Gluten-Free Cookies for Deployed Service Members

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When Gretchen came over several weeks ago for her Healthy Hero photo shoot, we discussed often feeling left out during certain events because of our special diets.  I’m a lifelong vegetarian and she gets sick if she eats gluten.  It’s disappointing to go to a restaurant or a gathering and sit on the sidelines while everyone else devours delicious foods.

With the holidays approaching, our thoughts turned to deployed Service members with gluten intolerances and how disappointed they must be when care packages full of goodies start to arrive and everyone generously shares their treats and they can’t participate in the festivities because they would get sick.

Gluten-free baked goods can sometimes be more delicate than other baked goods making them difficult to ship, but Gretchen says that the royal icing on the sugar cookies helps hold them together.  Readers of her blog have shipped gingersnap cookies with success.  To get some great tips on how to ship cookies in flat-rate boxes, check out this post by the Deployment Diva.

Here are two great spins on classic cookies that Gretchen originally published on Kumquat, her gluten-free blog.  She generously gave us permission to share them with you here.

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classic sugar cookies

via kumquat

Classic Sugar Cookies

  • 1 teaspoon golden flaxmeal
  • 2 teaspoons very hot water
  • 420 grams (about 3 cups) Kumquat's all-purpose flour (recipe follows)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine flaxmeal and hot water in a small bowl. Mix well until a slurry forms; set aside. Combine gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer, or with a handheld electric mixer, for 5 minutes or until pale. Add flax slurry, egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture until dough forms.

Transfer dough to a large sheet of wax paper. Top dough with another sheet of wax paper. Roll dough to 3/8-inch thickness. Place wax paper covered dough onto a baking sheet and place in freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from freezer; peel top layer of wax paper off of dough and place back on dough. Turn dough over; peel layer of wax paper off of dough and discard paper. Cut cookies with desired cookie cutter shapes. Re-roll all excess dough and cut cookies (no need to re-chill).

Place cut cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until edges are barely golden and middles look tender.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies.

Royal Icing

  • 16 ounces powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder (Editor’s note:  Meringue powder can often be found in the Wilton cake decorating section at your Exchange.)
  • 5-6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup

Combine ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Color with gluten-free food colorings, if desired.

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gingersnap cookies with white chocolate

via kumquat

Gingersnap Cookies with White Chocolate

  • 1 teaspoon golden flaxseed meal
  • 2 teaspoons very hot water
  • 2 cups (280 grams) Kumquat’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend (see below)or gluten-free all- purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup  plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the flaxseed meal and hot water in a small bowl. Stir until a thick slurry forms and set aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a large bowl. Combine the oil and 1 cup sugar in another large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until pale in color. Beat in the egg and molasses. Add the flour mixture and flax slurry to the oil mixture and stir until well combined.

Roll 2 tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball (a little smaller than a golf ball). Roll dough ball in remaining sugar to coat. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough, placing balls 2 inches (5 cm) apart on parchment. Bake both baking sheets for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are browned and the tops are crackled. Transfer cookies to a rack and cool.

While the cookies bake, carefully heat the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water on in a microwave until melted. Drizzle the chocolate evenly over slightly cooled cookies. Refrigerate the cookies for a couple of minutes to set the chocolate, if desired. Yield: 1 1/2 dozen.

Kumquat's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

  • 300 grams superfine brown rice flour
  • 200 grams sorghum flour
  • 150 grams sweet rice flour
  • 150 grams potato starch
  • 100 grams cornstarch
  • 100 grams arrowroot powder

Risking insulting your intelligence... put your bowl on the scale. Press "zero". Pour 300 grams of superfine brown rice flour. Press "zero". Weigh 200 grams of sorghum flour. Press "zero".... you get it the point. Mix to combine well. Store in the fridge or freezer to make it last longer.]

Ok... important info... 1 cup of wheat all-purpose flour equals approximately 140 grams (5 ounces). Therefore, to substitute a gluten-free mix of flours, measure out 140 grams and you have your equivalent.

Do you have tricks for mailing treats?  Share them in the comments below.