the last month of 2011 is here. and this month we celebrate cookies.
to me, christmas would not be complete without home-made, hand-decorated sugar cookies. some of my favorite holiday memories are of cutting and decorating cookies with my mom and sister at christmas-time. ask anyone who knows me well, and they will tell you that cookie decorating is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. i think that creative joy came from all of those very days preparing christmas cookies with my family.
after several gluten-free years of sugar cookie-less christmases, it warms my heart to say that they’re back in my holiday kitchen. i have finally made a gluten-free version and they are all that i ever dreamed they’d be. slightly almond scented, thick and tender, buttery-sweet sugar cookies. like many gluten-free products, the cookies are tender, but they are not too fragile to handle. i’ve iced and decorated these with royal icing, which gives them even more structural support.

ruhlman’s ratio for a sugar cookie is 1.5 parts flour / 1 part sugar / 1 part butter.
the ratio i used was close enough. it came out to 1.8 parts flour / 1 part sugar / 1 part butter.

Classic Sugar Cookies
1 teaspoon golden flaxmeal
2 teaspoons very hot water
420 grams (about 3 cups) kumquat’s all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Combine flaxmeal and hot water in a small bowl. Mix well until a slurry forms; set aside. Combine gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer, or with a handheld electric mixer, for 5 minutes or until pale. Add flax slurry, egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture until dough forms.
Transfer dough to a large sheet of wax paper. Top dough with another sheet of wax paper. Roll dough to 3/8-inch thickness. Place wax paper covered dough onto a baking sheet and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from freezer; peel top layer of wax paper off of dough and place back on dough. Turn dough over; peel layer of wax paper off of dough and discard paper. Cut cookies with desired cookie cutter shapes. Re-roll all excess dough and cut cookies (no need to re-chill).
Place cut cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until edges are barely golden and middles look tender.
Yield: about 2 dozen cookies.

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Royal Icing
16 ounces powdered sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
5-6 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon corn syrup
Combine ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Color with gluten-free food colorings, if desired.

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a big, ol’ thanks to my sweet friend and neighbor, kelly of one creative cookie, for generously letting me use her beautiful and exciting sprinkles and sugars. if you do eat wheat or have friends who do, her cookies are to die for. my family says they’re delicious. i know that they’re gorgeous!
and thanks also to caroline for hosting us and our cookies this month. now, time to drool over all of the other gluten-free holiday cookies…

amanda of gluten free maui made simple shortbread
amie of the healthy apple made grapefruit sugar cookies
brook of b & the boy made candy cane shortbread
 caleigh of gluten free[k] made mulled spice cookies
 caneel of mama me gluten free made cardamom date cookies
caroline of the g spot revolution made double chocolate chip peppermint cookies
charissa of zest bakery made coconut peanut butter chocolate cookies
claire of gluten freedom made chai latte cashew cookies
erin of the sensitive epicure made spritz cookies with jam
irvin of eat the love made apple brown butter bay leaf spice cookies
jean of gluten free doctor recipes made reindeer cookies
jenn of jenn cuisine made basler brunsli
jonathan of the canary files made salted oatmeal raisin cookies
karen of cooking gluten free made mexican wedding cakes
lisa of gluten free canteen made molasses rum raisin cookies

mary fran of frannycakes made pinwheel cookies
meaghan of the wicked good vegan made chocolate chip cookies
meredith of gluten free betty made chocolate peppermint cookies
mori of meals with morri made thumbprint cookies with apricot preserves
pete & kelli of no gluten, no problem made belgian speculaas cookies
rachel of the crispy cook made melomakarona
shauna of gluten-free girl made soft molasses cookies
silvana of silvana’s kitchen made old-school italian jam-filled hazelnut cookies
tr of no one likes crumbley cookies made cinnamon lemon cookies
tara of a baking life made walnut shortbread

these cookies will also be a part of the gluten free scallywag‘s online gluten-free christmas magazine. please hop over to the gorgeous and amazing magazine and treat yourself to a look! thanks, jas, for the great honor of being a part of something so lovely and mouth-watering!