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Gluten-free Almond Sugar Christmas Cookies

I made this recipe up after thinking about what joy a little almond paste could bring to a boring sugar cookie.  I also wanted to find something to compliment gluten-free almond meal flour.

They make great Christmas cookies, but could be used at any time of year depending on your cookie cutter shape and frosting preferences. I only have this set of dog themed cookie cutters so I depend on the red and green sprinkles for my holiday cookie flare.
The cookie flavor is subtle, and their texture delicate – so my recommendation is to avoid frosting. But I also hate frosting so I am biased in this arena.
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To make the cookies start with a can of almond paste, the more pure and unadulterated the better. I have not actually been able to find anything beyond my local standard grocery store variety, sugar and other ingredients included – but alas it says "pure" on the label so it must be true.
Next find a bag of pre-mixed almond meal based gluten-free flour baking mix. You can make your own with almond meal and other gluten-free flours, but I find this product quite satisfying. I may even send them this recipe as a form of blogger outreach I like it for baking so much.
Note that you will not find both products in the same grocery store – as one lives a normal grocery store and the other lives at a natural foods co-op. Just setting expectations.
Place 1 stick of softened butter, whole can of almond paste and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in a bowl and blend with a hand mixer or food processor.
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After the butter and sugar and paste are blended add 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and blend until everything is smooth and whipped. You could add a little bit of almond extract at this point for a more almondy flavor if you like.
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Add flour in 1/2 cup increments up to 3 cups worth or until the batter can grabbed and rolled into a ball.
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Lay out your flour sack and parchment paper.  Mine includes dogs in ugly Christmas sweaters.
Lightly dust everything with more of the gluten-free flour mixture including your rolling pin (again and again), then roll out the cookies to a fourth of an inch, and cut out their shapes from there.
Gluten-free Almond Sugar Christmas Cookies
3 cups almond flour based gluten-free flour mix (plus 1 cup for dusting)
1/4 Tsp sea salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 can almond paste
optional: 1/2 Tsp almond extract
Step 1: With a hand mixer or food processor mix together the melted butter, sugar, and almond paste until well blended.
Step 2: Add the 2 eggs and vanilla extract (and almond extract) and mix until the batter has a slight whipped texture.
Step 3: 1/2 cup at a time, add flour, until you can pick up the flour and make it into a ball.
Step 4: Lay out parchment paper and dust it and rolling pin with flour.  Roll-out the dough until it is 1/4 of inch, then press your cookie cutters into the dough.  
Step 5: Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the cookies ont the parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden brown on the edges.  
Step 6:  Let cool on a cooling rack or recyled newspaper.  


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