We are coming into the home stretch of holiday cookies and goodies around here. I don’t want to think about how many pounds of butter, flours, and sugar have been used in this kitchen the past month. I can’t even calculate how many times the paddle of the KitchenAid has whirled around these weeks. Every day I am a little bit tempted to throw up my hands, put away the flours, and lie down on the couch. I know I promised you certain cookies, but I feel ready to drop.
Then, I remember the kindness of the man here on the island who opened the door of his just-closed store to give me a USB cord to attach my camera to our computer. Lu had hidden ours somewhere, so we couldn’t find it, and I needed to process photos to be able to post all those cookies the past week. His cash register was closed down, so he just gave the cord to me for free and a wave of his hand. We live in a small town. He figured I would pay him later. I did, of course. I also dropped off a batch of smoky bacon ginger cookies as a thank you. The look on his face convinced me to go home and bake again.
So did the joy expressed on this Facebook post when I showed a photo of the gluten-free cannoli.
Those will be here tomorrow.
Today we have spritz cookies.
It’s December 20th. Do you know where all your Christmas presents are? May we recommend you give a copy of our cookbook? If you order it online today, it could still reach your loved one by Saturday…
And we’re giving away a copy here today, to one lucky reader.
Tell us about a small kindness that inspired you to give more.
GLUTEN-FREE SPRITZ COOKIES, adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Let this be a warning to you: the recipe that comes with the kitchen tools you need to make that recipe? They generally stink. I know that now because I made a big batch of spritz cookies based on the recipe that came with the spritz press I just acquired. It was dry, stiff, and tasteless. And it all went into the trash bin.
Danny and I persisted, however. We didn’t want you to miss these buttery, slightly sweet lovely treats. If you’ve made spritz cookies before, and you have a spritz press already, pull it out. It’s not too late to make these little cookies. And, if like me, you have never made these before, and you don’t quite get the hang of the different disks and how to press them down on the baking sheet firmly, you can have little squiggles of cookies that look like piles of noodles! “Pasta cheese!” Lu shouted when she saw these, then ate one.
That was pretty great.
280 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon thick yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
230 grams (2 US sticks) unsalted butter, softening and cool
135 grams (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Combining the dry ingredients. Add the flour, xanthan gum, guar gum, and salt to a bowl. Whisk them together to combine and aerate the flour. Set aside.
Combining the wet ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Creaming the butter and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer running again, add the egg-yogurt-vanilla mixture and beat until it is incorporated into the butter and sugar, about 30 seconds. Slowly, a bit at a time, add the dry ingredients. Mix until the ingredients are combined and form a dough around the paddle. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl to combine with the dough and make sure there are no pockets of flour left. The dough should be pliable without being too soft, yet not too stiff.
Baking the spritz cookies. If you have a spritz cookie press, fill the press with the dough. If the dough feels soft in your hands, refrigerate the cookie press for 15 minutes. Use the directions for your particular cookie press to find the best way to shape the cookies. If you don’t have a spritz cookie press, you can press the dough through a pastry bag, using the tip of your choice.
Put the cookies on the baking sheet, leaving two inches between them, until the sheet is comfortably full. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and set, about 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Eat when there is not a smidge of warmth to the cookies.
Makes about 48 cookies.