These exceptional gluten-free sugar cookies are a holiday family tradition in our home. However, I also love making them throughout the year.
Even before I was gluten-free, I always loved sugar cookies, especially with frosting on top! My mother-in-law was a fabulous baker and her sugar cookies were amazing! She made them from an old family recipe called Sugar Thins, and the secret to these delicious cookies is rolling the dough really, really thin. (Hence the name!) After tasting one of these cookies, I was hooked!
If I had to pick one favorite gluten-free cookie recipe, it would be these sugar cookies. Because they are not too sweet, one can really enjoy the rich flavor of these cookies. They are delicious plain, or sprinkled with sugar or iced with a thin glaze. While they are crispy on the outside they are so chewy on the inside. Yum!!! It really takes some restraint not to eat more than one or two (or five or six!)! I make these yummy cookies all year. They are ideal for a baby or bridal shower, an afternoon tea with girlfriends or to simply fill the cookie jar.
I have a confession! It took me almost four years before I converted this recipe to gluten-free. I know, right?! To be honest, I was afraid they would not turn out. I made them so many times over in my head that I practically knew the recipe by heart. My biggest fear was rolling them out! Silly, huh? It took a few times of making them before I had it perfected. Yep, the dough gave me a challenge but once I got it down, easy peasy!
The secret to rolling out the cookie dough is keeping it cold. After I make the dough, I refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes (and sometimes overnight – depending on how much time I have) before rolling it out between parchment paper. (If the dough has been chilled for more than four hours, I set the dough out on the counter for 10 minutes before rolling it out. After rolling it out, I put it back in the refrigerator for another 20 minutes before cutting them out and baking them. Keeping the gluten-free dough cold helps the cookies to keep their shape when using the cookie cutters.
Most sugar cookies are super sweet, especially by the time the frosting is added. These gluten-free sugar cookies are not your run-of-the-mill sugar cookie. They have just the right amount of sweetness and are perfect with or without frosting. I love the taste of homemade vanilla extract in them. My husband’s buddy says he could not tell they were gluten-free and they tasted like the sugar cookies his grandma used to make. Now that is a sweet compliment!
Soft and chewy, Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies are delightful throughout the year!
Ingredients for Sugar Cookies:
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten-free almond blend flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Xanthan gum
Ingredients for Glaze
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Food coloring, optional
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Add in egg, cream and vanilla, mixing well.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sea salt and Xanthan gum. Add to cream mixture and mix well. Form dough in a round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out dough in a small quantity, until very thin (1/8th inch). Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
- Cut cookies out with small cookie cutters. Bake for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool for two minutes before removing to cooling rack. Cool completely before icing with the sugar cookie glaze.
Instructions for Glaze:
- In a medium size bowl, sift sugar. Stir in milk and vanilla until thoroughly blended.
- Add food coloring in one drop at a time, until desired color is achieved.
- For a thinner glaze, add ½ teaspoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- “Paint” glaze on with a pastry brush.
- When rolling out dough, work with small quantities. Keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to use.
- In a hurry? Sprinkle with colored sugar before baking.
- Use a butter knife to gently transfer the cookies to a parchment lined cookie sheet for baking.
- A small glass is also perfect for cutting out cookies.
Don’t you just love how these gluten-free old-fashioned sugar cookies melt in your mouth? I hope they will become a holiday tradition for your family!
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From my kitchen to yours,