Happy December! The start of this month kicks off weeks of frenzied baking for me. I have SO many holiday recipes, there's no possible way I can convert them all this year. But I can make a sizable dent, and started to do that today.
I'm tossing around the idea of using ghee in my holiday baking. Ghee is clarified butter...the whey solids and dairy protein separate out and what is left is a clear golden oil. You can buy it with a great "Casein Free!" label on it (which inflates the price a lot). Purity Farms sells a certified casein free ghee. I might try it.
Here is an fast and easy holiday recipe (Penzey's, adapted) that pleases kids and adults alike. The baked cookies have a very pretty, lacy "snowflake" pattern on their tops. I used coconut oil for this recipe. It lends a slight coconut flavor to these cookies, which I like. If you don't, then substitute palm shortening (or ghee, if you like) instead. And happy baking!
1 cup GF flour blend (I used this one)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. coconut oil
6 tbsp. natural cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside.
Sift together the flour through the salt, set aside.
In a large microwavable bowl, heat the coconut oil on high for about 30 seconds, or until just melted. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Stir in the sugar, then the vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture to the cocoa mixture and mix until well combined.
Place powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Drop the cookie dough by heaping teaspoons into the powdered sugar and roll to coat. Shape into balls with your hands and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until puffed and only just set to the touch. Let cool in pan 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.