I'm going to admit something I am not proud of: I used a baking mix.
I like to think of myself as a whole foods, slow foods cook, the antithesis of Sandra Lee. Until recently, there was nothing instant or pre-cooked in my cupboards. But since buying an old, demanding house and finding out I have Celiac, I've fallen off my do-it-yourself high horse a bit. I'm busy, I'm disorganized, and gluten-free baking requires more perseverance and good humor than I have at the end of most days.
I've reverted to dorm-style cooking, neglecting my ice cream maker in favor of Purely Decadent (delicious and habit-forming), and heating up Amy's Rice Crust Spinach Pizza (chalky and plastic). I've indulged in Van's Wheat-Free Homestyle Waffles more than once. They're gritty and dry, but they're an instant gluten-free vehicle for maple syrup.
Imagine my dilemma when I discovered that Cherrybrook Kitchen's gluten-free baking mixes are egg and dairy-free. Their sugar cookies call only for margarine, vanilla, and rice milk. I haven't bought a baking mix since high school, but times were desperate. Everyone knows that unless you bake sugar cookies at least once between Halloween and Christmas, Santa will not come to your house. So "bake" them, I did.
You cannot roll this dough out and cut it into adorable holiday shapes. Instead, you form pea-sized balls of dough into spheres which don't spread much in the oven, forming cute little button cookies. I rolled half the dough in cinnamon-sugar, for cheater snickerdoodles.
Once cooled, the cookies were buttery and sweet with a strong vanilla aftertaste. They were soft and chewy, though grainier than traditional sugar cookies.
Bottom line: if I could eat gluten, I wouldn't use this mix, because I'd make big, flat, conifer-shaped sugar cookies from scratch. But since I've yet to crack the code of gluten-free, egg-free baking, thank goodness for Cherrybrook Kitchen sugar cookie mix. These will tide me over until next year.