Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nut and Egg-Free Halloween Cut-Outs

This is an oldie but a goodie.

I apologize for reposting this recipe, but I really don’t know any kids who don’t like a cut-out cookie on a holiday. Frankly, there’s almost nothing more festive. I have updated this recipe ever-so-slightly. I am now using butter-flavored Spectrum organic shortening in place of the lard or plain shortening. It’s up to you which to use. All three work well. I’m also adding some cream of tartar to the recipe. It helps with the texture, and I promise that it is dairy-free. Whether you choose to make these the new way or the old, I promise that they will be a hit. Happy early Halloween!

Shortbread Cut-Outs Decorated Two Ways

2 cups superfine rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch

1/3 cup sorghum flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup Spectrum organic “butter”-flavored palm fruit oil shortening

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

2 teaspoons vanilla rice milk powder (optional, added for flavor)

3 tablespoons+1 teaspoon water

1 recipe Crazy Easy “Buttercream”

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees conventional or 325 degrees convection and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set them aside until you are ready to use them.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the shortening and the sugar until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the applesauce, the vanilla extract and the lemon extract. Scrape down the sides. Add in the dry ingredients, alternating with the water and stir until the dough comes together.

Using your hands, pull the dough into a ball. Split the ball in two and wrap one half in plastic. Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll it out. Place the unwrapped ball of dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough with a pumpkin, black cat or bat cutter. Repeat until both balls of dough are gone. Place the cut cookies on the prepared sheets and, if decorating with the sanding sugar, spread the orange sugar on the base of the sugar and the green sugar on the stems. Bake the cookies for 11 minutes or until golden at the edges.

Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen 3 1/2″ cut-outs

Crazy Easy “Buttercream”

3/4 cup organic palm fruit oil shortening

1/3 cup powdered vanilla rice milk

5 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream the organic palm fruit oil and the powdered, vanilla rice milk until they are light and fluffy. Stir in the coneftioner’s sugar one cup at a time. The mixture will be crumbly. Stir in the water, salt and vanilla extract. Beat the frosting for three minutes on medium high.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed directly on top of the frosting in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw completely and beat again before using the frosting. To make the pumpkins, color 3/4 of the frosting orange and the other 1/4 green. For cats and bats, color with black food coloring and place 2 yellow sprinkles on each cookie for eyes.