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Holiday NomNom

Posted by Midnight Dust on January 4, 2011 in Recipe Alert

My Obaachan (Japanese for grandmother) was a great cook and baker. Every year for Christmas she would produce pounds of cookies and popcorn balls. These little treats are my favorite memory for the holiday season. I have lived without ever since she passed away 2 years ago. For some reason this year has been especially hard on me as we were really close and I miss her. I thought that maybe I could help revive her memory by making the much coveted sugary snacks that I love oh so much. Of course, there has to be a twist since this is…a website about foods I feed my diabetic boyfriend. This should be fun, frustrating and memorable.

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First…the recipe. Courtesy of my Aunt Rhonda since I lost it in a hard drive crash.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda

Icing:
powdered sugar
almond extract
food coloring

In large mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs and almond extract. Beat until blended.

In a medium bowl, mix flour and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture 1 cup at a time, beat at low speed after each addition.

Wrap dough in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour but no more than 1 1/2 hours. (If dough is refrigerated longer, let it soften at room temperature one hour before rolling.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1/4-inch thick on well-floured board. Keep dusting with flour to keep dough from sticking. Cut out cookie with cookie cutter.

Place cookie on cookie sheet lined with baking parchment. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until cookie is set but edges have not yet started to brown. Remove from oven and cool 1 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove and cool completely on cooling rack.

For the icing. Mix the powdered sugar with almond extract and color of choice until it looks like a paste. I used the back of a baby spoon to apply the color to my cookies. I’m still not sure why I have those spoons in the first place (no kids), but I found them to be quite useful.

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I substituted regular flour for Red Mills gluten free all-purpose flour and the sugar with Truvia. I did this alongside a batch of regular cookies and right away I saw the difference. The diabetic cookies didn’t feel or look like dough. It was very dry and crumbly. I’ve this stated before, I don’t get the science of baking so when something doesn’t look right, I get the deer in headlights look on my face and quickly start searching for places to hide my catastrophe. Taking Rob’s suggestion though, I added an extra egg and put the mixture in the fridge for an hour. When I pulled it out, it was way stickier than I would have liked. Again…deer in headlights – maybe no one will notice if I hide it behind the microwave.

But then I figured, why not add more flour? That worked out pretty well. I kept adding flour until it stopped sticking to my fingers. The dough was a bit softer than the regular batch I made but it was soooo much easier to roll out and cut. I baked it as usual, leaving it in for the full 7 minutes and Voila! Diabetic friendly sugar cookies. I felt a mixture of excited and fear for someone to try them. I brought a heart shaped cookie to Rob (yes we are quite disgusting like that) and the verdict??? They tasted very similar to my regular cookies but had that taste of truvia and a little something extra I can’t describe from the flour.

Over all, I’m pretty happy with the way they came out. So much, its going up on the website under Special Treats when I get the recipe down a bit. After making the cookies I read the back of the gluten free flour package. It suggested using Xanthan gum when baking. I’ve never used that before so we shall see in take two of “baking questionable cookies for my poor man to try”.

I didn’t try the popcorn balls yet since I ended up working the week I thought I would have off but I will get to that! Once I make sugar free corn syrup. Man I almost can’t wait to blog about that one…


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