Time for the Valentine parties at school. What will you be contributing? For our parties, we’ll be taking gluten-free candy hearts and gluten-free sugar cookies to share with classmates.
The candy hearts were a lot more work than I had anticipated. I encountered some confusion with the allergy statements on the Brach’s and Necco’s Conversation Hearts, so I decided to go with SweetTarts Hearts this year. Wonka SweetTarts Hearts were the only candy hearts I could find made by a company that says their candy is gluten-free and has labeling on the candy packaging that consistently indicated it was gluten-free. The kids love the candy and it’s heart-shaped, so all is good!
For my son’s class, I signed up for the sugar cookies. I always try to sign up to bring something that is not usually gluten-free, because I know I will be bringing a gluten-free version for my kids to have with their classmates anyway. (In addition to the treats we signed up to bring, I will also be bringing gluten-free cupcakes, pretzels and sandwiches for my kids so they can eat the same foods along with their classmates.)
Here’s my Sugar Cookie Recipe:
3/4 Cup unsalted butter
1 Cup sugar
1 large egg
1 TBSP vanilla extract (Make sure it’s gluten-free! We use McCormick’s brand.)
1 Cup Brown Rice Flour (Superfinely ground is best for texture. We buy Authentic Foods brand.)
1/2 Cup Potato Starch (not potato flour)
1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 Cup Sweet Sorghum Flour (Or use Sweet Rice Flour.)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
- Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Add flours, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Beat until a thick smooth dough is formed.
- Place the dough on plastic wrap and divide into two pieces. Then flatten each piece into a round and wrap in plastic wrap. Place them in the refrigerator to chill until very cold (30 – 60 min.).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Position rack in center of oven. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet or lightly grease cookie sheet.
- Once the dough is chilled, unwrap it and place on parchment paper (wax paper and plastic wrap works, too). Place plastic wrap on top and roll it out until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Then remove the plastic wrap and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place the cookies on a prepared cookie sheet. If using decorative sugar, sprinkle it on the cookies before baking.
- Place the cookie sheet in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack for cooling.
- Spread icing on cookies if desired.* Store in an airtight container. Recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies.
* For cookie icing, I simply mix powdered sugar with a small amount of water and desired food coloring. Adjust the water and sugar to get a preferred consistency: not too runny that it runs off the cookie, but thin enough to spread easily. Try starting with a cup of powdered sugar and a couple tablespoons of water. Once you’ve put the icing on the cookies, give it a few hours to dry and harden before putting into the airtight containers.