Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Baking Corn Free

Avoiding corn during the holidays is even more difficult with the exchange of cookies and treats and shared meals.

Baking is something I thoroughly enjoy and now tackle the task with a more observant eye and wary outlook. I assume that if an ingredient is not self explanatory that it is corn. This is the safest thing to do at this point. Thus, coloring frosting for sugar cookies has been the object to tackle of late. The sugar cookies were a basic recipe:

  • 3/4 cup organic unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup organic white sugar
  • 2 organic free range eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon home made vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups naturally white Hodgson Mill flour
  • 1 teaspoon Hain baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt salt
which I baked yesterday. Using cookie cutters is so fun - creating tasty shapes and making a mess. I ran out of time to make icing though. This morning I made a basic frosting but wanted a colorful frosting in addition to white. I am not certain that food coloring is corn free so it wasn't an option. After making a batch of frosting I took just a little more than 1/2 and set it aside. To the remaining I added a tablespoon or so of organic strawberry jelly and a handful of pureed fresh cranberries. This thinned the frosting out a bit so I added additional organic powdered sugar to add a bit of stiffness to it. Not only is the frosting delicious it looks close to a red color. It's a bit faint but I didn't want to end up with gobs of frosting and thus didn't add more cranberry which would mean more sugar.....
I'm pretty happy with the outcome. My favorite are the little Santa hats... I couldn't figure out what they were pre-frosting. I had some snow flakes which had broken and so I had to eat. ;) There's a pile of cookies left to be frosted. Now I'm inspired. The white frosting and cookies are bland enough to support a variety of additional flavors in the frosting. I have some bells that could really use yellow and Christmas trees that sure would look nice with green. I wonder if I can get the same result with lemon juice & zest for yellow and perhaps some fresh mint leaves for green. I guess I'm off to the market.

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