12 days of cookies: cocoa marshmallow

It’s official. It’s Christmas Eve. Is that hard to believe for anyone else? It seems like just yesterday I had the thought of making 12 different kinds of cookies for my blog, and here I am sharing the 12th recipe. And boy is it a good one.

I went back and forth with what the 12th cookie should be. I thought maybe peppermint bark, some other kind of candy, a chocolate chip cream cheese idea, I just couldn’t settle on what should be made.

Sister brought up the idea of making a Hot Cocoa cookie, but she wasn’t exactly sure how it should be executed. Later I learned she was thinking some sort of chocolate cookie with chunks of marshmallows in it, but my mind went somewhere entirely different. To Martha Stewart’s Cookie Cookbook yet again and to a recipe I didn’t think I would be able to make again. Chocolate-Malt Sandwich Cookies. Malt powder + gluten sensitivity? No go. Hot Cocoa + gluten sensitivity? Heck yes.

Cocoa Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

  • 2c +2T gluten free bisquick
  • 1/2c cocoa powder
  • 1/4c hot cocoa mix (2 pouches)
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4c organic sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1/4c plain greek yogurt (or creme fraiche)
  • 3T hot water
  • 1 tub marshmallow fluff

1. Sift together all of the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

3. Add in the egg, vanilla, greek yogurt and hot water.

4. Once the wet mixture is all combined, gradually add in the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

5. You can either bake the dough right away, or refrigerate like I did. Once the dough was cool, roll it into balls and put on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

6. Bake in a 350′ oven for 10-12 minutes. The warmer the dough is, the more it will spread and the flatter cookies you will have, so it’s up to you and how you want yours to look!

6. Once cooked, take out of the oven rack and place on a cooling rack.

7. After the cookies are cooled completely, stuff each cookie with marshmallow fluff, or the filling of your choice! (chocolate ganache, buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting…)

These taste like a cup of cocoa in a cookie. Just like we were going for.

Cookie sandwiches are the best.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Luke 2:9-12
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

12 days of cookies: peanut blossoms

I seriously can’t believe it is only two days before Christmas… and not even full days! Christmas has come way too fast and before I know it, it’ll be the new year and I will be running in the Disney 1/2 marathon – only 2 weeks and a day away! Well, there’s still time for two more cookie recipes to round out the 12 days of cookies and you will be sure they do not disappoint.

Peanut blossoms have been a staple in my house at Christmas for as long as I can remember. I personally like the chocolate star topping the best – it is the perfect size and it is easy enough to get some chocolate in each and every bite. If you can’t find chocolate stars, then you can substitute kisses (might want to spring for the ones out of the wrappers!) or four Christmas-colored m&m’s on top. This recipe makes 7 dozen… which might seem like a lot, but they will be gone faster than you could imagine.

Peanut Blossoms

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (I used Skippy)
  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 1/2c organic white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2t vanilla
  • 4T milk
  • 1 package gluten free bisquick
  • 2t xanthan gum
  • 2t baking soda
  • 1t salt
  • chocolate stars/kisses/m&m’s

1. Cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until all creamy (I cut the sugar quantity in this recipe in half – I couldn’t put in 2 cups of sugar!).

2. Add in the eggs and vanilla and milk. Mix to combine.

3. Put in the xanthan gum, baking soda and salt, and then gradually add in the bisquick. Doing your dry ingredients this way helps keep this to a one-bowl recipe!

4. Scoop the dough into balls (I used a small cookie scoop and then rolled into round balls). Roll into additional sugar to coat the outside of the dough.

5. Place on to a lined baking sheet, and bake in a 375′ preheated oven for 8 minutes.

6. Take out of the oven and place a chocolate star on the top of each one. Put back into the oven and bake for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and move to a cooling rack.

Once again, the gluten free bisquick makes this recipe just as good as the original… if not better because of the extra puffyness!

You can make this dough in advance and keep in the fridge for a couple days, but the balls are easier to roll when you make them right away. These cookies are also Santa approved ;).

Check back tomorrow for the 12th day of the 12 days of cookies! We’re trying out a new recipe tonight, so hopefully it turns out!!!

12 days of cookies: peppermint brownies

Feel like another easy recipe that looks like it took forever to make? Thought so. Well, here you go :). Enjoy as we now only have four more wake ups ’til Christmas!

Peppermint Brownies

  • 1 box gluten free brownies, or your favorite brownie recipe (I used Trader Joe’s gluten free brownie mix and it was fantastic)
  • 1/2c chocolate chips
  • 1t peppermint extract
  • 1c chocolate chips
  • ~2T milk
  • 4 candy canes, crushed

1. Mix the brownies according to package directions, or your recipe. Add in the chocolate chips and peppermint extract to the batter before baking.

2. One the brownies have baked and cooled, melt the chocolate with the milk over a double boiler, or in the microwave.

3. Top the cooled brownies with the melted chocolate ganache topping and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes or peppermint candy.

4. Keep in the fridge. Once set up, cut into delightful triangle-shaped pieces.

I brought these to my work Christmas party and they were  a huge hit. Just can’t get enough chocolate + peppermint! Or peppermint + white chocolate.

 

12 days of cookies: gingerbread chocolate chunk

Isn’t it amazing how fast these days go before Christmas now that we’re no longer little anxious kiddos waiting for their Christmas loot? When I was younger, I think the entire month leading up to Christmas would just drag on forever. I wish I could go back to the days when this month went slowly! Being able to enjoy this time of year, seeing the Advent wreath lit up at church, looking forward to St. Nick coming to get my fill of chocolate and oranges, decorating my present for Baby Jesus to give him at our church’s Christmas program, buying and wonderfully wrapping presents for family and friends… Now it seems like just a rush to get things done! No time to sit down and enjoy the season anymore.

I think this month has been the fastest of them all because I’ve been working full time. This is the first December I haven’t been a student, gearing up for finals and Christmas break. I think mentally I am somehow waiting for finals to come to signal Christmastime – although it is quite nice to not have to study and have more time to bake cookies! So whether this time of year goes really quickly, or goes really slowly for you, finding time to relax and enjoy time with your family and friends with a nice plateful of cookies and a hot chocolate is about as good as it can get.

This recipe is another adaptation from the Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook, and is actually on the cover of the cookbook! I thought it was strange having a gingerbread chocolate chunk be the featured image, but after taking a bite of my first batch I knew. Gingerbread + chocolate is just about the perfect combination, especially around the holidays. It might seem weird at first, but the flavors complement each other so well.

Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk

  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 3/4c sorghum flour
  • 3/4t xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4t ground ginger
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1/4t cloves
  • 1/4t nutmeg
  • 1T cocoa powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2c organic brown sugar
  • 1/2c molasses
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1 1/2t boiling water
  • 7 oz (1/2 bag) semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 1/4c granulated sugar, for rolling
1. Whisk together the flours, spices and cocoa powder.
2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy.
3. Add in the molasses and stir to combine.
4. In a separate, small, bowl, mix together the baking soda + boiling water. Mix in 1/2 of the flour into the butter + sugar mixture. Mix in the baking soda, and then add the rest of the flour.
5. Mix in the chocolate chunks and then turn dough out onto some plastic wrap. Wrap in a disk shape, and then place in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight. (Overnight is best, especially for gluten free cookies!)
6. Once the dough has sufficiently cooled, take out of the fridge and scoop into equal sized balls, I used a small cookie scoop for this. Once they were scooped, I rolled them in my hands and then rolled each ball in sugar. If the dough starts sticking to your hands, place the scooped balls back in the fridge/freezer until they set up.
7. Place the sugar-coated doughballs on a parchment-covered cookie sheet and place in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up again.
8. Bake in a preheated 325? oven  for 10-12 minutes. These are really fragile right off the pan, so let them set up for a few minutes once they are out of the oven before you try to move them. Allow to cool completely before putting away. But I would recommend eating a few first because the melted chocolate is oh-so-good.

Original recipe can be found here.

These are now a staple at Christmastime. I’m just happy that even though December is going fast and Christmas is sneaking up on me, I have still found time to make plenty of cookies and treats!

12 days of cookies: chocolate cutouts

Remember yesterday when I said I was procrastinating making sugar cutouts? Well, I was holding out on you. I did successfully make gluten free cutouts, only not typical sugar cutouts. For the last few years chocolate cutouts have been a staple at Christmastime, and this year could be no different. Gluten or no gluten. In the wonderful Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook, there is a recipe for Chocolate Cutouts and it is delectable. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out using gluten free bisquick, but hey – it was worth a shot.

Well, I must say that these surpassed my expectation. I think they turned out even better than the ones I used to make with flour. They were the perfect thickness (although I have to thank my wonderful Joseph Joseph adjustable rolling pin for the perfect 1/4″ dough!). And I must admit the reindeer adaptation is just about the cutest thing ever!

Chocolate Cutouts

  • 1 1/2c gluten free Bisquick
  • 1/2c + 2T cocoa powder (Trader Joe’s is the best!)
  • 3/4t xanthan gum
  • 1/8t salt
  • 1/4t cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2c powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2t vanilla

1. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl with the gluten free bisquick, salt and cinnamon.

2. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until pale and fluffy.

3. Add in the egg and vanilla.

4. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet until it is all incorporated. Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for a couple of hours (up to a couple of days – if you’re baking a lot, it’s nice to get the doughs all ready before hand and then just bake away on the same day!).

5. Once the dough is chilled, take out of the fridge and separate into smaller, more manageable pieces. Dust your rolling surface and rolling pin with cocoa powder and roll to 1/4″ thickness.

6. Cut into desired shapes. In my case, mittens, snowmen and hearts. I’ve never used the heart cookie cutter before, but when I saw it I envisioned a reindeer! Luckily they turned out and didn’t look creepy ;).

7. Bake in a 350′ oven for 8-10 minutes, until set but not overbaked. Take out and allow to cool on the cookie sheets and then move to cooling racks.

8. Decorate with frosting and sprinkles, or just eat as-is. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe!

The reindeers are decorated with Snyder’s gluten free pretzel sticks, a colored white chocolate chip, and some eyes from a specialty baking store. Regular chocolate chips for the eyes will probably work too, but we had these laying around and I couldn’t resist!


Easy Chocolate Frosting

  • powdered sugar
  • sifted cocoa powder
  • a dab of softened butter
  • milk to moisten

1. Combine all ingredients and mix until a semi-thick consistency. There’s no exact measurements. Obviously the more cocoa powder you add, the darker chocolate flavor and color you will get. You want it thin enough to spread, but thick enough to not fall off – this one was spot-on!

The 12 days of cookies just keep getting better and better ;).

 

12 days of cookies: peppermint sugar

One recipe I have yet to conquer is rolled out sugar cookies. I keep procrastinating, worried that they’re not going to turn out and I’ll have a disaster on my hands. This weekend is when I will hopefully be able to say I successfully made sugar cookie rollouts, but for the time being, these are a great substitute! I might even use the dough as a starter for the rollouts, I guess we will just have to wait and see! Sister gets the credit for finding this idea on the Pillsbury website, but I must say we outdid their attempt. I used to love the tube of cookie dough you could buy at the grocery store, ready to bake… but there is nothing quite like homemade cookies – especially when they’re just as easy!

To find the sugar cookie base to use, I just googled “soft sugar cookie recipe”, and found one on Annie’s Eats blog. All I had to do was switch out the flour and I was good to go! Man, don’t the 12 days of cookies keep looking better and better? I’ve got to really up my game on the next ones to make sure they don’t disappoint!

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

  • 4 – 5 cups gluten free bisquick (depending on the stickyness of the dough and the consistency desired)
  • 4 1/2t baking powder
  • 3/4t salt
  • 3 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 5t vanilla
  • 3-4 candy canes, crushed

1. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

2. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat the dough until it is well mixed together.

3. Add in the baking powder and salt, and then the gluten free bisquick a little at a time, mixing to incorporate. Make sure the dough is not too sticky, but not too dry either.

4. Add in the crushed up candy canes and mix well. Let sit outside (if it’s cold out), or in the fridge for about an hour, or overnight if desired.

5. Scoop and roll into even balls, and bake in a preheated 350′ oven for 10-12 minutes, making sure the cookies are set but not overbaked.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the tray, and then move them to a cooling rack.

7. To decorate, melt some white chocolate chips + grapeseed oil in a double boiler. Dip half of the cookie in the melted chocolate, and then top with additional crushed candy canes. You can also decorate with sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, colored sugar, etc.

These look so festive and are a great addition to my Christmas cookie list!

I brought a tray of various cookies to a potluck at work yesterday, and these were the first to go! A nice alteration to regular sugar, but don’t worry, a cutout recipe will be coming soon!

12 days of cookies: snowballs

Sometimes when baking gluten free, mistakes happen. Sometimes these mistakes ruin the entire recipe, and sometimes you just find another way to make the recipe. Well, this one is thankfully the latter.  I don’t have much experience baking these even gluten-filled, so it was quite the experiment. The first time I tasted this recipe was two years ago when sister participated in a cookie exchange at her work. Oh my goodness, I never knew I could love a recipe so much that I had never had before. It took an entire year to get the recipe that was used, but luckily it came in time for last Christmas so I could experiment with my own!

The original recipe (from Betty Crocker, by the way), used chopped nuts as the mix in. I did make that version last year, but I also made a version using mini chocolate chips. I love both, but the chocolate won out this time! And what about this recipe didn’t exactly turn out as expected? The snowball shaped cookies turned to… melted snowballs? I think the extra leavening in the Bisquick combined with not chilling the dough before baking was why this happened!

Snowballs

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2c powdered sugar
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1c gluten free bisquick
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/2c mini chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar to coat

1. Cream the butter and the sugar together with the vanilla until pale and fluffy.

2. Add in the bisquick and salt and mix to combine. I do everything in just one bowl so it is an extremely easy recipe!

3. Roll into balls and place into the fridge/freezer to set up. (I didn’t do this on accident and they still turned out, just not quite as successfully!)

4. Once the snowballs have set up, place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 400′ oven. *You can also roll the dough in powdered sugar for their first coating if you desire, I’ll be trying out this trick next time.

5. Bake for 8-9 minutes until the cookies are set – do not overbake!

6. Once out of the oven, you are supposed to be able to roll them in powdered sugar. Well, these cookies were crumbly at first so they got a sprinkling on the pan instead (rolling was NOT an option – plus they weren’t quite ball-shaped). This step could also be skipped if you pre-rolled in the powdered sugar, but I’m not quite sure how that would work yet. I’ve got to give credit to Sister for this step, because she took charge after they were not rolling initially (and I was on to the next dough-making!).

7. Once the cookies with the first coating have cooled, roll again in powdered sugar and place on a cooling rack. The first coating will make somewhat of a frosting-type coating that the second coat will stick to.

Even though these did not turn out quite as expected, they are still delicious and Sister said she actually prefers them flatter. I on the other hand love dough, so I would like to try these again to see if I can get them rounder and more dough-like, but with 8 more kinds of cookies to go in the 12 days of cookies, there’s not the time or necessity to try them again! Maybe next year ;).

And by next year I mean January because these are almost gone.

12 days of cookies: gingerbread trees

Another day, another recipe. My sugar tooth is definitely getting its fill this week, but that’s what is great about this season! Unlimited cookies, advent calendar chocolates and St. Nick goodies – it really is a good thing I’m in the last month of half marathon training which is forcing me to go out and RUN! Even when the weather is freezing, when my training plan says run, I can have no excuses. Even in rain and 10 degree weather, I’m out and I’m going.

It’s a good thing these cookies are sooo worth being drenched and slightly turning into an icicle while out in Wisconsin December weather. Sister came across this recipe and I am go incredibly glad we tried them out. It was easily converted to gluten free by subbing out all the flour to gluten free oat flour (ground in a blender) and a little added xanthan gum (totally optional). There was a minor panic attack when the cookies completely deformed themselves in the oven, but that was easily corrected by scooping the sides back together into a triangle shape. Much easier than cutting out a bunch of trees, and just as adorable!

Gingerbread Trees

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour
  • 1 1/2t xanthan gum
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1t ground ginger
  • 1/2t ground cloves
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 1t salt
  • 1 sticks unsalted butter or margarine
  • 3/4c organic sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c molasses
1. Whisk the flour and other dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. In a larger bowl, cream and butter and suagr until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg and molasses and mix until well combined.
3. Add the flour mixture into the wet and stir until thoroughly mixed.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.
5. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface (I used sorghum flour, but you can use oat or any other gluten free flour).
6. Roll the dough to 1/4″ thickness. I have a Joseph Joseph adjustable rolling pin and it is FANTASTIC! Best present I bought myself last Christmas!
7. With a pizza cutter or knife, cut into triangle-shaped pieces. I cut into strips and then zigzagged to make triangles.
8. Bake in a preheated 350′ oven for 10-12 minutes. At around 8 minutes, we took out the pans and reformed the triangles. The edges had expanded a little too much, but using a metal spatula worked perfectly to reform them.
9. Let the finished cookies cool a bit on the pan, and the move them to a cooling rack.
10. Top cooled cookies with a drizzle of powdered sugar + milk + butter frosting and a few holiday sprinkles.
(Yet another) Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart – I can’t resist!
These look like they took FOREVER, but cutting them out was too easy, especially with the pizza cutter.

I love gingerbread cookies, and you can be sure this is not the last one that will be on the 12 Days of Cookies!

12 days of cookies: coconut macaroons

Day 2 of the 12 Days of Cookies was actually made on Thanksgiving. Whoops. Anyways, this was my first attempt at making coconut macaroons and it was delicious – they will definitely be made again. Just maybe not before Christmas since there were four different cookies made this weeekend, and many more to come before the Holidays! Have to cut back somewhere, right? And one of the best things about this particular cookie is that it was naturally gluten free – no special product had to be bought for it! Some macaroons are made with flour to make them more cakey, but I liked the cakey and crunchy taste of these.

Coconut Macaroons with Coconut Chocolate Drizzle

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4c – 1/2c sugar (depending on sweetness desired, could also try substituting coconut sugar)
  • 1/4t salt
  • 14 oz (one package) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4c coconut milk
1. Preheat oven to 350′ and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Froth egg whites, sugar and salt with a whisk until fluffy.
3. Add in the coconut and mix until combined and all of the shredded coconut is coated with the egg mixture.
4. Drop into tablespoon sized balls (I used a small cookie scoop to help make them uniform) and flatten slightly if desired.
5. Bake between 25 and 30 minutes, or until lightly brown. Allow to cool either on the baking sheet or on a cooking rack.
6. In a double boiler (or microwave), melt the chocolate chips and coconut milk. This will make a ganache-type consistency once melted and mixed together.
7. Drizzle the tops of the cooled macaroons with the chocolate mixture and lay on a rack to harden. You can also place in fridge or freezer for a few minutes to help it harden, but do not store in the fridge.
Need some help storing the macaroons? I used this tip and it worked really well!
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Have a flour version you want to make gluten free? Sub the regular flour for coconut flour.

You could also mix in different things such as chocolate chips or nuts. They would hold up to just about anything. Need them a little more festive looking? Sprinkle with some colored sugar or sprinkles!