Saturday, 9 December 2017

GF Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Baking and decorating sugar cookies is one of my favourite Christmas pastimes, there's something really relaxing - almost therapeutic - about rolling out the dough, cutting the shapes, baking them and then carefully icing the cookies and of course adding plenty of sprinkles.

I usually make the traditional vanilla Sugar Cookies, however this year I decided to make some Chocolate ones too and I'm so glad I did! Not only are they delicious with an almost fudgy chew, but the icing and decoration stands out so much more on the dark brown cookies!

These are gluten free and vegan, but you'd never know it! They hold their shape perfectly, just make sure you don't skip the chilling of the dough, it really is crucial.

I made aquafaba Royal Icing to decorate the cookies with and it really gives such a beautiful finish to the cookies and it sets completely firm so you can stack them and package them without damaging the design at all. The recipe for the royal icing is by the extremely talented Swedish Vegan.

GF Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Makes 40-50 cookies

3/4C margarine, softened (I used Stork)
1C granulated sugar
1Tbsp cornflour
1Tbsp aquafaba
3Tbsp almond or soy milk
1tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2C GF plain flour (I used Doves Farm)
3/4C cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp xanthan gum
1/4tsp salt

1 batch Royal Icing 
Food colouring gel
Various sprinkles (I get my vegan, GF sprinkles from Baking Time Club)

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer cream together the softened margarine, sugar & vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add the aquafaba, cornflour & milk and beat until well combined. 

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt and add to the wet ingredients. Mix slowly until completely incorporated. The dough should come together but not be sticky.
Split the dough into two pieces and roll each one out in between two pieces of baking paper to about 1/4 inch thickness. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Once the dough has been chilled remove one piece from the fridge, remove the top layer of baking paper and use cookie cutters to cut different shapes out of the dough. Carefully transfer them to a lined baking sheet, leaving a little space between each cookie (they don't spread). Bake one tray at a time in an oven preheated to 350/175 for 8 mins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray for 5 mins before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.
Re-roll the remaining dough and repeat this process until you've cut and baked all the dough.

Take the royal icing and split into however many different colours you wish to use. Add water a half teaspoon at a time if the icing is too thick. Spoon into piping bags and you're ready to decorate!

Pipe icing however you like onto the cookies and add sprinkles or whatever else you fancy!
Leave to dry out overnight on the baking trays or cooling racks. The icing will set firm and you can then transfer them to a Tupperware container to store.

The cookies keep for about a week in an airtight container.
You can freeze unfrosted cookies for up to 3 months - when you wish to use them remove from the freezer and allow to defrost for an hour before decorating.

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