A Food Network Gift

I remember searching (without much luck) for gluten-free recipes on the Food Network’s website so that I could create something special for the holidays back in 2003. One link caught my eye – 12 Days of Cookies. Never heard of it? It’s one of their newsletters and my absolute favorite. The 12 Days of Cookies has become one of the main things I look forward to this time of year since it started in 2003. Seven years later and I have every recipe, in order, in my recipe box.

My Gluten-Free Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

The one downfall to getting this newsletter is that the cookies are not gluten-free. However, some of the recipes have been really easy to convert. Take the first one for this year as example – Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies by Paula Deen. This cookie is very simple to make and a good recipe to get kids into the kitchen. Here is my gluten-free, dairy-free take on Paula’s recipe.

1 (8-ounce) package of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, room temperature

1 stick Nucoa butter, at room temperature

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 box Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake mix

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. I had to mix this part by hand because the dough ended up being too think for my grandma’s mixer.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner’s sugar.

I didn’t refridgerate mine before rolling. I used two spoons to form into (somewhat) balls, dropped them into the confectioner’s sugar which gives them enough dusting to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands as you roll them into balls.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet (I covered mine with parchment paper), 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and “gooey.” Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Christmas Alternative: I made these during a Christmas party my cousins were throwing at our grandma’s house. To make them a little more festive, I crushed up some candy canes and added to the dough just before rolling into the balls. The melted candy canes kind of stuck to the parchment paper but just let them sit for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.