One of the many wonderful things about doing what I do is being able to correspond with the kind, caring and interesting people who write to me. I really do feel like I have friends all over the world even though I haven’t actually met many of them face to face. The list is long and it would be hard for me to name them all here, but one thing is for sure, I know their emails as soon as they pop up in my mail box and I eagerly open them with an anticipating smile. They bring me happiness in buckets and sometimes they also send me little gifts in the way of a treasured family recipe. Joan Leforestier, a long time member of the celiac community who helps to run the CSA Sacramento Area Chapter #24, sent such a recipe to me. She said it was an old favorite and that she had to double it whenever she made it. Now I know why. It’s a tweak of a simple sugar cookie that is knock’em-out-of-the-park good.
I researched the recipe and could only find it going back about seventy years in a revised version of The Settlement Cook Book; The Way to a Man’s Heart, by Mrs. Simon Kander. Mrs. Kander calls it “Plain Cookies”; she uses a lot more sugar than Joan and no nutmeg. But that nutmeg. Well, let me tell you, the nutmeg gives this cookie that certain something that keeps you coming back for more. I also reduced the baking temperature and the xanthan gum a tiny bit from the version Joan sent and I increased the vanilla extract.
So if you’re looking for a lovely, little cookie to go with a glass of iced tea or some of the lush summer fruit that is sure to come our way very soon, try this recipe in your own kitchen. It’s a little gift that I’m sharing because it’s too good to keep to myself. Thank you Joan Leforestier.
Sugar Crunchies (Gluten-Free)
Makes 30 cookies
1 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar for rolling
*Find my Brown Rice Flour Mix in the recipe section of this blog.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Position rack in center of oven. Lightly grease cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Combine flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a small bowl and set aside.
- Beat shortening and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat until a thick smooth dough is formed.
- Place 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a small bowl. Use your hands to shape dough into 1-inch balls and very lightly roll in granulated sugar. Place balls 1-inch apart on cookie sheet. Use a fork to press ball of dough to about 1/4-inch think. (Unbaked dough can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to two months. To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and then wrap in foil.)
- Bake in center of oven for about 16-18 minutes until a light golden color. Allow cookies to sit on the cookie sheet for 2 -3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container. After three days, store in refrigerator. Can be kept in refrigerator for 2 weeks or frozen for up to one month.