… Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cutout Cookies Too Good to be Frosted!
I am SO excited about this cutout sugar cookie recipe! These cookies are the best I’ve ever had, gluten-free, dairy-free, containing both, or any way otherwise. There, I said it. I know I’m not being very humble right now. In fact, I’m sounding downright all too proud. But I’m hoping you’ll let me off the hook just as soon as you make these cookies. Why? Because this is what you’ll get:
… Cutout sugar cookie dough that just plain works. It will mix up smooth. It will form into a ball that will be tender, but not sticky, and definitely not dried out.
… Dough that will roll out without sticking to everything!! Dough that will hold its shape when cut into with cookie cutters.
… Dough that will hold its shape when baked. Your cookies will look like the cutout shapes that you intended. You’ll even be able to create little embellishments like 3-D buttons on your snowman and holes for creating cookie ornaments. (I’ve spent 7 attempts at making a recipe for you that will do this. 😉 ) Be sure to see the tips below too!
… Crispy, crunchy cookies that have a nice “snap” when you bite into them, but not so firm to be unappealing. A crunchy cookie with a buttery flavor that still melts-in-your-mouth. A sweet cookie that isn’t overly so.
… Cutout cookies that hold up to being handled by little hands during frosting and decorating without crumbling.
… Cookies that are as good the second day as they are the first.
… Cookies that are SO GOOD, the frosting might only detract from their deliciousness.
Honestly, I’ve always been of the opinion that Christmas cutout cookies were just ehh, and were really not something that offered much flavor appeal. Decorating them was fun if I shared it with little kids, but it’s a lot of work just for a blah cookie. BUT, these have changed my mind completely. One of my reliable taste-testers said that these are his favorite and, in his opinion, nothing would be gained by decorating them – they’re perfect just the way they are. He noshed quickly through many cookies with a cup of coffee. That was my barometer for his real feelings because he’s not a big cookie fan in general. I had to hide some just to get my photos.
Heed the following tips throughout the recipe, have a blast baking and noshing your Christmas cutout cookies, and please let me know how your cookie baking festivities go.
I’m not including a frosting recipe here because these really are that good unfrosted. If you decide frosting is in your plans, be sure to check the link above for that recipe. I won’t leave you hanging without one!
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cutout Sugar Cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Chill time: at least 2 hours
Cutout/chill time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 17-20 minutes per baking sheet
Oven temp: 325ºF
Makes: about 36 medium size cookies
2 2/3 cup (320g) gluten-free, all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup extra for dipping cookie cutters – I use Authentic Foods Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend
4 Tablespoons almond flour – I use Honeyville Farms Blanched Almond Flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum – omit if already in your flour mix
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (8 ounces) non-dairy margarine – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – soy free
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract – I use McCormick
Combine 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, guar gum, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir well to combine.
Combine margarine and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed, scraping down side of bowl once, for about 2 minutes, or until sugar has started dissolving and most of the graininess is gone. Add egg and vanilla. Beat on medium-high until smooth.
Add in the flour mixture to the sugar mixture gradually with the mixer on low. Increase speed to medium and blend until well mixed and dough ball begins to form – it won’t form completely.
Remove dough from bowl and form into two balls. Place each ball on a separate sheet of wax paper large enough to completely wrap the ball. Before wrapping the wax paper over the ball, gently press the dough into a large disk about an inch thick. Wrap wax paper around dough, then place each “package” into separate plastic bags. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours.
Remove one of the disks from the refrigerator. Place unwrapped dough between two pieces of parchment paper placed on a baking sheet (tip: it won’t stick to parchment paper, but it will to other surfaces), and roll out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, making sure the edges don’t get pressed too thin. With parchment paper still on top and bottom of rolled dough, place the baking sheet with the parchment covered dough into the freezer for 15 minutes (tip: freezing will make ALL the difference in how well this dough behaves as mentioned above). Place 1/2 cup flour into a shallow bowl large enough to dip your cookie cutters.
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Remove chilled dough from freezer. Remove top sheet of parchment paper, keeping the dough on the bottom parchment and chilled baking sheet. Working quickly, dip your cookie cutters, one at a time, and cut out shapes. If the cut dough doesn’t release from the dough slab, that’s okay, just continue cutting out your shapes and leaving them in place. If your dough begins to stick or soften, return the baking sheet to the freezer for a few minutes. Once all shapes have been cut out, use your flour-dipped spatula and gently slide it under the shapes. If you can, release only the dough surrounding your cutouts, that is desired. If your shape releases too, just gently move it to an open space on the parchment. Once all extra dough has been removed from between shapes, set it aside momentarily, and place a sheet of parchment paper back over the top of the shapes. Return the baking sheet and cutouts to the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes (tip: this will help maintain the shape of the cutouts while baking. If the dough becomes too warm, your shapes will lose their defined edges.) Roll extra dough between parchment sheets to proper thickness. Return to the freezer for 15 minutes. This dough can then be re-rolled and cut into shapes. (tip: Gluten-free dough doesn’t become tough when re-worked as does dough with standard all-purpose flour.)
Remove baking sheet with chilled cutout cookies from freezer, remove top sheet of parchment paper and bake cookies immediately in preheated oven on middle rack.
Bake at 325ºF for 17-20 minutes, or until edges of cookies are just beginning to turn light golden. Remove from oven and transfer parchment with cookies onto a cooling rack. Cool cookies on parchment for about 4 minutes before transferring off of parchment. Continue cooling on rack without paper.
Repeat above steps with all of the dough. Store completely cooled cookies at room temperature in an airtight re-sealable container, or open to the air in a dry climate, for a few days. These stored well for me unprotected, and in a metal tin lined with wax paper and a lid.
Recipe steps in photos:
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™