Without the use of added starch like tapioca, potato, corn, arrowroot, and the like, you can make these lightly sweetened gluten free animal crackers for the special little one in your life. These lightly crisp crackers are free of gluten, dairy, egg white, vinegar, nuts, potato, corn, soy, yeast, and much more. I made these crackers for my youngest granddaughter. Any toddler would enjoy them. A low-sodium alternative to baking soda is included.
Crisp, lightly sweetened gluten free animal crackers, just like you remember the gluten version to be.
1/3 cup neutral-flavored oil
1-1/2 tablespoons water
2 large egg yolks (almost 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons gluten-free/pure vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar* (corn-free, if needed)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum (or xanthan gum, if corn tolerant)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (or potassium bicarbonate for low-sodium)
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a small to medium-sized bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (oil, water, egg yolks, vanilla); set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (rice flour, confectioners' sugar, guar gum, baking soda, and salt. Add to the dry ingredients and stir together until a smooth dough forms.
Roll out to about 1/8-inch thick and freeze for 5 minutes.
Using a small cookie cutter, cut out the shapes that you desire without removing the outer scraps. Freeze the cut dough for an additional 5 minutes.
Transfer the cutout dough to the prepared pans (24 cookies per pan). Refrigerate one pan if your oven is not large enough to bake both at the same time. Bake on the center shelf for about 7 minutes. (Try not to cook them long enough to brown around the edges. However, if you roll them too thinly, they will over brown.)
Gather scraps of dough and reroll until all of the dough is used; and bake.
Immediately transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Freeze whatever cookies that will not be consumed the same day. To defrost, leave out at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
*Confectioners' sugar normally contains cornstarch. However, there are brands that use other starches such as tapioca or potato. If you wish these cookies to be totally free of starch, process granulated sugar in a food processor until it turns into powder. I cup of granulated sugar is equal to 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Several years ago, Trader Joe carried an organic powdered sugar that contained tapioca flour/starch instead of cornstarch.