These colourful cookies are a family favourite. They have a light and slightly crisp shortbread texture. They make lovely Christmas gifts, you can either place them in small cellophane bags and tie with ribbon or put them in a pretty Christmas box.
I normally make these cookies a little different. After rolling out the dough I would evenly sprinkling over caster sugar and then place the baking paper/parchment back over and then ever so lightly roll over it with a rolling pin and then simply cut out the shapes. But this year I wanted to try something a little different and colourful!!
I chose to use the Hopper brand of natural colours, because they’re 100% natural fruit and vegetable concentrates. Nothing artificial and no preservatives and they’re also free from gluten, egg and nuts. The added bonus of using these colours is that it gives the sugar a very subtle fruit flavour.
I used a snowflake cutter, but you can use any shape cutter you like. Although the snowflakes look great, there was quite a bit of effort in carefully and neatly spreading the sugar to each of the snowflakes points. Next time I will use a cutter that is more of a block shape, like a stocking, bell or snowman.
We have a tradition in our house for using up any left over cookie dough. Many years ago, I rolled out left over gingerbread man dough into a circle. Our eldest Matthew wanted to decorate it, he piped a crown and a face and called it a King cookie. So from that day forth, the leftover dough are called King cookies.
I made 29 snowflakes plus a King cookie. However, depending on the size of your cookie cutters will determine how many you will make.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
96g (3.4 ounces or ¾ cup) white rice flour
72g (2.6 ounces or ½ cup) sorghum flour
33g (1.2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) potato starch
32g (1.1 ounces or ¼ cup) tapioca starch
78g (2.8 ounces or ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon) golden/raw caster sugar
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) xanthan gum
A pinch of salt
154g (5.4 ounces or ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons) gluten and dairy free butter
1 large egg yolk
1 large eggwhite, lightly whisked
3 different food colourings of your choice
36g (1.3 ounces or 3 tablespoons) of golden/raw caster sugar for each colour
First make the coloured sugar. In 3 small zip-lock bags add 3 tablespoons of sugar to each one. Next add a few drops of food colouring, seal the bag and massage the colour into the sugar. Keep adding the colour a drop or two at a time until you achieve the desired colour. The sugar will be slightly damp, but that’s ok. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 160C and line 3 trays with baking paper or parchment.
To make the cookies, sift together the dry ingredients and then add them to a food processor. Add the butter and process until small pea sized balls start to form.
Now add the egg yolk and process again until the dough comes together.
Lightly flour the bench with white rice flour and knead the dough until it becomes a smooth ball.
Take half of the dough and roll it between 2 sheets of baking paper/parchment to approximately 4mm in thickness. Peel away the surrounding dough around the cut shapes and set aside. Then gently peel the cookies off the baking paper, they peel away very easily. Gather the trimmings and roll out again.
Once all the cookies have been cut out, it’s now time to sugar coat them. Work on one tray at a time.
First, lightly brush the cookies with the egg white and then generously sprinkle over the coloured sugar. I used approximately ½ a teaspoon for each cookie. Using your finger, gently spread the sugar over the cookies to evenly cover the surface.
Pop this tray in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Allow to the cookies to cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the first tray is in the oven, begin sugar coating the second tray of cookies.
Once the cookies are completely cool, store them in an airtight container.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
170C = 150C fan = 335F
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8