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.
This recipe is exactly what you've been looking for as a fun, interactive and TOTALLY yummy cookie, any time of year. My kids and I change the food coloring, depending on the season: orange (Halloween and Thanksgiving); red or green (Christmas); blue (Chanukah/Hanukah); red (Valentine's Day); green (St. Patrick's Day); pink, blue or green (Easter/Spring); red, white or blue (July 4) ... ok, you get the idea! I love to use this dough at kids' cooking classes I teach, as it's totally resilient and can stand up to any amount of rolling out and cutting, re-rolling and cutting, .... and it's always delicious. Have fun and happy (any) holiday!
¼ cup shortening (e.g. Earth Balance)
¼ cup canola oil
2/3 cup granulated cane sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour*
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbs. water (as needed)
food coloring (optional)
colored sugar or frosting (optional – see below)
*See my bio (top right).
Cream shortening, sugar and oil several minutes with an electric mixer, until very fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla extract and food coloring. Mix in the dry ingredients, adding in tablespoons of water as needed to keep the dough together and avoid dryness (err on the side of this dough being wetter so that after refrigeration, it's not too dry). Pat the dough into a disc shape, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough until very cold, at least 3-5 hours (overnight is best).
Preheat oven to 350 F (static) or 325 F (convection).
Lightly flour a clean rolling surface with Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. Roll the dough to approximately 1/8 inch thickness and dust cookie cutters with flour before using to cut out shapes. You may also roll thin coils of dough of different colors and braid into candy cane or other fun shapes.
Place cookies onto parchment-lined (or greased) cookie sheets and decorate with colored sugar, if desired. Bake approximately 8-10 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown at the edges. Cool on a cooling rack and frost with gluten-free frosting, if desired.
Basic (but yummy) Frosting
This frosting works wonderfully for cookies or cakes, made chocolate or vanilla or any other flavor you can devise. It is fast, easy, cheap and has always been gluten-free. Enjoy!
1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract (may use peppermint, orange, almond or other extract in the alternative)
Milk (dairy or non-dairy), fruit juice, liqueur
2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder (only if making chocolate frosting)
pinch of salt
Whisk together the sugar (and cocoa if using), extract and liquid by gradually adding the liquid, a teaspoon or so at a time. Continue adding liquid until the frosting is the consistency you need for your dessert. The thinner the frosting, the better if you are drizzling it over a cake or cookie; the thicker it is, the better if you want to have a firmer coating.