We were delighted to be asked by Nancy at www.glutenfreebaking.co.uk to trial her new gluten free flour blend. For a while I use to buy all the various ingredients to make a flour blend, and while it shouldn’t be a massive hassle somehow it feels like one. Those of us with allergies always have to put in an extra effort and sometimes we come across something that just pushes us slightly over the edge. That’s how I felt about mixing my own gluten free flour. I’m allergic to wheat, Molly and I are allergic to eggs and dairy so I’m already doing a lot of adjustments. I’ve used other flour blends but sometime I get that cloying taste – I think it’s similar to the texture if I use flax seeds in vegan baking and I just don’t like it.
So…when we were asked to trial Nancy’s new mix I was excited. It’s Christmas time so we do a lot of baking. I like to have some gluten free options so I can eat what I bake. When trialling a new product I think starting with a favourite recipe and adapting is important for comparison purposes. So…sugar cookies it was.
Sugar cookies are great; simple, crisp, and they last for ages in a cookie jar or tin. We decorate with edible glitter so you get a beautiful finish without upping the sugar content. It’s a Christmas tradition in our house – Molly and I have a real giggle decorating the sugar cookies. So…here I was messing with tradition. Always risky.
I didn’t tell anyone that they were gluten free; just handed them around as normal and got the normal happy response. They do come out a bit crisper than cookies made with wheat flour but that’s not a bad thing! And I found they took a little longer to get brown so the cooking time is a bit longer (which is why, I suppose, they are crisper). I do think that they need the colour so it’s worth it. I was delighted with the result. None of the cloying, back of the throat taste that I often find with gluten free flour. I suspect a lot of gluten free flours work well with eggs, but we can’t do that as we are both really allergic to eggs. I have to wear gloves if I’m handling them because the swelling reaction is so immediate. I’m really delighted with the flour as I think it’s produced a really great cookie. Next time – it’s cake.
This is based on an old Betty Crocker recipe - but of course it's been made vegan.
3/4 cup Pure Sunflower Margarine - any dairy free margarine
1 cup caster sugar
2 tsp egg replacer (plus 4 tbsp. water)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour Co plain flour
½ tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Cream the margarine and sugar until you have a nice light looking mixture – a good 4 minutes on a high setting.
Add the egg replacer to the water and whisk – you should get a nice foamy looking mixture.
Beat in the egg replacer and vanilla.
Blend in flour, baking powder, salt and Xanthan Gum.
Chill for 1 hour – the dough really needs this so don’t rush it.
Preheat oven to 400° F/200° C
Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut out into desired shapes and decorate as you like. We use edible glitter and edible writing pens to get the end result. A few sugar balls always make an entrance as well.
Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack.
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