I think it is pretty safe to say that the gluten free trend is now a permanent fixture in our culinary culture. Having worked in the food industry as well as having been voluntarily gluten free, I have both given and received “the look.” It’s the look that a tired, cranky cook gives a server when his or her patron requests a gluten free burger (aka sans bun) before chowing down on the glutenous beignets the table ordered for dessert. This “look” is what occurs when people bastardize a severe health concern for the sake of their waistbands. While I have to say that I felt leaps and bounds better while maintaining a gluten free diet, I’m damned to stomach pains and headaches due to my inability to stay away from sourdough breads and snickerdoodles. Fortunately for me, those are my only health concerns when it comes to gluten…. my sister is not so lucky.
My sister has a wheat allergy resulting in itchy, unattractive hives/rashes that last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. Having seen these red patches and watched her anguish until they’ve faded, my blood boils when waiters and waitresses give her the eye when she asks for gluten free options. Like I said, I know that look, and I’ve probably given it skeptically when a waiter has asked me to do a dish gluten free after a long night. I wish I could go back and slap myself every time I gave that look now that I see that look given to my sister. In short, don’t be a jerk when someone says they’re gluten free, and don’t be a gluten free jerk.
To redeem myself from past gluten-skepticism, I made my sister some gluten free sugar cookies that we childishly rolled out and cut out into Easter shapes (seriously we’re both over twenty years old and we still fight over who gets the bunny cookie-cutter). The kicker? My picky, 17-year-old cousin didn’t even know they were gluten free… That’s a win in my book.
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- Butter 1 1/2 sticks
- Sugar 1 C
- Egg 1 ea
- Milk 1 Tbs
- Vanilla bean paste 1 tsp
- Gluten free flour 2 C
- Baking powder 1 tsp
- Almond extract 1/2 tsp
- Xanthan Gum 1/2 tsp
1. Using a paddle, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3. Add in the flour and baking powder. Mix until combined.
4. Form dough into a flat rectanglue and wrap in plastic. Put into a fridge until form and cold.
Hint: If you can make your dough even flatter than this, it will aid you when it comes time to roll out your dough. Yes, I know that’s not a rolling pin… Mine is still lost in a moving box somewhere in the depths of my basement. But hey, its round and it did the trick.
5. Working quickly, roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Use whatever cookie cutters you’d like (or go just go abstract artist on it and freehand some shapes with a knife) and transfer onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or greased parchment.
6. Bake in the oven at 350˚F for about 12-15 minutes. Make sure to rotate half way through.
7. Let the cookies cool completely before decorating if you are planning to decorate with icing.