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Gluten Free Icebox Cookies

Lately I have been feeling like I have neglected my gluten-free baking. When I decided to meet up with some friends today, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do some baking. You see, this group of friends has over the years turned into the guinea pig/test run for my never-before-tried-maybe-won’t-turn-out-so-great-but-I-want-someone-to-eat-it recipes. I used things like Korean dramas to lure them over to my house, and once they were trapped I would force feed them my baked goods and gallons of tea.

Anyhow, this recipe is dedicated to them, and I am forever thankful for their continuous willingness to eat whatever I make.

Today’s recipe is inspired by one of my favorite gluten-free cookbooks, the Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free.

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I say “inspired” because while I had planned to follow a recipe from the book, somewhere along the line I ended up changing the flour, changing the amount of sugar and butter, increasing the egg, halving the recipe, and adding extra flavor… So I think at this point I might as well say it is a Maddie-Original 😛

Today’s song of the recipe is “만약에 말야” by 노을, or “What if” by Noel.

As for the recipe, as I mentioned I made several changes to the original, one of them being the flavors. I wanted to make something more colorful and exciting than plain sugar cookies, so I ended up making a Matcha variation and a Thai Tea variation.

 

I followed the same process and made one batch immediately after the other, though I was a little smarter the second time around, so the Thai Tea cookies ended up working a bit better.

As I was making this I was thinking about how I would write it up on the blog. As I was in the final stages of mixing everything together, I thought about how I would say “It looks like it won’t come together, but don’t worry, because it does!”… and then it didn’t come together for real! So what did I do? What any real baker does to solve a problem: add more butter! 😛 For real though, don’t worry, I increased the amount of butter used in the recipe and it turned out great!

 

As you can see, the Matcha dough was much more crumbly and more difficult to work with. Thankfully though, after sitting in the refrigerator overnight both logs of dough were easy to slice.

 

And the final product (perfect for serving with tea!)

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Gluten Free Icebox Cookies
Makes about 15 cookies

Basic Recipe:

½ cup sugar
2/3 cup brown rice flour
½ cup coconut flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
a pinch of salt
1 tsp guar gum
1.5 sticks of butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
sanding sugar (to coat)

Matcha Variation: 2 tsp matcha powder
Thai Tea Variation: 2 Thai Tea tea bags

Whether you simply make the basic recipe or one of the variations, the step are exactly the same.

1) Place ½ stick of butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until creamy.
2) If adding a variation flavor, add it to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
3) In a small bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients together. Add in two additions to the bowl with the butter.
4) Add the remaining stick of butter to the bowl and mix on low speed until incorporated.
5) Add the vanilla and egg and mix on medium-high until the dough comes together. (And yes, I increased the butter in the recipe so it actually comes together 😉 )
6) Turn out the dough onto a hard surface, kneading a few times before forming a 10 inch log.
7) Pour a thin layer of sanding sugar onto a piece of wax paper and roll the log of dough through the sugar, firmly pressing the sugar into the dough.
8) Wrap the dough log in cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours, and up to 3 days.
9) Preheat oven to 370 degrees F.
10) Cut dough log into ½ inch slices, lay on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake for approximately 12 minutes.
11) Remove from oven and cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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My Thoughts:
• The recipe originally calls for millet flour, and as Whole Foods didn’t have any when I went, I used the combination of coconut flour and sorghum flour instead. Gluten free flours are tricky, and can’t always be substituted for each other easily, the same way you can sometimes substitute brown sugar for regular sugar and other times you can’t. I would like to try to get millet flour and see how much the recipe changes.
• I love the color the matcha and Thai tea give the cookies, but I wish there were more of those distinct flavors present. I wonder if there is some way to make a glaze and incorporate those flavors into the glaze…. Hmmmm…
• The cookies look like they would be hard like shortbread, but they are actually quite soft! I was surprised, but I love soft cookies so it was a good surprise.

Result: Overall a Success, 3.75/5 stars. Before I baked them, the smell of the coconut flour was overpowering and I was worried about the final result, but after baking everything turned around.

Thanks again to everyone who eats my food, especially to this group of friends who has been around since early childhood. 😀

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