This post has been updated since it was first published in 2011.
Can I make thick and chewy gluten free sugar cookies?
Tips for making gluten free cut out cookies
- Different flours. The version written is the version I have tested. Any substitutions may alter the end results. A general gluten free all purpose flour *should* work. I like Bob’s GF 1 to 1. You can also refer to my gluten free flour page for could substitution ideas. Keep at least 30% starch.
- Coconut oil. I like to use coconut oil, but know that it has a lower melting point (78 degrees) compared to butter (90 ish). So I often end up chilling the dough a bit to firm it back up before baking when using it. Cookies are slightly more crispy too.
- Vegan butter. This is the easiest 1 to 1 substitute for the butter in the recipe. NOT the spreadable kind (too much oil), the kind that comes in cubes will work best for baking.
- Room temperature butter. It is important that the butter be room temp. Soft, but not SO soft that it is beginning to melt. While easier to mix, the dough will need to be chilled to firm back up prior to baking if it is used. Frozen butter takes at least 8 hours in the fridge to thaw, and refrigerated butter takes an hour or less on the counter to come to room temperature (about 70 degrees is considered room temp). Obviously, in a heat wave time will be less!
- Rolling out trick. I like to use two non stick baking mats to roll out doughs, like I do in my gluten free pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I still flour bottom mat and top of dough ball, but it saves on effort and makes rolling out much less tricky! And my rolling pin stays nice and clean with the addition of the 2nd mat laid over the top!
Here are some other gluten free Christmas cookies you could try:
- Gluten Free | Vegan Thumbprint Cookies – the ultimate Christmas cookie (in my world at least!)…these are ultra buttery and delicious!
- Gluten Free | Vegan Samoas – a simplified version of a famous Girls Scout cookie…but no weird pseudo ingredients in this one!
- Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies – sinfully rich and decadent, one of these will likely satisfy!
- Chocolate peppermint cookies are paleo and vegan and so fun for little ones to make!
- Gluten Free Linzer Cookies – delicate buttery cookies with a beautiful jam ‘see through’ window!
- Honey Gingerbread Cookies – are loaded with Christmas spice and beautiful to look at!!
- How about some almond flour sugar cookies if you are avoiding grains?
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies Recipe:
If you try these gluten free vegan sugar cookies, be sure to come back and leave a comment!
Gluten Free Vegan Sugar Cookies
Buttery and rich, these gluten free sugar cookies are easy to make and easy to roll out!
- 1 cup butter slightly softened (options include Soy Free Earth Balance "butter" sticks, or grass-fed butter. May use half palm shortening for the vegan version.
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 1 large egg OR 2T applesauce.
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract optional. You can also use almond, maple or any other flavor, or omit completely
- 1 tablespoon butter or vegan butter
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar see my corn free powdered sugar post for options
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk 1 teaspoon at a time, it thins quickly
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until creamy and well mixed. Scrape down sides if necessary.
Add the egg (or applesauce), vanilla and lemon extracts and beat until everything is combined.
With the mixer running on low, add in your dry ingredients. Start with the sea salt, baking powder, and guar gum first, then follow with the flours. Blend well to form a stiff dough. Do not beat long term, it will warm the dough and then you'll need to chill, which we are trying to avoid!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Divide the dough into two equal balls. Wrap one and put it in the fridge (or set aside) while you work with the first half. Dust your surface with any flour, and dust your 1st ball of dough.
Roll out to desired thickness, I do about 1/4 inch.
Cut out your cookies, using a sturdy spatula to help you transfer the shapes. Gather the remaining pieces of dough and continue with rolling out and cutting. (If the dough seems overly soft, throw the whole cookie sheet with the cut out cookies into the freezer to firm up while you preheat the oven). Cookies do not need much space to spread on the sheet, so go ahead and fill er up!
Bake in 350-degree oven for about 8 minutes until lightly golden around the edges (end time will depend on the thickness and size of your masterpieces).
Let rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. When cooled completely, frost if desired.
Repeat the process with the second ball of dough!
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
Melt the butter in a dish. Add the powdered sugar and mix with the vanilla and 1-2 teaspoons of milk to start. A thick and stiff frosting will become dry and firm when dry and is easier to decorate with and store, and a little bit of milk goes a LONG way!
I always like to test one cookie out in the oven first to make sure it stands and add more flour or chill if it spreads too much.
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