Sunday, December 5, 2010

GF Candy Cane Cookies

     This is one of our families favorite Christmas cookies.  We have always made Christmas cones and delivered them to our family and friends, and this is the cookie that always gets the most requests.  People always say that they could have use more candy cane cookies in their cones.
     The recipe comes from the back of a bag of Wonder Flour that my mom cut out in the 70's and it is the recipe we have used every since.  I made substitutions for our allergies and am pleased to say that they taste just like the ones from my childhood.


Free of: Gluten, Egg, Soy, Dairy, Corn*

Ingredients:
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar*
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp natural red food coloring

Directions:
Mix shortening, sugar, egg replacer, and extracts together thoroughly.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, and xanthan/guar gum.  Stir in half of flour mixture into the shortening mixture.  Work remaining flour in with your hands until the dough holds together.  Divide dough in half and blend one half with the red food coloring.  Pinch off quarter size balls of each color of dough.  Roll into about 4" strips. 

 Roll them back and forth on lightly floured board.  The dough will be tender.  Place strips side by side, pressing them together and twisting like a rope.  You will have to do this carefully.  Continue to twist and press to keep them together.  (Also, complete the cookies one at a time.  If you make all the strips first and then go back and twist them, the dough may become to dry to twist successfully.)  

Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Curve top down to form the handle of the cane.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 9 min. or until they are lightly browned.  Let sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to cool, before removing.  Makes a little over a dozen.


Notes:
  • Don't scoop the GF Flour Mix if you are going to use Cybele's recipe.  Spoon it into the measuring cup to avoid using too much flour.  
  • I did use 1/2 tsp of natural red food coloring and I don't think the picture even picked up the faint pink color.  If you want more of a red color I would suggest rolling them in the India Tree Nature's Colors Raspberry Red Decorating Sugar  before twisting them.  I have NOT tried this yet, it was something I was thinking about, to give them a more vibrant color when I make them for friends.  
  • When I made these cookies, I used only vanilla extract (2 1/2 tsp) and they tasted more like a shortbread without the almond extract.  So, if you are allergic to nuts you can forgo the almond extract, use just vanilla and they are still super yummy.
  • Make sure that your confectioners sugar is corn free.  You can easily make your own here.
  • My mom always crushed peppermint candy and sprinkled the tops of the cookies.   You can buy allergy free candy canes Pure Fun Organic Candy Canes, 6-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6) if you like peppermint and wanted to do the same.


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