Thursday, January 8, 2015

12 Days of Cookies

It's that time of year again, when holiday baking takes center stage. Whether you bake all year 'round or just for the holidays, you probably have an arsenal of your favorite "go-to" recipes. Personally, I prefer to mix up my traditional recipes with new ones, especially when there are people on my recipient list that have specific dietary restrictions.

Last year I was honored to be a part of Local Savour's 12 Days of Cookies blogger round-up. I'm equally honored to have been asked to take part again this year and submit one of my favorite cookies. I have several friends on my cookie list that are gluten intolerant so I thought I would share a couple of my favorite gluten free cookie recipes.

The first cookie, a Chocolate Orange Truffle, came from testing a number of gluten-free flour blends, with mostly frustrating results. I ended up trying it with no flour and that proved to be the winner. That was last year when I had only just started dabbling in the gluten-free world.

Now a year later I'm a bit braver and hopefully wiser when it comes to gluten-free baking - not to mention all of the additional options now available with gluten-free flours.  I was only asked to contribute one cookie for this year's round-up but I'm a girl of options so I'm throwing in my second favorite gluten-free cookie. Inspired by the ginger cookies from Starbucks, I came up with this gluten-free version. Whether you try one of the delicious choices from Local Savour or one from your own family recipe box, remember to take the time to enjoy your sweet success... I'm jus' sayin!

Chocolate Orange Truffle Cookies

3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 egg whites (at room temperature)
1 tbs. of orange juice
2 tbs of orange zest
1 tbs. of vanilla
2 cups of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Place parchment lined cookie sheet in freezer to chill.

In a large mixing bowl with a whisk, mix the sugar, cocoa and salt. With a wooden spoon, mix the egg whites, orange juice, zest and vanilla. When mixed well, stir in the chips and incorporate well. Place tablespoon sized mounds on baking sheet and bake 12-13 minutes until they have a nice sheen and hold there shape. Cool and enjoy with a glass of milk. No, really, you will need something to drink with these bad boys. They are decadent and rich. Oh, and gluten free! *Insert jazz hands here*

Gluten Free Spicy Ginger Cookies

2 1/4 cups of gluten-free flour (I use Namaste)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. clove
3 tbs. of minced candied ginger
3/4 cups unsalted butter 
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
Granulated sugar for rolling

Heat oven to 375. Line 2 baking dishes with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda , salt and dry spices. Set aside.

In a mixer cream together butter, sugar and molasses. Add egg. Slowly mix in the flour mixture and then the candied ginger. When all is incorporated, use a 1/4 cup measure to make dough scoops. Roll dough in granulated sugar. Place cookie dough ball on cookie sheet. Moisten your fingers with water and gently press down on top of sugared dough. Bake for 12 minutes (rotating at 7 minutes) until they have spread and are firm to touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

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