Gluten-free spritz cookies

Just recently I got a request to translate the recipe for my gluten-free spritz cookies. I decided that instead of doing this via email, I might as well publish the translated recipe here in the blog so that it might benefit someone else as well.
For my finnish-speaking readers, the original recipe can be found over here.

Many a-time I've contemplated about writing my recipes also in english and for a while dabbled with it a bit, but in the end settled with finnish-only as I had (and still have) no idea how many people might find it useful if my recipes were bilingual.
Writing the same thing twice takes a lot more time and when you can't see a clear benefit coming out of it (for me or for the readers) the uncertainty creeps in really fast.
Well, I think I may have to give it a serious thought again and do some deciding at some point.  But before I  do that, let's get to the recipe first.

Spritz cookies are easy to make. The only special skill required is that you need to know your way around a pastry bag and that's not difficult to learn at all.
Bravetart has a great post about using them (click here) and I've also compiled some pictorial guidance myself, although that's in finnish. 

When making spritz cookies, being fast is key. After the ingredients have been creamed together the dough begins to harden and the more you let it sit, the more difficult the piping will be. My best tip is to fill your medium-sized pastry bag no more than half-full. That way you have the best control over it and the warmth of your hands helps to keep the dough more pliable.

Even though I stress that speed is key, what's even more important is that you concentrate in producing pretty-looking cookies one after the other. Even if it slows you down in the beginning. 
When I began practicing piping spritz cookies as a bakery student, I used to scrape every ugly, overlarge, too-small or wonky cookie back into the bowl until I began to get consistent results. After getting my technique in order I was able to add speed.
I understand that this might not be as crucial in a home kitchen as it is in the professional one, but what I have noticed myself is that pretty things taste better than ugly ones. We eat with our eyes as well.

Without further a do:

Gluten-free Spritz Cookies

yield: about 50-70 small cookies depending on the size

  • 60g cornflour (not the same as starch!)
  • 75g rice flour
  • 60g glutinous rice flour (can substitute with regular rice flour)
  • 40g potato starch (can substitute corn or tapioca)
  • 3g xanthan gum
  • 200g butter, room temperature
  • 55g egg
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 5g vanilla sugar (can substitute 1tsp vanilla extract or the scrapings of half a bean)
  • about 100g apricot marmalade or similar (has to be fit for baking, check the label)

Bring all the ingredients to room temperature.

Mix all the flours and the xanthan gum together and add the butter.
Cream them together until the mixture becomes quite fluffy. It will resemble crumbs at first but will soon come together.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.

Then take a pastry bag with an 8-10mm open star tip attached and fill it halfway up with the cookie dough.

Take a few baking parchments and pipe small simple rosettes (like in the pictures above). The cookies will not spread that much so no need to leave gigantic gaps between.

Once you've finished piping the cookies, take a glass filled with water and using a wet fingertip, press small indentures to every cookie. Take care not to press through.
Pipe some marmalade into the small holes.

Leave the piped cookies to sit for at least an hour or so, so a skin forms. This will help the cookies retain their shape while baking.

Bake at 225 degrees celcius for about 5 minutes or until the very edges are turning light brown. Spritz cookies should look a tad underbaked.
Let cool completely before transferring.

Store in an airtight tin for about a week or so. Gluten-free cookies don't store as well as regular ones.

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