Home » What a year (and Frannycakes’ favorite cookies)

What a year (and Frannycakes’ favorite cookies)

2011 was a big year for me, and yes, I know I am a full week late on this whole-year encompassing post. It hadn’t really hit me that it was a new year. Too many exciting things happened in the 2 months before the year changed, that for me, 2012 starting was not all that transforming.

my favorite things from 2011

Over the past week, i have realized just how much has changed, and just how much more i want to do.

In 2011:

  • I started this blog.
  • I wrote 77 recipes.
  • I made pie crust from scratch.
  • I nearly got killed at an Italian restaurant.
  • I was on TV and presented 2 recipes.
  • I gave a talk on gluten-free baking in Dallas.
  • I got a new job & moved back to Chicago.
  • I had 2 surgeries and became a battery operated & remote control operated human.
  • I wore real pants for the first time in 2 years.
  • I ate my favorite Christmas cookies for the first time in 8 years.

In 2012:

  • I will learn to bake great gluten-free bread.
  • I will write a cookbook proposal.
  • I will finish illustrating my second children’s book.
  • I will eat just a little bit healthier.
  • I will be able to go back to the gym.
  • I will continue to post delicious recipes.

Now that I have looked backwards and forwards, I think it is time to share with you my absolute favorite cookies. These are not your average cookie. They are a dough made from powdered sugar, cream cheese and flour. That’s it. Delightfully simple and wrapped around a nut. Or a bit of dried fruit. Or whatever bakeable filling you choose. And they are not as sweet as you would imagine, ebing that they are made with several cups of powdered sugar. They are light, flaky and have a bit of tang from the cream cheese. One little problem, they are addictive. So very addictive that you might eat half the recipe without even noticing. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if you make these and don’t want to share.

We might make these every year as a Christmas cookie, but there is no reason that these cannot be enjoyed every month.

Gluten-Free Nut Bon-Bon Cookies
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Cookie
Author: Grandma Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 144
These cookies are from my dad’s mom – and they have been a staple in our house at Christmas (and other occasions that require cookies) for as long as I can remember.
  • 250 grams (8 ounce package) cream cheese
  • 250 grams (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 280 grams (2 cups) gluten-free all-purpose flour, sifted*
  • 1 teaspoon xantham gum**
  • 250-350 grams (1 1/2 – 2 cups) powdered sugar
  • Walnuts (pecans, raisins, etc.) for stuffing in the cookiess
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese and softened butter with your hands.
  2. Add the flour 1/3 at a time, mixing with your hands until you have a smooth dough.
  3. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or over night.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. On a flat surface covered with parchment paper, generously sprinkle the powdered sugar. Pat the dough out into a 4-inch circle and place on the parchment paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and roll out. Fold the dough back up and continue adding powdered sugar until the dough doesn’t absorb any more (it will absorb about a cup and a half (210 grams) of sugar. It might take more or less depending on the humidity.
  6. When the dough is pliable, roll it out 1/8 inch thick and cut into 1-inch strips. Cut the dough as needed to wrap around your pieces of nuts.
  7. Arrange about an inch apart on your prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should just be starting to turn golden brown when you take them out.
  9. Let them cool until you can handle them. Roll in more powdered sugar and put on a cooling rack. These cookies are best when eaten warm and should be eaten within a day or two of baking.

*I like using Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. If you prefer, you can use a blend of flours that is 75 grams sorghum flour, 75 grams brown rice flour, 50 grams tapioca starch, 50 grams white rice flour and 30 grams sweet white rice flour.
**If your blend already has this included (such as Cup4Cup, Jules’ Nearly Normal Flour or Better Batter, you can omit this).

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  1. Zoe says:

    Those are things to be proud of and those bon bon cookies look full of buttery goodness! I’m curious and want to know more about the children’s book you’re illustrating. I didn’t know you’re an illustrator! And what happened at the Italian restaurant, was it cross contamination? I’m interested.

    • maryfran says:

      I wrote a children’s book a year and a half ago. I started illustrating it, but don’t like the way it was going, so I need to finish it…it is just a silly little book, nothing too serious.

      As for the restaurant, it was a case of them giving me regular pasta in place of gluten free and then cross contaminating it with shellfish – about as bad as it can get for me (but I survived 🙂 )

    • maryfran says:

      Baking is much more accurate when you use a kitchen scale. I provide equivalent volume measurements where I can, but sometimes it doesn’t work out to be a proper measurement, and the precision of grams is the best method. I have put in the measurements converted, but I can’t promise that they will turn out exactly how I made them.

  2. Essie says:

    We were so excited to make these this Christmas. We discovered my husband’s gluten sensitivity last year, and it can be really disappointing to miss out on delicious treats around the holidays. The taste was really everything we could have hoped for – rich and decadent! But unfortunately, we’re so very confused by the outcome. We followed your recipe, with your conversions, and ended up with a big puddle cake of cookie. :/ Definitely wasn’t bon-bon looking. Do you think the conversions were the problem? Or perhaps the flour? We used Pamela’s Baking Mix. We’d love to try these again, but not sure what to do differently.

    • maryfran says:

      It was definitely the flour. These for sure work with cup4cup or Jule’s Nearly Normal flour. I have only tried the Pamela’s in one recipe and was not happy with the results.

      If it is the only flour you have, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthate gum & freeze the cookies for 20 minutes after rolling them around the nuts.

      I hope that helps, and I am sorry you were disappointed! These are one of the most made recipes in my kitchen, so I know they work!

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