Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy New Years!

Happy New Year 2009! I hope that everyone had just a nice - and gluten free - holiday as I did with my family. I also wanted to assure my readers that, no I have not fallen off the face of the planet. Our holiday season was incredibly busy between holiday parties with family, friends and co-workers, and it was very fun making our traditions gluten free this year!

One of the most important Christmas traditions in our family is, of course, Christmas cookies. There's a huge list of cookies we like to bake for the holidays, which have included in years past sugar cookies, gingerbread men, snickerdoodles, ricotta cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies. I'd already modified our sugar cookie recipe to be gluten free, so this year we decided to try our hand at de-glutening our ricotta cookie and snickerdoodle cookie recipes, and I added my new favorite cookies, amarettis (naturally gluten free!) to the mix. Yum!

The ricotta cookies came out tasting very good - we could still taste the ricotta cheese - though the rice flour did leave a slight aftertaste different from the "traditional" ricotta cookies made from wheat flour. It wasn't unpleasant at all though and we quite enjoyed them. I decorated them with colored sugar, sprinkles, and nonpareils. I modified our old recipe to use white rice flour instead of wheat flour, and they came out on the first try.

I've always used Betty Crocker's recipe for sugar cookies, and it was very easy to modify this recipe using white rice flour - and decorated them, of course, with copious amounts of colored sugar!

We made the amaretti cookies using Bob's Red Mill almond meal/flour and the hard-to-find special ingredient, pearl sugar ordered from King Arthur Flour. Note: the bag says that pearl sugar is processed in a facility that also processes wheat, but we didn't have any problems with it. I like to cook them a little bit less than usual so they're chewy instead of crispy - I thought they came out the best of anything we baked. I plan to purchase a food processor for next year though, so hopefully they'll come out a little smoother than they are in the picture above!

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