Puffy-n-Sweet Gluten Free Sugar Cookies- Gluten, Dairy, Egg and Soy Free

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Puffy-n-Sweet Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1  1/2 cups sweet rice flour superfine

1  1/2 cups certified gluten-free oat flour

5 teaspoons aluminum free double-acting baking powder

pinch of salt

1  1/2 cups Earth Balance (soy free version) margarine

Drop of McCormick Imitation Butter Flavor

1  1/2 cups white sugar

1  1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract

4  1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer

6 Tablespoons warm water

Frosting:

5 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup Earth Balance (soy free version) margarine

Drop of McCormick Imitation Butter Extract

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

7-8 Tablespoons coconut or rice milk

Directions:

Measure flours by lightly scooping them into the measuring cups and placing them in a large bowl.  Never pack down gluten-free flours.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients and whisk all the dry ingredients together thoroughly.  In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg replacer and the warm water until frothy.  Set aside.  In another larger bowl cream the margarine, imitation butter extract, sugar, and almond extract.  Add egg replacer to creamed sugar and mix together.  Gradually add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  The dough will be pretty thick.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle of the oven.  Roll dough on floured (rice flour) surface until almost 1/2″ thick.  Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter that is no larger than 2″ wide.  The cookie cutter should also be at least 7/8″ deep to be able to cut through the 1/2″ rolled dough.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes or until cookies are set and cracking but not brown.  Combine frosting ingredients with a mixer adding the coconut (or rice) milk gradually until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.  Frost cooled cookies and have fun decorating!  Store the cookies in an air tight container.  Un-frosted cookie leftovers may be frozen.

Thoughts and Tips:

At last!  A puffy, soft gluten-free sugar cookie that tastes like a REAL sugar cookie!  After scouring recipes for some time, I finally found some recipes that I could tweak and modify to be gluten, dairy, egg and soy free.  It was difficult to find a way to make gluten-free sugar cookies that weren’t flat and hard as a rock.  But this recipe finally breaks the crunchy barrier and rides into soft sugar cookie heaven.  I made a batch for the first time at Christmas when our 2 college kids were home (hoping and praying that they would turn out).  Well, that batch was devoured in the first couple of days the kids were home.  So we decided to make a couple of batches as a family.  Boy!  Was that a zoo!  Instead of nice “Christmas” shapes we ended up with Star Wars, gnomes, and any weird shape they could come up with.  We did have a good time making and eating them though.  My college daughter, who is gluten-free, was thrilled to have real sugar cookies.  I think she said she gained 6 pounds over Christmas alone.  My college son, who is NOT gluten-free, did not complain one bit that he HAD to eat gluten-free cookies!  He just HAD to eat practically half the container.

TIPS:  The first tip is to make sure that you measure the gluten-free flours by lightly spooning the flour into the measuring cups.  I usually put a baking tray underneath the bag of flour and measuring cup and lightly scoop with the spoon and then gently scrape the excess off with a knife.  Then I use the tray to pour as much of the excess back into the bag of flour.  That stuff is expensive, I don’t want to waste a bit of it!  Just make sure you don’t take the measuring cup and scoop it out of the bag.  That will pack it down and your cookies will be too dry.  You may be wondering what is “sweet rice flour superfine”?     Sweet rice flour is a stickier flour.  I usually buy the Authentic Foods brand which is ground superfine.  You can usually find it at your local Health Food store.  Always make sure that your oat flour is “certified gluten-free”.  Some people with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance can’t tolerate oats at all (even certified).  Others are fine with the certified gluten-free oats.  The Earth Balance margarine is also available at most local Health Food stores.  They have several different versions of it.  If you are soy-free, the red carton is the one you want.  I’ve found that if my local Health Food store doesn’t carry something, they are usually open to ordering it or making a special order for you personally (although you usually have to buy an entire case).  You will use most of your container of the margarine for the cookies and the frosting.  You may also be wondering why the “drop of imitation butter extract”?  I find that the flavor of the margarine is not very buttery.  Just one drop will help with that buttery taste that you need in a sugar cookie.  The almond extract and the imitation butter extract that I use is the “McCormick” brand because they say “gluten-free” right on the box.

After you’ve chilled your dough and are ready to start cutting out your shapes you’ll need to make sure that your cookie cutters are not too big.  I found that if you have cutters that are larger than 2″ wide the cookies end up way too big.  I know that they seem like really small cookie cutters (at 2″) but the cookies end up puffing up a lot in the oven and will be much bigger than the 2″ of the cutter.  It’s much better to have more cookies that are smaller with this recipe.  You also need to make sure that your cookie cutter is deep enough.  I have several cutters that are only about a 1/4″ deep and they won’t cut through dough that is almost 1/2″ thick.  Make sure that your cookie cutters are at least 7/8″ deep.  Also place your cookies about an inch apart on the tray because they do puff.  Don’t overbake these cookies.  They are done when they are set and cracking on the surface (after about 8 minutes of baking).  These cookies should not be browned at all.

Store these cookies in an airtight container.  They stay fresh for about a week.  I like to freeze some in small baggies for sneaking out of the freezer at future times.  I freeze them with the frosting and everything (just out of pure laziness) but they freeze better without frosting and then frosting them with fresh frosting when they’ve defrosted.

These puffy -n- sweet sugar cookies are great for Valentine’s Day, Christmas or any occasion!  I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!

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