After we decorated our tree last weekend we watched a video of our first Christmas together. It was 1992, we were both lawyers in Chicago, and I had never cooked anything in my life.
Our meals consisted mostly of carry out Chinese and salads. I have said before that I did not cook before going gluten free - watch this video if you don't believe me.
I have to apologize for the gray spots (this was pre-digital age as well), but if you watch closely you will see that I did not know how to soften butter, what a teaspoon was, we didn't have a mixer (my mom gave us money for one that year), the cookie sheets are hideous and if you watch to the end you will see how the cookies turned out.
We have come a long way! Even gluten free, we churn out around 100 cut out Christmas cookies each year. It has become a tradition to invite friends over and decorate them Christmas Eve.
Here is the recipe we have used for the last seven years. Yes, the basic flour in it is Gluten-Free Pantry French Bread and Pizza Mix. This one has performed so consistently that I have not seen the reason to come up with something else.
Before you begin! If it is hot in the house and the cookie dough is warm, they will spread like butter on the cookie sheet. Always let the dough chill in the refrigerator and make sure your kitchen is not an oven the day you roll out and cut out the cookies.
Recipe for Gluten Free Cut Out Christmas Cookies
- 2 ½ sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter (or Earth Balance for CF) at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest or lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups Gluten-Free Pantry French Bread and Pizza Mix
- 1.2 tsp xanthan gum
In your electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and salt until creamy (about 5 minutes).
Beat in egg yolks, lemon and vanilla. Mix together the flour and xanthan gum.
On slow speed, beat in the flour one cup at a time until just combined.
Divide dough into three equal parts, flatten into disc, wrap separately in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, at least 45 minutes. It is very important that the dough be cool when you roll it out or your cookies will flatten when you bake them.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Flour the work surface and your rolling pin with rice flour and roll out one disk at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. The dough will break up a little bit on the first roll, but then becomes very easy to work with. On the other end, the dough will be hard to work with after it warms up too much, so keep extras in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
With a metal spatula, transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Depending on the size, makes around 40 cookies.
Bake 10 – 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool on parchment.
Once they are cool, frost them:
Recipe for Cookie Frosting
- 1 pound box of powdered sugar
- ¼ cup milk (or almond milk for CF)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 stick butter (or Earth Balance for CF)
Beat with an electric mixer until creamy, scraping the bowl often.
Separate into individual cups and add desired food colors.
Frost the cookies as desired and top with sprinkles before the frosting sets. Sprinkles unfortunately can contain wheat starch, so check the labels.