Amazing Sugar Cookies
Where have I been over this past…oh…I dunno year? I’ll give you the shortened version then introduce you to the recipe that reignited my desire to cook and blog again. Alright, full confession, I have IBS. I may have mentioned this once before, I have drafted and deleted several posts to talk about my journey over the past year, but haven’t yet come up with a way to really explain what I’ve been going through. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is basically the “I dunno” response to the question “Why can’t I digest food?” I have been poked and prodded and am very grateful to say that I do not have any type of cancer, or other more serious medical issue. IBS goes through fits and flares and then calms back down (usually). When I’m in a flare-up, I’m unable to digest gluten, dairy, corn, soy, garlic or onions (to name a few of my triggers). In the past, these problems have lasted maybe a month or two and then everything goes back to normal. This time, it’s been a year and I’m still not quite back to normal. There is an emotional component to IBS, which makes sense. I struggle in dealing with stress, and tend to carry it as long as I can. So, my recovery, as well as my struggle, means I have to deal with that nasty brain monster. The more I stress about what I can and can’t eat, the more I seem to have a hard time digesting. The walk to feeling better includes physical fitness (I’ve been training to be a yoga instructor) and mental health (reading self help books, meditating). It is difficult, but doable and I’m getting there slowly and learning how to be patient with myself.
I’ve learned a lot about how to cook for people with dietary challenges and how to ignore people that call me “trendy” for not eating gluten. I’m hoping to share with you all some of my favorite recipes that I’ve developed, ways I’ve learned to incorporate what I can eat into what I want to eat, and hopefully reviews of some restaurants that are patient and kind to those of us that can’t eat.
AMAZING SUGAR COOKIES
Gluten, corn, soy, dairy (potentially vegan) sugar cookies with almond butter cream frosting
1/2 C Earth balance vegan butter (i use the soy free version)
1/2 C cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 C (259 g) Bobs Red Mill 1:1 Gluten free baking blend (and some to roll with)
1/2 Tbs arrowroot powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C vegan butter
1 1/2 C (150g) organic powdered sugar
A splash of Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
1 Tbs almond extract
sprinkles if you like them
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- 2. Cream together your butter and sugars for 1 minute using a large mixing bowl and a stand mixer (or hand mixer)
- 3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix till combined
- 4. Weigh (or measure out) your flour, arrowroot, baking powder and salt and put it in a sifter. Sift the ingredients and add them slowly to the wet ingredients while blending.
- 5. If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit more flour and mix by hand (so you can feel the texture) until it’s dry enough to roll but not crumbly.
- 6. Roll out your dough on a floured surface and use a cup dipped in flour or a cookie cutter to cut out your cookies. Dough should be rolled out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
- 7. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment and cook for about 10 minutes.
- 8. Let them cool on a baking rack then ice and enjoy.
- 1. Place the butter and powdered sugar in the mixing bowl and mix together with your electric mixer
- 2. Add in your almond extract and mix to see what the consistency will be
- 3. Add in the tiny splash of almond milk and mix till combined
- 4. Frost the cookies and enjoy
Ok, be skeptical. Don’t believe that these cookies are delicious, then put that down and try them. And they are safe for just about everyone. A few things you need to know about “safe” products…below you will see a picture of the products I use. It’s important that you use these products specifically if you have a corn sensitivity. Corn is in every product known to man. When choosing a baking powder, make sure you read the ingredients. The target brand baking powder is CORN FREE!!! Yay. There’s no picture of the frosting ingredients, but remember when choosing a powdered sugar, make sure you READ THE INGREDIENTS. Whole Foods brand powdered sugar is corn free! Other brands use cornstarch. Just be careful.
So, here are the ingredients I used. Bob’s Redmill 1:1 baking blend is free from corn, garbanzo/chick pea, soy and gluten. Works for me! I have to be careful with a lot of Bob’s products, due to the chickpea/garbanzo bean in them. Me + beans = angry belly.
If you want to make these vegan, replace the 1 egg with 1/4 c of canned pumpkin. Make sure you check for vegan friendliness of your sugars too.
I put the baking instructions in the recipe card, so I won’t repeat myself. I’ll just show you some of the main highlights.
I realized through a friend that my old sifter was probably infected with gluten, so I decided to go ahead and get a new one. THIS one is by Bakelicious. Their products are cute, fun and make the task of baking less difficult for those of us that aren’t baking inclined. I love this sifter. I put a video on the Facebook page if you’d like to see it in action. You just pull that little ripcord and it sifts your flour products. FOR REAL.
I don’t have any cookie cutters, so I took a tulip beer glass and dipped the rim in the baking blend before using it to create my little circles. When I first tried to roll it out, the dough was way too sticky so I added in just a touch of flour more and blended it by hand so I could feel the texture and it came out perfect.
I love buttercream frosting, and have been missing it. Now I don’t have to. I didn’t bring the butter to room temp, just put the cold butter in my kitchen-aid stand mixer with the powdered sugar and let it blend together until it made a dry lump. I added the almond extract next, so that I could see what the consistency was like before deciding how much almond milk to use. If you don’t like almond, you can use any flavor extract you want. Vanilla, lemon…dealers choice. The almond is my favorite. When putting the almond milk in, I poured it first into the cap of the container so that I could measure out just a tiny bit. It doesn’t take much to make the frosting the perfect consistency.
These cookies pair well with scotch. I poured myself some Macallan to go along with it. What a perfect night.