February 8, 2010 by Flora Dawn
As far as comfort foods go, sugar cookies are pretty high up on my list. One of my fondest childhood memories is sugar cookies. We had a “grandma” at church, not any relation to us, who would bring her big plate of sugar cookies to potlucks and vacation bible school. During the holidays we would go over to her house and help her roll out and frost dozens of cookies on her her huge farm table.
I have tried a few sugar cookie recipes over the years, including my grandma’s, and the majority or very buttery and crisp, add some frosting and you have a decorated pie crust in the lovely shape of a bell. Sure, they are fun for kids to make, but not necessarily what adults want to eat. Well, I eventually found a delicious sugar cookie recipe, White Velvet Cutouts from Taste of Home magazine. I have made it for years and it always works. It contains cream cheese, which makes them rich and soft and truly delicious. I realize some people are going to stop and think, “this makes them so unhealthy,” but really, if we wanted health food we should skip the whole cookie thing and just eat an apple 🙂
So, this was my first holiday season cooking gluten free, and I began to look through all of my new, but hugely disappointing, gluten free cookbooks in search for a sugar cookie recipe that might work. I wasn’t even hoping for great, just work, so my kids could keep the tradition of baking sugar cookies. Well, I didn’t find anything awe inspiring. I compared a couple of the recipes to my White Velvet Cutouts and I made what I thought would be adequate changes. WOW! My gluten free sugar cookies were perfect. Seriously,there is nothing wrong with these cookies. They aren’t exactly like my originals, but they are excellent cookies. The dough is not very sturdy though, so leave enough time to chill the dough a couple hours before rolling and cutting out. So get out your cookie cutters and bake up some memories with the kids in your life, this recipe will not disappoint!
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened (I just cut the 8 oz cream cheese in half)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend
- In a large bowl (this works best in a stand mixer), cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar, egg yolks and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour and mix until combined.
- The bowl can be covered and chilled, I prefer, however to divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap, pressing down to form a disc (this is similar to how I would chill a pie crust). Forming this shape now will make rolling them out easier.
- After the cookie dough has been thoroughly chilled, preheat oven to 350.
- Roll out on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, I use cornstarch or my gluten free flour mixture. I wouldn’t use straight rice flour as it has a distinct flavor. If you have a non-stick rolling pin this will be a perfect time to use it. You might have to work with the dough a few minutes to get it the desired consistency.
- Cut into shapes and place on cookie sheets (I don’t have to grease mine, but use your judgment here), if using detailed cookie cutters I would refrigerate the cut outs for a few minutes, this helps them keep their shape while baking.
- Bake in preheated 350 oven for 10-12 minutes or until set, not browned. Cool about 5 minutes and remove to racks to cool completely before frosting. (The amount of cookies you get will depend on the size of cookie cutters you use. I get about 3 cookie sheets worth of cookies).
Here is an easy butter cream frosting you can flavor and color as you wish. You could certainly use whatever your favorite frosting recipe is or just buy a can you know is gluten free.
Easy Butter Cream Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 Tb butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla or any other extract you wish to use
- 2 Tb milk, more if needed
- food coloring
- In medium bowl combine all frosting ingredients.
- Using a hand mixer beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add more milk if needed to get desired consistency.
- Add food coloring if desired.
- Don’t forget to lick the beaters, it’s the best part of making your own frosting.
*Although these aren’t exactly healthy cookies, I figured they qualified for Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays since they are healthier than buying a cookie mix…and it’s the Holiday Season 🙂