk I’m talking about here comes in cartons.  The brand name that I use is “So Delicious Dairy Free”.  I find it at my local health food store.  They carry it in the refrigerated section in a half-gallon carton that looks like all of the other milks.  It comes in chocolate, vanilla and unsweetened, to name a few.  The unsweetened lighter version used in the recipe is in the green carton of the “So Delicious Dairy Free” brand.  My local health food store also carries it unrefrigerated in a rectangle green carton on the shelf.  I use this item so much that I’ll pick up a refrigerated carton and several unrefrigerated boxes every time I grace the store.  Look for “So Delicious Dairy Free Unsweetened Coconut Milk” in the green carton.  You’ll be glad you did.  Now onto the recipe…This recipe is for the basic white sauce that can be used as a gravy or as a base for a creamed soup.  The original recipe is from the one my mom used to make when I was a kid that she called “Chipped Beef on Toast” or “Tuna and Hard-Boiled Eggs on Toast”.   Yummy, versatile, very simple and oh, so, comforting!  The original recipe:  2 Tablespoons Butter and 2 Tablespoons Flour per 1 cup of Milk.  Well…I had to find substitutes for all 3 of the ingredients to make my recipes work.  I love making Creamy Potato Bacon Soup out of this cream base.  I could eat it practically every day.  Here is my recipe:

Basic White Sauce or Cream Soup Base– Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free (Optional:  Corn Free)

2 Tablespoons Extra Light Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch (or alternative starches:  tapioca starch, arrowroot, etc.  SEE “TIPS” BELOW)

1 Cup “So Delicious Dairy Free UNSWEETENED Coconut Milk”

Plenty of spices:  Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Pepper, etc.—to taste— but for me, more is better

This recipe should be multiplied to the amount you want to achieve.  For instance, if you’re making a creamed soup and you want 5 cups of the cream sauce— multiply everything by 5:  (Example:  10 Tablespoons Olive Oil,   10 Tablespoons Cornstarch, to 5 Cups Unsweetened Coconut Milk.)  If your soup is too thick for your taste, add more coconut milk until it reaches the consistency you’d like.

DIRECTIONS:  In a saucepan on the stove, heat the Extra Light Olive Oil on medium heat and add the Cornstarch.  Stir until combined.  You’ll need to move quickly once the oil and cornstarch are combined.  Add the Coconut Milk all at once and stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens (usually around 5-10 minutes).  Add your spices very generously.  Remember, it’s pretty mild so the sauce will take on whatever flavorings you add to it.  I use a lot of onion powder and garlic powder in this sauce.  If you find that your sauce is too thick at this point for what you’re using it for, add more of the unsweetened coconut milk a quarter cup at a time until you reach your optimum consistency.

TIPS:  The reason I use cornstarch is because of its desired texture and thickening qualities.  If you’re not able to use corn in your recipes, by all means, use another starch.  Being the picky eater I am, I happen to not like the texture of the tapioca starch.  It gets too gooey and somewhat rubbery for me.  Although it doesn’t change the taste, fortunately.  Always use caution when using arrowroot as your starch as it can lose its thickening abilities at higher temps for periods of time.  You may also substitute a margarine for the olive oil.  The only margarine that I’ve found that I can have is the Earth Balance–No Soy Version—in the red container.  I found that the water content in margarine sometimes doesn’t work as well as the olive oil.  The only thing that I would stress NOT substituting in this recipe is the unsweetened coconut milk.  That is the most important ingredient!  Finding this substitute changed completely how I could cook!!

APPLICATIONS:  This recipe works great for creamed soups such as:  Creamy Potato Bacon Soup, Chicken Wild Rice Soup, New England Clam Chowder, Cream of Broccoli, Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom, etc. etc. etc!    You may substitute this in your casseroles which call for Cream of Mushroom soup.  Personally, I can’t have mushrooms either so I substitute sautéed onions and cooked chicken in the sauce when a casserole calls for the Cream of Mushroom.  You may also add cheese substitutes to the sauce for a cheesy flavor.  I would suggest the “CHREESE” brand packets–either alfredo style or cheddar for some added flavor.