This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)
These gluten free cookie-press cookies are absolutely delicious! And they are also quite easy to bake!
It was a boring afternoon, you know, one of those days when the hours seem to never go by, I thought of embarking on an adventure that I had always wanted to try, but that I believed to be definitely out of my reach. I dusted off a tool that had been lying for some years (literally!) on the bottom of a shelf. My cookie-press. You’re right, a really high-sounding name. A complicated, extravagant and cumbersome contraption that, precisely for these reasons, I had never taken much into consideration. And yet, a few days ago …
I was bored and the rain was pouring outside, so I decided to give it a try. I have to tell the truth:the process is not so complicated, but there is definitely a learning curve to it. You will have to become familiar with it, and perhaps you will end up breaking up the first couple of cookies, but I urge you not to give up, because once you understand the mechanism it will not only be very easy, but also a lot of fun! Besides, don’t worry, because I’m here to tell you what mistakes not to make. How do I know what they are? Simple: because I myself made them before I got the perfect gluten free cookie-press cookies.
Is this dough special in some way?
Yes. You will appreciate the difference between this dough and your, say, shortbread cookie dough in the first place in the preparation of the dough itself, both for the procedure and for the consistency that you will get at the end. Then, personally, I find that the flavor is also to some extent different, more intense and, simply, delicious.
You will need:
- 1 egg
- 80g of sugar
- 150g of rice flour
- 70g of potato starch
- 30g of cornmeal
- A pinch of xanthan gum
- 130g of soft butter
- A tsp of vanilla extract
First, lightly beat the egg with the sugar and vanilla extract, then add the diced butter and sifted flours as well. Knead with the help of a stand mixer or an electric whisk until the butter is completely absorbed. The dough should be smooth, lumps-free, but definitely not as firm as that of traditional shortcrust pastry. I could describe it as creamy, with a consistency similar to that of ice cream.
Once you have whipped your shortcrust pastry, you just have to … load the cookie-press!
Let’s make our gluten free cookie-press cookies
With the help of a spatula, transfer the dough into the tube of the cookie-press. Choose the shape you like best, insert it into the cap and screw the cap at the end of the press. Insert the plunger into the tube and be sure to push it gently until the dough is well compressed and compact inside.
Get a perfectly clean baking tray. When you bake cookie-press cookies you do not need to line the pan with parchment paper. So, it is absolutely essential that the pan is perfectly clean. And it’s not just a matter of hygiene. In fact, the surface of the pan that will come into contact with the cookies must be free of any residual fat, otherwise the biscuits will not stick as they should.
Once the cookie pess is loaded, place it perfectly vertical on the pan. The nozzle must touch the bottom of the pan. When you are ready, pull the trigger and hold it until you hear a click. This noise means that the plunger has moved, pushing the dough through the mold, and then it has stopped in the next notch. Now, you are ready to lift the cookie-press and look at the cute little cookie… printed on the pan! Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 356°F for about 10-15 minutes.
You can decorate some of these cookies before baking. For example, you could place a candied cherry, a hazelnut cut in half, a sliced almond or some jam in the center of the cookies. If you use jam, however, you must be careful: first make sure you put very little of it, and in any case place it where the jam can rest on the cookie dough and not in an empty space. In fact, in this case the jam will melt, sticking to the pan and it will then be difficult to remove the biscuits from the bottom.
Speaking of removing … Remember: it is essential that before removing the cookies from the pan you are sure that they have cooled completely. In fact, when still hot your cookies will still be very fragile and you could break them if you don’t pay due attention. When they are completely cold you can try to detach them with a very light pressure of the finger, or, for the most resistant, with the help of a thin spatula. Once removed from the pan, you can decorate them with melted chocolate. They will be delicious!
How to store your gluten free cookie-press cookies
Whipped pastry can very well be kept for a long time, even for a couple of weeks. For this, whipped shortbread cookies are a wonderful gift idea, for a birthday or for a special occasion such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Keep them closed in a tin box and you can enjoy them for many days after having baked them. Of course, I don’t assure you that they will last so long …