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Christmas Time is Here

Posted Dec 20 2009 5:22am

There can’t be Christmas unless there are cookies, regardless of how hectic life can be. Phillip and I work throughout the week, coming home from either as early as early as 5 to as late as 12 AM. I’m always assuring that there is food around and then some. Giving the gift of desserts and sweet treats is just something I do and can’t get away from doing. It is who I am because it is a way that I express myself; cookie decorating is one of those ways because it can take hours.

There are two styles of, well more than that, cookies: drop roll and cut, or just cut and bake. The two can be considered one. The roll and cut via cookie cutter is a task in itself. You have to assure the proper thickness, cut, transfer, bake and transfer to a cooling rack. Once they’re all cool, it is time to decorate and to decorate you have to make the frosting, fill the bags, and go. For me, it can take up to five hours depending on the face I want of the cookie. The best way to avoid the tediousness of cookie decorating is do ahead the dough. With these two recipes you can easily go through your baking with ease because they both can be frozen and refrigerated. After they cool over night (I tend to bake at night now), decorate them the follow day to your delight. In the first set of pictures, I used a stiff butter cream while in the second, since I was mailing those, I used a royal icing. I do like how the butter cream flowed, but, the royal icing is the perfect way to go when you need to take into consideration the possibility of spoilage and smudging.

Both sets of images are comprised of sugar cookie dough and gingerbread. I comprised some Gingy gingerbread men, thumbprint stars and simple decorated cookies in a tray for work while the other half were just cut into circles and decorate a little more elaborately for gifts. If they made it through shipment, I don’t know.

The Gingerbread
One of my friends said she hates gingerbread but when she ate my cookie recipe she fell in love with it. I’ll tell you why. Most recipes call for a ton of spices, such as cloves, anise, allspice ginger, black pepper, etc. I keep it simple. My gingerbread cookies and bread in general are more comparable to a kicked up snickerdoodle with a hint of MILD (note that: MILD) flavored molasses. I don’t like using the blackstrap, nor, do I like a spicy gingerbread because in recollection of childhood years past, I used to get acid reflux from it all; although, that probably was due to the gluten and dairy. Still! Sometimes being overly generous can be a bad thing.

This is a hard dough to work with and may get crumbly, but, that’s all due to the buckwheat flour. Add some water to collect it and just keep kneading until a smooth dough will form. It will, trust me. I thought it wasn’t going to work until I worked it a bit.

The Sugar Cookies
Your average Joe sugar cookies kicked up with a vanilla bean.

At first, before I refrigerated the cookies, they were very sticky. I added about ¼ cup of rice flour to decrease the sticky factor, but, if you refrigerate them and work fast, you won’t really need it. I did that the second time around.


Gingerbread Cookies
¼ buckwheat
¼ millet
2 ½ cups tapioca starch
½ cups sweet rice flour
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1 ½ Tbsp baking powder
½ Tbsp ground ginger
½ Tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp all spice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cups dark brown sugar
1 cups shortening
3 eggs
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup of water if needed

Cream the shortening and the sugar in the heavy duty mix master and mix until the color changes to a light and fluffy consistency.

In another bowl sift all your dry ingredients together.

Add the molasses and eggs to the sugar-shortening mixture. Gradually, add the dry ingredients and mix until a firm dough is achieved. Transfer to plastic wrap, divide the dough into four parts, and refrigerate for about an hour to two.

As mentioned above, if the dough is still too dry, add ¼ cup of water.

When ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll and cut into desired shapes.

Bake for 10 to 16 minutes.


Sugar Cookies
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup shortening
3 eggs
1 vanilla bean
½ cup coconut flour
2 1/3 cup tapioca flour
½ cup brown rice flour
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1 ½ Tbsp baking powder
¼ cup of rice flour, if the dough is too sticky

Cream the shortening and the sugar in the heavy duty mix master and mix until the color changes to a light and fluffy consistency.

In another bowl sift all your dry ingredients together.

Add the vanilla bean and eggs to the sugar-shortening mixture. Gradually, add the dry ingredients and mix until a firm dough is achieved. Transfer to plastic wrap, divide the dough into four parts, and refrigerate for about an hour to two.

As mentioned above, if the dough is still too soft, add ¼ of rice flour at a time.

When ready, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Roll and cut into desired shapes.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.


Royal Icing AKA 7 Minute Frosting
3 tbsp meringue powder or powdered egg whites
2 cups (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup water, more or less depending on consistency
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract



Combine all the ingredients together in a kitchen aid mixing bowl (unless you have a really good hand blender, then, by all means use that). Whip that thing until the mixture becomes smooth, glossy, and mildly thick. It should look like the color and texture marshmallow fluff.


I used the white as a base and simply spread it on by a small spatula. I let that dry over night and then continued. I usually let it dry overnight to assure it becomes hard. If it doesn’t solidify, you run the risk of it chipping and cracking during travel time.

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