Atop each of Jules Shepard’s free weekly recipe newsletters is her mantra: “Perfecting Gluten-Free Baking, Together.” From her easy-to-read cookbook (“Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten Free Eating”) to her highly rated reference for making the transition to living gluten free easier (“The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free”), Jules is tireless in the kitchen, at the keyboard and in person in helping people eating gluten free do it with ease, with style and with no compromises.
In the kitchen, she creates recipes for beautiful, tasty gluten-free foods that most people could never tell are gluten free. As a writer, she produces a steady stream of baking tips, living advice, encouragement and insights through magazine articles, her web site (gfJules.com), newsletter, e-books and on sites like http://celiac.com and others. Jules also maintains a busy schedule of speaking at celiac and gluten-free gatherings, appearing on TV and radio shows, baking industry conventions, as well as teaching classes on the ease and freedom of baking at home.
Her patent-pending all-purpose flour literally has changed lives for families who thought going gluten free meant going without. Thousands read her weekly newsletter, follow her on Twitter and interact with her on FaceBook.
Sometimes called “Wedding Cookies,” these balls of crumbly, nutty, powdery yumminess are a traditional favorite you shouldn’t have to miss just because you’re eating gluten-free. No one will miss the gluten in this delicious treat!
Using a large food processor, pulse the confectioner’s sugar, pecans, and coconut until the pecans are finely chopped and tossed well with the sugar.
Using an electric mixer or the food processor, beat together the butter and pecan mixture until fully integrated. Beat in the vanilla and the orange zest. Slowly add the flour and salt, beating or pulsing until blended and a soft dough is formed.
Cover the dough tightly and refrigerate until cold and firm, not sticky – at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325° F (static).
Scoop cold dough into large teaspoon-sized balls and roll between your palms to form a round ball. Place each formed ball onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Remove to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
Sift approximately ½ cup confectioner’s sugar into a small flat-bottomed bowl, then gently toss each cookie in the bowl to lightly coat with sugar and serve.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies, depending on size.