As most readers know by now, I’m an attendee to this year’s Eat Write Retreat in Philadelphia. It’s been exciting to get my pre-conference cooking tasks. Next week, you’ll learn all about the Amazing Apps Culinary Challenge (the secret ingredient rhymes with wigs…) but this week you’ll see one of the photos for a contest with a sweet ingredient that I’ve never worked with before!
Imagine my surprise to find a box outside my kitchen door filled with a newfangled ingredient. It’s called Monk Fruit In The Raw, a new and natural zero calorie sweetener from the people who make Sugar In The Raw. The letter that came with it requested that attendees “Show Your Raw Talent” in a cookie decorating photography contest.
I spent all morning and afternoon working out a gluten-free version of the sugar cookie recipe they sent. I had a genius idea to make rosemary flavored ones with a soft lemon glaze and a batch of regular ‘ole plain ones to decorate with royal icing…then I realized something very important when I pulled the first batch out of the oven…I forgot to add xanthan gum and had to start all over!
Sigh. It’s pretty safe to say that I’m not a very good baker. Thankfully, I didn’t run out of ingredients but came pretty darn close. Since the new product is really sweet, I decided to pair it with dark chocolate with 88% cocoa and a pop of basil. They’re like Milanos and I think these are going to be my new signature cookie. They go very well with ice-cold lemonade, ps.
Makes 12 large 4-inch cookies
What You Need:
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted sweet butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup Monk Fruit In The Raw
3 oz. dark chocolate
What You Do:
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- Use a stand mixer to beat the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla. Gradually add in the Monk Fruit In The Raw until combined. Reduce speed and gradually add dry ingredients until together.
- Turn out dough onto plastic wrap. Use the wrap to shape the dough into a cylinder shape. Wrap dough and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two large baking sheets with parchment. Place the cylinder of dough on a cutting board and use a large knife to cut rounds a little thicker than 1/4″. Working quickly, give the rounds a little pat then press a 3-1/2″ cookie cutter to cut shapes. Place cookies on baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Repeat until finished.
- When oven is hot place cookies on center rack in oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are firm when pressed in the center and evenly pale gold in color. Let the cookies rest for 1 minute then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before decorating
Note: The best way to melt chocolate is like this: Grate it, put it in a Pyrex measuring cup and place it in a pot of water. Bring the water to a gentle boil and stir as you go. It only takes like 4-5 minutes before it’s perfect. Thanks, page 582 of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.