Friday, December 23, 2011

Gluten-Free Peppermint Kiss Cookies

Festive Cookies

A couple of years ago, I was gearing up to make Christmas cookies. I went to the store looking for the particular baking goods I needed.

While looking for cookie sprinkles, I came across the most adorable, striped, white chocolate chips! They were white chocolate and striped with either red or green. Both the red-striped and green-striped white chips were mixed together in the same bag.

They were oh so cute and I used them my Gluten-Free Toffee Bars that year. They were a big hit and the colors looked great!

But since then, I have never seen those striped chips again. Not red and green on white chocolate chips.

But this year, when I went to the store, I found white chocolate and peppermint Hershey's Kisses. Striped. Red and white. They were so cute!

Please note:  Hershey's makes no guarantees about their products ever being gluten-free, since they share their equipment among ingredients.  I've often wondered about kisses, but I've never had a problem with them.  Please be careful and only consume those foods that are safe for you.

But stripes and kisses in the same package? I was dying to try them and I just knew I had to find a way to use those cute, striped kisses!

Gluten-Free Peppermint Kiss Cookies

This is a conglomeration of several different recipes, none of which were gluten-free. I took a bit of this and bit of that, including only gluten-free ingredients, so that now this recipe is mine.

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 potato starch
1/4 tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Hershey's peppermint and white chocolate kisses

I ended up making 4 batches of this dough! One batch, as listed above, will only make about a dozen balls of dough.  And since we are going to push a kiss into each ball, each ball needs to be big enough to hold the kiss. Don't skimp on the size of the dough balls.

Using my stand mixer, I beat the butter on high speed to mush it all up. Then I added the sugar and baking powder and beat until combined. Then I added the peppermint extract and blended it all in.

Then I moved the dough to a bowl, covered the dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated it for several hours.

Then my daughter made the dough into balls, each about one a half inches in diameter. She lined them up on the cookie sheet like this, making sure that they didn't roll around and touch as she slid the pan into the oven.

Bake at 375º for about 10 minutes.

While the cookies are baking, or even before making the dough, unwrap the kisses and have them ready at hand. You need them almost immediately after you pull the cookies out of the hot oven.

When the time is up, pull the pan out of the oven and let it rest for a minute or two. No more.

Then working quickly or with a helper, slide a spatula under the first cookie, and while it is on the spatula, press a kiss into the cookie and immediately and quickly move it to a cooling rack. And then do not touch or move or jiggle that cookie until it completely cools.

The hot cookies warm the kisses. If you don't nudge or touch or jiggle or breathe on the cookies, the kisses will retain their shape. If you move the cookies around at all on the cooling rack while they are still warm, the kisses will sag.

Eventually, the kisses firm back up, and if you didn't move them, they are still shaped like kisses. If you did move them and they sagged, they will harden back up in the sagged shape.

Yes, it takes a bit of special handling to get these kisses just right.

Just keep your hands off.  Don't touch.

I know, I know. It's easier said than done.

Then again, who said smooshed kisses are no fun? Ahem... smooshed Hershey Kisses, I mean.

These are so cute and adorable. And so very good! With the peppermint both in the cookie and the kiss, these are especially good.

Good and festive! Make some festive cookies today!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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