Before we get to these delicious gluten-free sugar cookies, let's take a little flashback, shall we? Two years ago, I went to my first food blogging conference. I had just graduated from graduate school and decided to treat myself to Eat Write Retreat, an intimate conference for food bloggers focused on learning new skills in things like writing, food styling, photography and blog PR/social media practices. It made me realize that blogging could be more than sporadically posting yellow-tinged pictures of my dinner with a brief description underneath. It could be a thing. With styled pictures and sensory, evocative descriptions. I met people who were doing it, and doing it big. I even had the opportunity to work with brands, promoting their products and giving my own "brand" exposure.
Flash forward to the present day... I'm lucky enough to be going to Eat Write Retreat for its first year in my fair city, Philadelphia. I feel a lot more confident about my voice--as a brand and a blogger--and I have that first conference to thank for setting me on that path! This year's conference is sure to be amazing too. For one, I won't have to worry about jitters. But, most importantly, there are incredible sessions planned and some fantastic swag thanks to some pretty stellar sponsors!
If you've never been to a blogging conference, you should be warned that the fun starts way before the conference even begins! Sponsors will often send products ahead of time to play with before the conference, leading up to something extra special at the conference itself. This year is no exception. EWR13 is sponsored by In The Raw, those folks who make Sugar In The Raw, the only sugar I put in my iced coffee (I love the crunch!) and my favorite one to use for sprinkling on scones and snickerdoodles. When they sent me a Baker's Bag of Monk Fruit In The Raw to try in place of some of the sugar in baking, I was pretty curious. I won't bake with artificial sweetener and I only stray from sugar with honey or corn syrup. But, given that monk fruit is all natural and I trusted the company, I was game to try it out in a batch of Gluten-free Sugar Cookies.
We were sent a recipe for sugar cookies made with Monk Fruit In The Raw. I'm happy to report that I couldn't tell the Monk Fruit In The Raw was in the recipe at all! Cookie dough is my Achilles heel and admittedly, the dough didn't taste at all different! It was completely indiscernible in both taste and texture in both raw and baked form. A natural way to cut back on sugar in recipes? Yes, please (and thank you!), Monk Fruit in the Raw! Check out the recipe below (gluten-free, mind you. You can sub the GF flour for all-purpose and omit the xantham gum if you are lucky enough to tolerate gluten). Stay tuned for more pre-conference posts and of course, my re-cap of Eat Write Retreat '13 after the conference! And, in the meantime, be sure to check out the In The Raw website for more information about Monk Fruit In The Raw!
Disclosure: I was given one free bag of Monk Fruit In The Raw to use for this recipe. I am attending Eat, Write, Retreat as a volunteer and was not compensated for this post. And, as always, the thoughts, piping skills, and opinions are my own.
Gluten-free Sugar Cookies with Monk Fruit Sugar In The Raw
Monk Fruit In the Raw Sugar Cookies for #EWR13
4 hours 12 mins
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 yolk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup Monk Fruit In The Raw Baker's Bag
- 2 cups royal icing or icing of your choice
- food color
- In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients (gf flour, baking powder, salt, and xantham gum) and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high until fluffy, approximately 2 minutes.
- Gradually add sugar and beat until the mixture becomes fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, beating well after each addition.
- Scrape down bowl.
- Add the Monk Fruit In The Raw Baker's Bag and beat until just combined. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until the mixture begins to come together and form a dough.
- Turn off the mixer, turn out dough onto the countertop. Dough will be a little sticky and on the soft side. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- When ready to use the dough, remove half from the fridge and pre-heat oven to 350F.
- With a rolling pin on a GF-flour dusted surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle of 1/4" thickness. Cut with the cookie cutter shape of your choice and arrange the cookies 2" apart on a cookie sheet lined with either parchment or a silicone baking mat. Allow to rest while you roll out the other half of dough and cut shapes.
- Once the shapes have been cut out and the oven is pre-heated, place the cookie sheet on a center rack in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the center of the cookie is firm when pressed and the tops are an even pale gold color. Let the cookies rest for 1 minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Decorate with royal icing or frosting of your choice.