Sesame Cookies: Gluten-Free

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These cookies were inspired by Sharon Valencik’s recipe in her cookbook Sweet Utopia. I love the sesame flavor so much! I could not give them up and had to make a gluten-free version.Sesame

2 cups white rice flour
1/3 cup raw white sesame seeds
1/3 cup raw black sesame seeds (white may be used instead)
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1 stick (1/2 cup) Earth Balance natural shortening
¼ cup sesame butter (tahini)
2/3 cup nondairy milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spread the white sesame seeds on one sheet and the black seeds on the other. Light toast in over for 5 minutes. Remove, carefully life parchment paper and pour seeds into a bowl. The parchment paper can be reused again to bake the cookies.

Mix together flour, baking powder and xanthan gum. In a large bowl, cream the shortening with the sugar. Add the sesame tahini and mix until creamy. Add the nondairy milk, vanilla and almond extracts and the white sesame seeds and mix together. Add in the flour mixture and blend well. Cover bowl with wax paper and let dough chill for about 1 hour.

Form small balls, dip into black sesame seeds and place on cookie sheet. Or, roll the dough into small logs, 1 ½ inches long by ¾ inches in diameter and form small rings. Dip the dough ring into the black sesame seeds and place on cookie sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 18 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Remove immediately and cool on wire racks.

TIP: As with the Hamentashen this dough can get sticky as it warms to room temperature. Keeping the dough very cold helps minimize sticking when handling. A small amount of potato starch on your hands also helps when forming the cookies.

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