It's snowing again! I can't believe it. The girls have been busy building forts in the living room, enjoying their day off school, while I've kept busy cleaning, decluttering and working on school stuff from home. Music keeps me focused, although DH and I differ on exactly what "focused" means. For him it means concentrating on one thing at a time to the exclusion of other things. For me it means juggling several different tasks at once, giving each a spurt of attention at a time, while listening to music and skimming the surface of the many swirling thoughts in my head. This might look haphazard in action, but all the tasks eventually get done. Music can also help me hyperfocus on stuff as well - I spent untold hours studying in high school and college with headphones on, music loud and on repeat, pencil and foot tapping. Ah, hindsight is 20/20, but I'm glad for the clarity now. The only way we can get Megan to focus on cleaning her room for more than two minutes is to slap headphones on her and pipe in some upbeat music. You go, girl. I know exactly how it is.
So, it's cold and snowing outside. I'm done with my busy work and I've got The Naked and Famous set to repeat. I'd rather turn on the oven and bake than turn up the thermostat, and it's about that time after hours spent feeling chilly. Today's selction is (gluten free and vegan!) Soft Sugar Cookies. My guidance for these cookies comes from this recipe here. I love that I don't have to roll them out and that they stay soft and don't crumble in the least. They keep well for several days in the cookie jar, if they last that long. They are perfect plain or frosted. For Valentine's Day, make the frosting pink with beet juice!
Soft Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup dairy free, soy free margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. orange or lemon extract
1/4 cup Daiya Plain Cream Cheese
1 1/4 cups GF flour blend
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Sift together the flour through the salt, set aside.
Cream together the margarine, sugar, orange or lemon extract and Daiya cream cheese with an electric mixer on high until light and fluffy . Stir in the flour mixture with a spoon, then beat until combined.
Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost when cooled, if desired. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
*For frosting made with beet juice: beat together 3 tbsp. dairy free, soy free margarine and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and beat. Add 1 tbsp. beet juice and beat until well blended. Add another cup of powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, thinning with beet juice until a nice thick frosting consistency is reached.