Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gluten-Free Roll-Out Sugar Cookies

With gluten intolerance on the rise, a lot of bakers are looking for gluten-free versions of some of their favorite recipes.  I invited some friends over for some cookie decorating before the Doctor Who premier this season.  Since one of these friends is gluten-free, I thought it would be fun to try my hand at one of these recipes for my roll-out sugar cookies.

The verdict?  These were tasty.  Sweet and buttery, crisp edges, chewy on the inside - just like a sugar cookie should be.  Even my friends who aren't gluten-free were happy to munch on these.  The dough itself was a little more difficult to work with than traditional cookie dough - a bit crumblier and more fragile.  For the 3D cookies I found it best not to press fully down on the dough with the cutter so that it could lift off easily without pulling the dough up with it.  Then, just use a sharp knife to cut around the outside edges of the cookie, and use a spatula to transfer from your cutting area to the cookie sheet.

Another issue you may find is obtaining the ingredients for the gluten-free flour blend.  I'm lucky enough to have a gluten-free market in my neighborhood, but if you don't, and you aren't able to find potato starch or tapioca flour at your usual grocery store, you can always order the ingredients online.  You may also be able to find some pre-made gluten-free flour blends at the store, which may work just as well, but I can't guarantee they'll be exactly the same.

By the way, if you want these fabulous TARDIS and Dalek cookie cutters, you can get them from WarpZone, along with several other geeky chic designs.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies  (from
1 cup sugar
1 cups butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla
2 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Gluten Free Flour Blend: To make flour blend, combine 2 cups sweet rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum.  Use appropriate amount for recipe; store remainder in container with tight-fitting lid.  Stir before using.

To Make the Cookies:
Cream sugar and butter in large bowl.  Add egg yolks and vanilla, and continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.  Add flour blend and salt; beat at low speed until well mixed.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Heat oven to 350°F.   Roll out dough on surface sprinkled lightly with gluten-free flour, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut with cookie cutters and place 1 inch apart on parchment or silicone-lined cookie sheets.

Bake 8-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Let stand 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then remove to cooling rack.  Cool completely.

For the frosting, I used the same royal icing recipe I used on my Gingerbread Tardis.  Just add a little gel food coloring to make it TARDIS Blue.


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