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Gluten-Free Cocoa Butter Cookies
These are melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies with a hint of cocoa!
These are similar to the Dutch cookie, Speculaas, except the cloves and almonds are left out and replaced with a tiny amount of coffee to highlight the cocoa. Enjoy them all year round using fun embossed rolling pins and cookie cutters!
Another fun rolling pin from Pastrymade!!
The cookie dough is easy to roll out with a regular rolling pin and then pressed and rolled with an embossed rolling pin to print your favourite designs.
Previously, I purchased a sunflower design rolling pin from Pastrymade® for my Lemon Curd Shortbread Biscuits. This small business makes at least 100 different types of engraved rolling pins specifically to give an embossed design on cookie/biscuit dough. What I like about this company is that they employ and train Ukrainians within their community, plus give a proceed of the profits to help Ukrainian families settle in Poland.
This season, I couldn’t resist buying a Christmas design together with a set of square cookie cutters that stamp out pretty fluted edges on each cookie.
They have so many cute designs to choose from, but of course, if you have your own favourite rolling pin and cookie cutters, any shape can be achieved to create a fun and festive design with this cookie dough.
- Store-bought or my homemade gluten-free plain flour blend
- Light or dark brown sugar
- Gluten-free baking powder
- Xanthan gum – use it even if your store-bought flour blend contains it as the dough needs that extra bind.
- Cinnamon powder
- Good-quality cocoa powder
- Instant or freshly brewed espresso coffee (only a small amount is used – feel free to leave this out if you are making these cookies for children)
- Good-quality unsalted butter at room temperature
- Tapioca flour, for dusting the rolling pin
Some tips for the perfect cookie
Use a normal, plain rolling pin to roll out the pastry first.
Make sure the dough has rested and is chilled. If the dough starts to come to room temperature, it may stick to the engraved rolling pin.
Sprinkle flour (tapioca is my favourite as it is light and has a neutral flavour) on the rolling pin and shake off any excess before rolling.
Press down quite firmly as you roll the rolling pin away from you.
Select a 3-cm square cookie cutter to cut out each cookie and use a small spatula to transfer it to a lined baking tray.
Gluten-Free Cocoa Butter Cookies
- Embossed rolling pin Festive or other designs
- 3cm Square Cookie Cutters
- 5 tbsp milk
- ½ tsp instant coffee, or freshly made espresso shot
- 350 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
- 110 g light or dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- ½ tsp xanthan gum add this even if your store-bought blend includes it.
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tbsp good-quality cocoa powder, sifted
- 220 g good-quality unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into small pieces
- Tapioca flour, for rolling out the dough
Making the Cocoa Butter Dough
- Heat the milk in the microwave or over the stove until warm to the touch.
- Add either the instant or espresso coffee to the warm milk and combine well. Set aside to cool down for 5 mins.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon and cocoa together.
- Add the butter and mix well with a wooden spoon, pressing the butter into the dry ingredients thoroughly.
- Add one tbsp of coffee milk at a time to the mixture, mixing well until the dough takes shape and comes together. The dough should feel soft but not sticky.
- Cover the dough and chill for 30 min to rest before rolling out the dough.
Rolling out the Cocoa Butter Dough
- Place a sheet of baking paper on the counter and sprinkle some tapioca flour on your regular rolling pin.
- Divide the dough in half and position one-half on top of the baking paper.
- Cover the dough with a large sheet of plastic film or baking paper and start rolling out to 4mm thick making sure the width is long enough to fit the embossed rolling pin.
- Lightly dust the embossed rolling pin and shake off any excess before positioning it at the bottom of the rolled-out dough.
- Slowly and firmly, roll the embossed rolling pin up towards the top of the rolled-out dough, positioning your hands on the centre part of the pin.
- Carefully lift the pin away from the dough and dip the square cookie cutter in some tapioca flour to prevent it from sticking to the dough.
- Position the cookie cutter over the embossed square design and press it into the dough.
- Using a floured spatula, transfer the cookie to a lined baking tray, 2cm apart from each other.
- When rolling out the other half of the dough, make sure the embossed rolling pin is free of any dough that may have become stuck. Use a toothpick to remove this.
Baking the Cocoa Butter Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Bake for 15 mins on the middle rack one tray at a time for even cooking. Depending on the size of your baking tray, you may need to bake in several batches. The cookies do not spread, so fill each tray as much as possible with cookies.
- The cookies will darken slightly when fully baked, but a good way to test if the cookies are done is by slightly nudging one of them with a spatula and should it slide easily on the baking tray, they are ready to be removed from the oven.
- Cool them on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool down completely.
- Store them in an airtight tin or glass jar. Avoid plastic containers as these make them soft.
- Keeps for 2 weeks at room temperature in a sealed glass or ceramic jar
- The cocoa butter dough is suitable to freeze. Roll the dough into a log and cover in baking paper followed by foil or plastic film before freezing.