I used to love sugar cookies from back before my family went gluten-free, and have spent 5 years searching for and trying to create an adequate replacement. I had pretty much given up, and then I ran across a blog post about some adaptations to a Land O Lakes recipe. I thought both sounded okay, but of course, as any gf bakers in wont to do, I had to do a few minor changes for myself too. Here is the link to the recipe I stumbled across, and here is the one at Land o Lakes.
This recipe is good! It tastes right, just like a white-wheat sugar cookie, and has a great texture when cooled, soft on the inside, lightly crunchy on the outside. The dough needs to be rolled pretty thin to keep shapes well, but as long as you don’t mind rounded edges you can make it a little thicker. I will be trying it with cream cheese later this weekend just to see if it holds it’s shape a little better, but it’s worth making as-is. My version is below.
GF Flour Blend Used Here
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
Mix or sift well, then set aside. Store in an airtight container.
Gluten-free Sugar Cookies
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract (lemon or orange would be fun too!)
2 1/2 cups flour blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
~ 1. In a large bowl, or the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and extract and mix until fluffy and light.
~2. In another bowl, mix the flour blend with the salt and baking powder. With the mixer on slow speed, slowly add flour mixture to the butter/suagar mix. Mix until all the flour is incorperated.
~3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from refridgerator and break off about 1/3 of it, re-wrapping the rest. Sprinkle wax paper with a little sweet rice flour, cornstarch, or powdered sugar. Pat the dough into a disk shape, then roll with a floured rolling pin to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick. The thinner the dough, the more the cookie will hold it’s shape. Cut shapes and place about 2-inches apart on baking sheet.
~4. Bake for 8-12 minutes at 350°F. Remove tray from oven and let cookies cool 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling. Decorate as desired.
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies