My Latest Project/Obsession

Anyone who knows me or who follows this blog will tell you that one of my quirks/traits/flaws is that I tend to bounce around (a bit obsessively) from project to project.  As the school year has been drawing to a close, I’ve had my eye out for a cute, thoughtful, homemade gift I could give to all the teachers who have been such a huge part of my family’s life over the last nine or so months.

I ended up combining a couple of ideas I found (pinterest, of course) for these adorable iced cookies.

Many thanks to www.sweetopia.net for the excellent tutorials on icing and decorating sugar cookies, and to www.eighteen25.blogspot.com for the free printable download and the strawberry idea!

I started out by making the cutout cookies.  As one of the preschool teachers is gluten- and dairy-intolerant, I wanted to be sure that my cookies were allergen-free.  After much experimentation, I settled on a recipe that didn’t make me want to retch:

Lime-Ginger-Coconut Cutout Cookies
a gluten-, dairy-, soy-, and nut-free recipe (!)
click here for a 4×6″ printable recipe card: Lime-Ginger-Coconut Cutout Cookies Recipe Card

1 box Hodgson’s Mill Gluten-Free Cookie Mix
1/3 cup Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
zest of one lime

Empty the box of cookie mix into a large mixing bowl.  Add in the coconut spread and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand.  Add in the egg, vanilla, ginger, and lime zest.  Mix until just incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto some cling wrap, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/4″, dusting the dough, the work surface, and the rolling pin with gluten-free flour mix.  (I like King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, I do not recommend Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Baking Flour, as it contains garbanzo bean flour which, in a cookie, will make you want to retch.)  Dust a three-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter with gluten-free flour and cut out cookies.  Place them on a lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes, minimum.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until just barely beginning to turn golden around the edges.  Cool completely and decorate with royal icing.

Makes 16 cookies.

If you are using a different sized or shaped cookie cutter, you may need to adjust the baking time.  The cookies will spread a bit in the oven, but hold their shape pretty well. The lime and ginger can be omitted, if desired, but I really feel that some kind of vivid flavor helps to detract from the sometimes off-flavor/texture of an allergen-free baked sweet.  Lime, ginger, and coconut make for a really delicious summery flavor; for something else yummy for the cooler months, try orange, cinnamon, and ginger, with Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks replacing the coconut spread (Vegan Buttery Sticks contain small amounts of soy).

After decorating the cookies with royal icing and green sparkling sugar, (click here for a good recipe, and here for decorating tutorials from Marian at Sweetopia, as well as tons of beautiful eye candy and inspiration) I placed the cookies in cello bags (available at Wal-Mart or Michaels), tied them with pretty ribbon, and attached a Visa gift card along with this adorable tag I downloaded from www.eighteen25.blogspot.com.

Click here for the original post with the free printable download.  On the back of the tag I printed a list of ingredients.  Click here for my 3×3″ printable list: Contents.

What do you like to do for your kids’ teachers at the end of the school year?  Do you give homemade gifts to your loved ones?  What are some of your favorite projects or hobbies?  Do you throw yourself into them, to the detriment of your housekeeping and parenting duties, as I often find myself doing?  Drop me a comment at the end of this post, I’d love to hear your thoughts…

I am so grateful to all the staff at my childrens’ preschool.  Besides teaching them their shapes, colors, numbers, and ABC’s, they’ve offered them tons of fun, kissed their boo-boo’s, changed their diapers, watched them grow, and LOVED them in a way I could never have anticipated.  They are angels on earth!  Happy summer to all the wonderful teachers, we will miss you and look forward to seeing you again in the fall…

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3 thoughts on “My Latest Project/Obsession

  1. These cookies are so beautiful that I almost didn’t want to eat them. However, since I am the gluten and dairy free teacher that you mentioned in the blog, I was so excited for a home-baked treat for me that I couldn’t even wait a minute before I was untwisting the tie and opening the bag! I love, love the summery taste of lime and ginger and it did make the cookie so delicious! So I really appreciate your thoughtfulness of my special diet when you designed these cookies. I hope you have a wonderful summer and I really look forward to seeing your family at school this fall. Merci beaucoup!!!!

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