Christmas baking

Posted by barb on Dec 16, 2006 in Pictures, Random Thoughts |

Last weekend I did most of my Christmas baking (and some of you work friends have already sampled it). I made seven different kinds this year – more than what I was planning, but a couple of them were very easy.

Here they are:

Spritz Ginger Snaps
Spritz (gluten free) Ginger Snaps (gluten free)
Rice Crispie Snowment Sugar Cookies
Rice Crispie Snowmen Sugar Cookies
Russian Teacakes Choclate Marshmallow-Hazelnut bars
Russian Teacakes Hazelnut Marshmallow triangles
Ishler Tortchen (sp?)  
Ishler Tortchen (Tortlettes)  

Three of them are free of wheat gluten (turns out my mom is okay with corn gluten). The spritz and ginger snaps are completely gluten free, with the spritz recipe coming from here, and the ginger snaps were from a mix from the Gluten Free Pantry (found at Whole Foods – good cookies). The Ischler Tortchen are an Austrian recipe from Andrew’s mom, and for the first time making them, they turned out quite well (if I do say so myself).

Notes on the gluten-free spritz: I used white rice flouer instead of the brown rice flour that was called for. They taste quite good – slightly odd texture, but no odd after-taste. I colored a third of the dough red and a third green, and these colored bits went through the spritz machine a lot easier than the uncolored third. The uncolored bit fell apart more easily, and wouldn’t go through one of the holes of the disk. The Christmas tree mold seemed to work best, both for pressing the cookies and for getting them off the cookie sheet. Oh, yeah, there was a delicate balance between leaving the cookies on the cookie sheet too long and not long enough – in both cases the cookie fell apart. I resorted to using a knife to free the cookies from the pan, then a spatula to transfer them to the cooling rack. This was no guarantee that they’d stay together, but it tipped the odds in my favor. Even after they are off the pan, though, they are very delicate. I don’t know if these will make it to Minnesota in one piece, though I’m gonna give it a try.

A note on the Rice Crispie Snowmen: commercial brands of Rice Crispies have flour in them – you really need to buy the gluten-free ones to ensure a gluten-free treat. The marshmallows contain modified cornstarch, but according to several gluten-free informational websites, in the US modified cornstarch is gluten-free. In other countries, this may not be the case. In any event, the M&Ms and frosting on my snowmen has cornstarch (not modified), so has some corn gluten.

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