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Biscoitos de Maizena (Sugar Cookies - Gluten-Free)

This recipe comes to us from Mary Thorpe.

2 cups cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp salt
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter (that equals 12 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Sift cornstarch, sugar and salt together, mix the egg and blend in the butter. Knead well. Let stand ten to fifteen minutes. I use a cookie press to drop them on a greased cookie sheet. It makes cookies in different shapes. But usually you shape them into balls in the palm of your hand and drop them on the greased cookie sheet. Then use the tines on a fork to make grooves on the cookies. They look really pretty that way. Some people like to shape the cookies into really tiny balls, others prefer them bigger. Bake for about seven minutes, depending on how big you make them. Let cool and serve with a wonderful cup of Brazilian coffee in the afternoon.

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When I made them, I used salted butter and left out the extra salt. I experimented with different forms by rolling them out on a sheet (lightly floured with corn starch) and cutting them with a cookie cutter. They make great rolled cookies because you can re-roll the scraps without the dough getting tough. They came out fine - not too fragile once cooled.

You can also roll them into balls and flattened with a fork, which makes a plump little cookie, or you can roll them into balls and flatten them with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar (thats the classic way I used to make sugar cookies).

I have also rolled them out to ¼ inch thickness in the bottom of a spring form pan (one with a smooth surface, not bumpy like many are). The rolling pin went right across the top making an even thickness. When cooked (this took about 15 minutes) I cut into squares (the ones on the edges turn into triangles) and let cool. This was the easiest and best way that I tried so far.

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