The jingle of sleigh bells breaks the silence of a quiet Christmas Eve. A crash is heard at the base of the chimney and, through a puff of soot, out walks jolly old St. Nick. He looks to the tree and sees it strung with an impressive popcorn garland. Pleased, he moves toward the Christmas tree, but something is amiss. His eyes dart left, then right, but where is his plate of festive sugar cookies? And then the man in red sees him: Dad, curled up on the couch in his housecoat, his collection of Rush records scattered around the living room, a few sugary crumbs peppering his moustache. Looks like Dad might have some ‘splainin’ to do …
Sugar cookies aren’t just for Santa anymore. Not only are they fun to decorate, but they can be cut into pretty much any shape imaginable. Frost a spooky jack-o’-lantern at Halloween or a bunny at Easter, pick up a dinosaur cookie cutter for nibbles during the class trip to the museum, or spread on some delightful bubble-gum-pink buttercream with sprinkles for a little retro birthday fun. They’re the all-purpose special occasion cookie, and when it comes to decorating, you won’t have any trouble recruiting your family and friends to get the job done. (Note: Dad is not invited.)
- Yield: 18 cookies
- 1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (2 sticks)
- 1 cup organic sugar
- ¾ cup vanilla coconut yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3½ cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 batch donut glaze (optional)
- 1 batch vanilla buttercream frosting (optional)
- Sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
- In a large bowl using a spatula or fork, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the yogurt and vanilla and mix until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix well using a spatula until a soft dough is formed. Divide the dough in half and shape into two discs. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out one disc to about ½ inch thick. Using a 2½-inch cookie cutter, cut into desired shape and transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until a peek under the bottom of a cookie shows a light golden colour.
- Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- If desired, decorate with the donut glaze tinted with a few drops of food colouring or beet juice, or with a layer of vanilla buttercream with sprinkles scattered on top. Serve often, and with tea (or milk, as your Santa requests).