Before driving to Hondo, TX and after a morning run with Robert, Kayla and I made a quick batch of Christmas sugar cookies. Robert's parents live in Hondo and his sister and family were also headed there for us all to celebrate an early Christmas together by eating lots of fajitas, which is a Texas Christmas tradition second only to tamales. The tamales will happen tomorrow night on Christmas Eve, of course. Tomorrow night, I will also have a houseful of gluten free family members, so I wanted to get these made. Cookies for Christmas Eve and pies for Christmas Day ~ that is the plan.
I used to make these all of the time with regular flour, and I have to admit they are a bit more difficult to achieve without the gluten, but this time I added some xanthan gum in hopes of them holding together a bit better. I also used more rice flour than tapioca and potato, thinking that would also prevent them from spreading out and losing shape. They worked pretty well, and this year we made some plain round ones along with the cut ones. We plan to dip the round ones in chocolate and then sprinkle the chocolate with crushed candy canes.
The recipe is adapted from a recipe out of one of my favorite Susan Branch cookbooks: Christmas From the Heart of the Home.
Sugar & Butter Cookies
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
4 cups GF flour (rice, potato, tapioca)
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well. Beat in flour, xanthan gum, and salt until well blended. Add more flour if dough is too sticky. Letting dough chill in the refrigerator for a while will also help.
Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut into shapes. Sprinkle with colored sugars before baking if desired or coat them with icing after baking and add sprinkles on top of the icing. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. They do not need to brown, and will be fragile when done. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Yesterday, we had the privilege of meeting my brother's fiance. Stu and Rachel (she's so great!) flew to Austin from California and we met them at Kerbey Lane Cafe on Guadelupe. Kerbey Lane Cafe is famous for being open 24 hours and having amazing pancakes. I may have eaten a few of them as a college student in need of a study break at 2am! Now, they even have gluten free pancakes, and we sampled both kinds ~ apple cinnamon and gingerbread. They were sooooooo good!
Guadelupe street is also known as "The Drag" on the University of Texas campus, and so we also made a pilgrimage to the co-op, which is a bookstore, but also a souvenir shop for ALL things Longhorn and Burnt Orange. We HAD to stop and get a Christmas photo with Bevo. (And Beiber, it seems)
And Kory enjoyed posing by the poster of the UT baseball stadium.
Christmas Cookies, fajitas and tamales, pancakes, new fiances, and LOTS of burnt orange. Could it get any better?
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas weekend!