Raisin Cookies – Gluten-Free

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When I was in college in Pennsylvania we would go to the farmer’s market. There was an Amish bakery that sold raisin cookies. They were so simple, soft, gooey and so good. I have not had them in decades! I have recreated a vegan, gluten-free version here.

Cookie dough
4 cups white rice flour
4¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
1 cup sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2½ teaspoons xanthan gum

Raisin Filling
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cups boiling water
1 cup seedless raisins

In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, nutmeg and xanthan gum. In another bowl, blend shortening with sugar and add vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture, making a dough. Add in the water, a little at a time. The dough should be damp and slightly sticky. Cover with wax paper or towel and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.

In a medium saucepan, mix together cornstarch and sugar with boiled water. Cook on medium high heat. Add in the raisins. Stir occasionally and cook until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. With a hand blender, or in a blender, puree the filling. Set aside to cool.

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat over to 350F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the cookie dough into quarters. Make a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Make 1/4 inch thick slices and place them on the cookie sheet. Spoon about a teaspoon of filling in the center of each cookie. Take another quarter of the dough and make another log, slightly larger than the first. Slice the dough a little bit thinner that the first log. Top each cookie with another slice, pinching down the edges to seal. It’s okay if the dough cracks a little or the filling oozes out. Repeat with the other half of the dough. With the tips of your fingers you can smooth any cracks or rough edges.

Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Let cool. Makes about 18 cookies.

TIP: This dough can be sticky. The extra moisture eliminates the gritty texture of the rice flour when the dough is cooked. Keeping the dough very cold helps minimize sticking when handling. Use 1/4 of the dough at a time, keeping the rest refrigerated until ready to sue. A small amount of potato or corn starch on your hands may help when forming the cookies.

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