You’d never know soft and chewy gluten-free sugar cookies are made with gluten-free flour! Make into drop cookies or roll and cut into any shape you like.
You didn’t think I’d let the holidays pass by without sharing a recipe for gluten-free sugar cookies, did ya?!
I wouldn’t blame you if you did because frankly this recipe wasn’t even on my radar until last weekend when I got the urge to bake something other then large hunks of meat. Cookies, I decided. Glorious, chewy, gluten-free sugar cookies! With extra frosting because I’m always looking for an excuse to slather this on something. And eat cookies. Win, win!
First I needed a recipe though. If you’re a long time reader you may remember that I used to decorate sugar cookies for baby showers, girl’s weekends, bridal showers, etc. WHOSE LIFE WAS THAT. Anyway the cookie recipe I used back then was incredibly tasty but sturdy and geared more towards decorating with royal icing vs a flourish of fluffy frosting. What I was craving was a soft and chewy cookie. Heavy on the butter, lighter on the flour, and just the right amount of sugar.
This is what I came up with – Soft and Chewy Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies. A tissue paper-thickness of crackly sugar on top gives way to a soft and chewy cookie on the inside. Each bite has the chew of a chocolate chip cookie, but that irresistable sugar cookie flavor. Best of all? You can roll the dough into balls and bake as “drop cookies” or roll the dough out and cut into cute holiday shapes using cookie cutters. So easy, so versatile, SO GOOD. I think I’ve eaten well over a dozen since starting to recipe test earlier this week! #worthit
Gluten-free bakers: You’d never ever know these cookies are gluten-free. They’re dense and chewy vs dry and crumbly like some gluten-free baked goods can be – well, at least without having to mix a few gluten-free flours and binders. Ain’t nobody got time for that when a sugar cookie craving strikes! That is to say, all you need for this recipe is a store-bought “measure for measure” or “recipe ready” gluten-free flour blend. I’ll share my favorite below.
Fellow Mamas: Let’s talk about Christmas break. It’s coming. SOON! So start stockpiling ideas now. I recommend an afternoon of baking then decorating these cookies, plus mixing up lots of gluten-free Puppy Chow, Chex Mix, and this adorable Fruit Christmas Tree. Good luck and godspeed.
All other cookie lovers: Although these cookies are soft and chewy they still roll and cut out super well. My tip is to bake the cookies a little hotter and shorter then you would if making them as drop cookies. Decorate using frosting or make your own royal icing for a more professional look. I recommend this royal icing recipe using egg whites from Joy of Baking and tinting with gel coloring.
Alright, enough chit chat – whose ready to bake!?
Start by adding 3/4 cup salted butter (1-1/2 sticks) that’s been softened to room temperature and 1-1/2 cups sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer, or a large glass bowl if using a hand held mixer. Cream until pale yellow, about 1 minute, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 2 eggs one at a time, mixing until the egg is just combined before adding the next one, then mix in 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: 2-1/2 cups gluten-free flour WITH added binder (I love King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour,) 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch.
Decision time! If you want to make cut out cookies with cookie cutters, divide the dough in half then wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled – a couple hours or overnight.
If you want to make drop cookies, scoop out 2 Tablespoon portions of the dough then roll into balls, place onto a silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet at least 2″ apart, then gently press down with your fingers to slightly flatten. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees or until the centers of the cookies have just barely set.
- Tip 1: The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it’s sticky while trying to roll into balls, refrigerate the whole bowl for 10 minutes. I never had this problem, but if you do, refrigerate vs adding more flour.
- Tip 2: The cookies will NOT be golden brown when done. Pull them out of the oven just shy of being golden brown around the edges to ensure they stay soft and chewy in the center.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Then, frost and embellish to your heart’s desire. I used Simple Mills Vanilla Frosting and these gluten-free sprinkles, which I found at Whole Foods. They’re super cute and not manufactured in a facility that handles wheat!
If you want to go the cookie cutter route, remove one dough disc from the fridge then place it onto a sheet of parchment paper. Working quickly, cover with another sheet of parchment paper then roll 1/4″ thick. I use DoStix (an Iowa company – woot!) to get my dough to an even width. So handy.
Press cookie cutters into the dough then wiggle a bit to make sure they’re completely separated from the surrounding dough. Transfer the cookies to a silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet then bake for 7-9 minutes at 375 degrees (NOTE: this is a higher temperature then the drop cookies!) or until the edges are barely golden brown. Freeze scraps for 5 minutes before re-rolling and cutting. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, frost and decorate.
- Note: I like to bake the cut out cookies until golden brown around the edges (vs the drop cookies which I don’t) because it’s a little easier to frost cookies with arms/legs/boots, etc when they’re a bit sturdier. Still soft, but just a touch sturdier.
I hope you LOVE these sweet and chewy gluten-free sugar cookies. Take it from me, the gal who lost count of how many she ate – they’re super fun to make, but even more fun to eat. ;) Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
You'd never know soft and chewy gluten-free sugar cookies are made with gluten-free flour! Make into drop cookies or roll and cut into any shape you like.
- 3/4 cup salted butter (1-1/2 sticks), softened to room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2-1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend with binder (see notes for brand used)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
- To make drop cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees then line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
- Add butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer, or to a large glass bowl if using a hand-held mixer, then cream until pale yellow, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated before adding the next egg. Add vanilla then mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, stir together gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three batches, mixing on low speed until just incorporated before adding the next batch. Dough should be soft but not sticky - if sticky, place bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Scoop dough into 2 Tablespoon-sized portions then roll between your hands to form a ball and place onto prepared baking sheet at least 2” apart. Press down gently with your fingers to flatten the balls slightly then bake for 8-10 minutes or until the centers of the cookies are set. NOTE: cookies will NOT be golden brown around the edges! Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make cut out cookies: Divide dough between two sheets of saran wrap then shape into flat discs, cover, and refrigerate until completely chilled.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees then line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
- Unwrap one disc then place onto a sheet of parchment paper. Working quickly, cover with another sheet of parchment paper then roll 1/4” thick. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes (it helps to wiggle the cookie cutter once pressed to separate the cut out from the surrounding dough) then carefully transfer cut outs to prepared baking sheet. If cutouts are too soft to transfer, refrigerate or freeze parchment paper with cut outs for 5-10 minutes then try again. Freeze scraps for 5 minutes before re-rolling and cutting.
- Bake cookies for 7-9 minutes or until cookies are barely golden brown around the edges. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Frost cookies with your favorite frosting and embellishments (I love Simple Mills Vanilla Frosting.) Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze unfrosted cookies for several months.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.