When I was about four years old, my parents enrolled me in an “alternative preschool.” It was designed around creativity and unstructured learning, but was a little offbeat. We played with sticks and mud, ate our lunches out of wooden bowls, and for an entire preschool year, were only allowed to paint and draw pictures using the color red. Only red.
This preschool was also strictly against sweets and desserts. Every morning, the teachers would walk around and collect any treats our parents had given us for lunch into a small basket, which we never saw again. Cookies, cupcakes, candy—all into the basket, even on holidays like Valentine’s Day. When my mother found out they took our treats away, it was the end of “alternative learning” for Juliet and back to happily eating pink and red sugar cookies. I’ve never loved or hated Valentine’s Day, but I always appreciate an opportunity to make homemade cards, bake cookies, and get a dozen roses from my Mom and Dad.
These sugar cookies have a classic buttery sweet taste, topped with royal icing and sprinkles. I made a Christmas themed batch a few months ago, but my family ate them too quickly for me to photograph. They are simple to make and delicious to eat, and can be suited for any holiday, whether it is Christmas, Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you enjoy these yourself or share them with your loved ones, I hope you have a lovely and love-filled Valentine’s Day!
Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups flour blend (see below)*
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Flour Blend: Combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. 2 1/4 cups for recipe; store the rest in an airtight container.
Combine sugar and butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour blend and salt. Beat until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate until firm (1 hour).
Heat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough on surface sprinkled lightly with gluten-free flour, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups powdered sugar