Wheat-free and Sugar-free Cut-out Cookies

1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup safflower oil
2 T. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
1 1/2 cups barley flour (or a combination of barley and oat flour)
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
(optional toppings: chopped dried fruits, raisins, chopped nuts, etc.)

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking liners and set aside. In a small bowl, place the brown rice syrup, oil, vanilla, and almond extract, and whisk well to combine. In a medium bowl, place the flour, arrowroot, baking powder, and salt, and stir well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well blended.

Gather the dough into a ball and divide in half. Work with one half of the dough at a time and cover the remainder to prevent it from drying out. Sprinkle a large piece of waxed paper with a little additional flour, place the dough on the floured waxed paper, and place an additional piece of waxed paper on top. Using a rolling pin, carefully roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the cut-outs to the prepared cookie sheets. The cookies can be left plain, or before baking, sprinkle with any of the suggested toppings on top of the cookies, and gently press with your fingers to help the toppings stick to the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom and around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the rolling, topping, and baking procedure with the remaining cookie dough. When all of the cookies are cooled completely, store them in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers.

Yield: 24-30 cut out cookies


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