I had SO MUCH FUN making these! I always love the taste and consistency of sugar cookies – but have never quite had gluten-free ones that worked. And on top of that, I love having different colour frosting – but had used found good natural food dyes…until now!
These cookies are made all in one bowl, can be rolled out and cut into shapes or rolled into easy circles (what I did). Entirely vegan (if you want) and gluten-free, and perfect for the holidays and beyond!
1/2 cup softened salted butter (vegan butter, if vegan); if your butter is not salted, add ¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup organic coconut sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg (if vegan, use 3 Tbsp chickpea brine or 1/4 cup pumpkin purée)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 2/3 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob Red Mill 1:1 Flour)
2/3 cup almond flour (not almond meal - the texture and flavour is different)
1/3 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour/starch
1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup butter (vegan butter, if vegan)
1 1/2 - 2 cups sifted organic powdered sugar (to ensure vegan friendly)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
Optional: Natural food dyes (like Watkins or Color Kitchen)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Add softened butter (make sure it is softened - not melted or cold) to a large mixing bowl and beat or whisk until creamy and smooth - about 1 minute.
Add sugar and mix on medium speed until fluffy and light - about 1 minute. Then add egg (or other egg substitute) and vanilla and mix again, scraping down sides as needed.
Add baking powder and blend or whisk to combine. Then add gluten-free flour, almond flour, and arrowroot or tapioca and mix on low until the ingredients are combined. I had to switch to a wooden spoon toward the end. Add almond milk and stir once more.
The dough should be thick, moldable and a little difficult to mix at this point. If too soft, continue adding a mixture of gluten-free flour, almond flour, and arrowroot/tapioca until a thick, moldable dough is formed. If too thick, thin with a bit more almond milk.
Transfer dough to the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes. Once chilled, use a cookie scooper or a Tablespoon to measure out 1 1/2 Tbsp amounts of dough and gently roll into balls. Arrange on the parchment-lined baking sheets with 1 inch room between each and press down gently with the palm of your hand to smash slightly.
Alternatively, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface until about 1/4-inch thick and dip cookie cutters in gluten-free flour before pressing into the dough. Use a floured spatula to gently scoop onto baking sheets.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies appear fluffy and the edges are slightly beginning to dry out. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a plate to cool completely.
To make frosting (optional), add softened butter to a mixing bowl and whisk or beat until soft and fluffy - about 1 minute. Then sift in powdered sugar in small amounts and mix. The original recipe called for 1.5-2 cups of this sugar, but I only used about ½ cup, so be sure to taste and see how you prefer it. Add the vanilla extract and whisk. If you prefer a thinner frosting, add a little almond milk to thin. If it becomes too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it becomes too thick, add more almond milk. Add natural food colouring at this time (optional).
Frost cookies or leave plain!
Storage: Once cooled, store leftover cookies covered at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.
Note: You can make the cookie dough ahead of time and refrigerate up to 2-3 days in advance. Simply let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before scooping and baking. It should be soft and moldable.