Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gluten Free Polenta Cakes with Dried Cranberries

You can see that this is not really a cake recipe, but a recipe for delicious, light and puffy cookies, very much reminiscent of tea cakes. On my gluten free quest I came across a recipe from Elizabeth Minett's blog Haute Appetit. I slightly modified her cookies and added brown sugar, cranberries, rum, and candied orange peel  to the batter. I also kept the cookies light and airy by sifting the dry ingredients, beating the butter only lightly, and gently mixing the dry and wet ingredients until the dough is just barely holding together. Remember not to overwork the dough when forming small walnut size balls, and keep baking time to 8-10 minutes.

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons  pure rum (do not use flavored rum as it may contain gluten)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup candied orange peel, chopped
1  1/2 cup brown rice flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup polenta
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until combined, but not fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and rum and mix until smooth. 
In a separate bowl stir together sifted rice flour, cornstarch, polenta, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture on low speed until just combined. Stir in cranberries and candied orange peel by hand.
Form walnut size balls and place on prepared sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes and let cool on wire racks.
Dust with confectioners' sugar.

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