Sugar cookies. For the first 30 years of my life I just didn’t get them. Pretty to look at? Sure. Fun to make? You bet. Delicious? Not so much.
A few years ago I set out on a quest to rectify this situation. I was determined to find a sugar cookie that was easy to make, easy to work with, held its’ shape when cut and tasted delicious.
If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you’ll realize that I wanted all that AND they had to be gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and corn-free.
The following recipe was the answer to that tall order. A sugar cookie that is actually good enough to eat. Now I get it.
These are delicious, unbelievably easy to make and they keep sharp edges in the oven. This dough is forgiving enough for the most intricate cookie cutters and the cookies store well in the freezer. After a quick thaw you can frost them for impromptu occasions. I keep these on hand for my son so that if we get a last minute party invite I can bring along an allergy friendly treat.
Sugar Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free)
- 2 cups gluten-free flour mix* (click here to see the one I use)
- ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum, or guar gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 ounces non-hydrogenated shortening (4 tablespoons) * unsalted butter will work too
- 1/4 cup canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract (see notes if baking corn-free)
- 2 tablespoons cold milk substitute or water
—> Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line sheet pans with parchment or a Silpat baking mat.
—> In a medium sized bowl mix together the flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Set aside.
—> In a mixer, cream the shortening and sugar together for a minute or two. The mixture will look sandy. Add the egg and canola oil and mix on medium-low until smooth. Add the vanilla and milk substitute.
—> With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.
—> Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap and press together to form a flat disk. It will be a bit crumbly, just keep pressing it together. Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and chill for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator.
—> When ready to use, let the dough sit out for 15 minutes before rolling out.
—> Roll a portion of the dough out between two layers of plastic wrap until it is 1/8 inch thick. (before you roll the dough out it will crack and look a bit rough, don’t worry, once you roll it out, it will come together) Cut out desired shapes and transfer to sheet pans with a thin metal spatula.
—> Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes depending on thickness of your cookies and sizes of your cut shapes. Remove from oven when the edges are just beginning to turn golden.
*This is one recipe where extra fine flours really will yield the best results. For more info, click here to see the gluten-free flour mix I bake with.