Gluten-Free Maple Spice Cookies for Your Holiday Baking
It is that time again to get into the holiday baking spirit. Have you gotten started yet?
I am not sure what your weather has been like recently, but I must say that since it has still been pretty warm here in the Southwest, I have not been completely compelled to get much baking done yet. But with two pleading boys eager to shovel some cookie dough into their little mouths, I “forced” myself to do a little baking this weekend.
I whipped up our favorite treat at this time of year: Gluten-Free Maple Spice Cookies. They just smell like the holidays should smell as they bake and are perfectly chewy and cake-like (as long as you do not overcook them). They puff up so beautifully while they are baking and are an amazing combination of holiday flavors. They keep very well and make a wonderful homemade gift.
I am sure this batch was my first of many over the next few weeks….the only thing complaining about that will be my hips…
Now, hopefully you are in the mood to do some baking and will whip yourself up a batch of these:
Gluten- Free Maple-Spice Cookies
(Easily Adaptable to be Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, and Nut-Free)
Makes about 24 cookies
- 1 cup White Rice Flour
- 2/3 cup Almond Flour (For Nut Free: use certified Gluten-Free Oat Flour)
- 2/3 cup Potato Starch
- ¾ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt, fine
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cloves
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger (optional)
- 12 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted – softened at room temperature (For Dairy Free: use 6 Tbsp Spectrum Organic Shortening with 6 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick, room temperature)
- ¾ cup **Organic Maple Sugar, OR Brown Sugar, packed, OR Organic Palm or coconut sugar
- 1 Large Egg (For Egg Free: use 2 tablespoons water + 1 tablespoon oil + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, beaten together until smooth)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Grade B Maple Syrup (preferably organic)
- 1 Tablespoon Unsulphured Molasses
For Rolling Cookies In (Mix the Following Together in small bowl):
- 2 Tablespoons Maple, Brown, or Palm Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together white rice flour, almond (or oat) flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, sea salt, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground ginger (if using) until well-blended and mixture feels light.
3. In large bowl of electric mixer, cream together room temperature butter (or Dairy-Free replacement) and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes with mixer at medium speed), scraping sides of bowl with rubber spatula once or twice.
4. Add egg (or Egg –Free replacement), vanilla extract, and Maple Syrup, and Molasses. Mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl.
5. Add dry ingredients slowly while mixer is on LOW speed. Mix until just combined, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape bowl once.
6. Roll dough into 1 ¾ inch balls (about the size of a ping-pong ball) then roll each ball in the sugar cinnamon mixture before placing on baking sheet.
7. Place cookie balls (rolled in sugar mixture) 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. DO NOT USE A SILPAT MAT OR PARCHMENT for these. These cookies will puff up much higher directly on sheet. Important: Place cookie sheet in refrigerator for 20 minutes prior to baking to chill dough. Repeat with remaining dough (do not put raw dough on hot cookie sheets-cool cookie sheets first or cookies will spread).
8. Bake for 11-13 minutes. These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy. Do not overcook them (they will not look totally done when you pull them out, but will firm up as cooling). Once done, cool on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer to wire rack.
**Maple Sugar, although absolutely delicious, can be quite expensive. You can also use Brown Sugar (or Organic Palm Sugar) in this recipe with perfect results as well.
What is your favorite holiday cookie recipe?
Kim Maes is the creator of the Cook It Allergy Free iPhone and iPad Apps, which customize recipes to meet multiple food allergy needs. She also writes the recipe blog Cook It Allergy Free, where she shares her passion for teaching others how easy and delicious it can be to eat whole, pure allergy-friendly meals that the entire family will enjoy. Kim went back to receive a Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition after her son and her husband were diagnosed with Celiac Disease and other food sensitivities.
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