Whether it be the rainy day in New York City, or the end of a remarkable weekend, something about turning sugar cookies into suns today sounded too appealing to pass up.
Recently, I have been using a lot of turmeric, in both my cooking and as an anti-inflammatory to combat a (cute) eye infection. In the kitchen, turmeric is fabulous in that it adds a mild kick to whatever dish one uses it in, and has a very cool ability to turn anything yellow (including your kitchen counters and sink if you are not careful). The flavor reminds me of the coating on Lucky Charms in flavor. -I don’t know why.- It is also used in Eastern medicine to calm inflammation and improve circulation.
This little tool on my shelf, and a cookie batter mix in mind, I started playing around with flour and powders with the jolly sounds of summer blasting (The Rolling Stones, Wilco, Passion Pit, Mungo Jerry, Arcade Fire, The Kooks, Bob Marley, Miike Snow, Bibio, Stephane Wrembel Trio all on the playlist), and my hunger for something sweet and sunny growing. I have never used turmeric as a dye before, but have made many a gluten-free sugar cookie in my day. I was ready to paint it yellow.
Turns out a little bit of turmeric goes a long way. No sooner than you sprinkle a touch of this magical powder on the cookie dough, and it is neon. These are so fun to make– little Gluten-Free drops of sunshine on a plate!! Since I am several years away from having Bubble Children of my own, I can only imagine how fun this will be rolling sunshine cookies with my little ones someday. Until then? A combination of rice flour, raw sugar, yellow powder, and Mick Jagger’s voice blasting in my ears will have to suffice. Sunshine, indeed!
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened*
1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (tapioca starch)
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. xantham gum
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. turmeric
about 1/4 cup gluten-free chocolate chips*
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 minutes
Yields about 24-30 sunshine cookies!
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla and egg. In separate medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, xantham gum, and sea salt.
4. Pour flour mixture into butter mixture, and combine until dough forms. (no flour visible). Top with 1/4 tsp. turmeric, and mix until dough is evenly colored and is yellow. (Dough turns darker when baked, so don’t worry if the yellow is not popping quite yet!)
5. Roll dough into a ball, and place in between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Using a rolling pin (or wine bottle), roll dough into a sheet 1/2 cm thick.
Using a circular cookie cutter (or a cleaned lid of something cylindrical), punch out circles.
Place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Roll remainder of dough into another ball, roll out again, and punch circles, again. Continue until about 1 1/2 dough remains. Use this dough to roll out the sun “rays”, by rolling pieces into 1 cm long tubes and placing on the baking sheet.
6. Create the sunshine eyes by placing two chocolate chips about 3/4 cm apart from each other (or to your liking). Carve in mouth using a fork.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until center is solid and edges begin to turn golden. Remove from oven, let cool for about 5 minutes, and then arrange rays around the smiley faces!
**For egg-free, combine 1 tbs. ground flax seed and 2 tbs. room temperature water, let sit for 5 minutes, and use as an egg!