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Friday, December 19, 2014

Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies & Chocolate Dipped Icebox Cookies

These cookies were an accident. I never intended for them to be thumbprint jelly cookies, or icebox cookies. They were supposed to be gluten free spritz cookies.

So why did they end up this way? Well if you've ever wondered if you can make spritz cookies with a cake decorator instead of a cookie press I'm here to tell you that (at least in the case of my particular cake decorator), the answer is no. No you cannot. It's like trying to push a chunk of play dough out through your nostril.

What you can do instead, if you suddenly find yourself in a panic the night before a party which you have promised to bring cookies to and you have no spritzer-maker, is make thumbprint and icebox cookies. And that's exactly what I decided to do last weekend!

The result was these perfectly awesome gluten free jelly thumbprint cookies and chocolate dipped thumbprint cookies.So here's my recipe, with instructions, sans spritzer. 

 And no, this time around I have no healthy variation. Butter cookies really aren't the same without the butter and sugar!  I so rarely make cookies that this time around I didn't fiddle with a recipe, and just slightly altered my grandmother's recipe to make it GF.

The reason I intended to make spritz cookies in the first place was because a girlfriend was having a Swiss Alps themed Christmas party, and my German Omi always made spritz cookies for Christmas. Luckily, she also made jam/ jelly cookies, so when my spritz experiment failed, I decided to try (for the first time ever) making GF jelly cookies.

I made 1/2 the recipe as thumbprint cookies (some of which I dipped in chocolate), and 1/2 as icebox cookies dipped in chocolate. You can make all one kind, or mix it up for variety!

Above is a shot of the GF sugar cookies just before they were devoured at the party. Below is the cookie making process.

Thumbprint cookies in the making

Make an indent and add some jam or jelly, then bake

To make icebox cookies, create a rectangle, wrapped in plastic or waxed paper

Freeze, then cut thin slices

Bake, then cool before dipping in chocolate

Ingredients for Gluten Free Thumprint, Jelly Cookies and Icebox Cookies (makes approximately 70 cookies - 35 icebox cookies and 35 thumbprint cookies)

1 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange blossom water (optional, I added this and the delicate flavour is lovely)

1 cup white rice flour (or brown rice flour)
1 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup sorghum flour (or more rice flour)
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt

Optional: jelly (I used homemade crabapple jelly), melted chocolate for dipping (I used a mix of chocolate chips and 70% dark chocolate)


Heat oven to 400F.

Combine butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and orange blossom water. Beat at medium speed, scraping often, until creamy. Add flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Beat until combined.

To make chocolate dipped icebox cookies: Shape 1/2 of the cookie dough into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap, and, by hand, press into a rectangular shape (see below pics). Freeze for 20-30 minutes to firm up. You can make the whole dough batch like this, freeze them longer if you like, and slice off and bake as needed.

Slice dough log into thin slices, and lay out on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes, until firm but not yet browned. Cool. Dip in melted chocolate, or use a knife to smear chocolate on at a diagonal across the cookie.

To make thumbprint cookies: Roll small balls of dough between palms. On a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, press thumb (or finger) into dough to create an indent. Spoon in a tiny amount of jam or jelly (I used like 1/4 -1/2 tsp). Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes, until firm but not yet browned. Cool, and dip in melted chocolate if desired.

I have to say, the chocolate-dipped thumbprint cookies went the fastest at the party, even though they were at the bottom of the plate underneath the other ones! Somebody was rooting around in there for them ;) 

What's your favorite, go-to recipe to take to a potluck Christmas party? 

Have you seen my gluten free pasta book  Recipes for Unusual Gluten Free Pasta: Pierogis, Dumplings, Desserts and More! ? Get yourself a copy and start making GF won tons, pierogis, dumplings, and orzo today :)

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