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Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

(recipe, Stephanie Stiavetti)

Introduction

In my grandma's kitchen, sugar cookies are tender in the middle, melting in your mouth after a satisfying crunch around the edges. These gluten-free sugar cookies deliver all of that and just a hint of citrusy warmth for those cold winter days. Gluten-free dough can be fragile to transport before it is cooked, so I recommend cutting the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment and then peeling away the extra dough. This leaves the cookies ready to bake on the sheet — just make sure to give them about an inch of space so they don't spread into one another.

Ingredients

  1. ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten
  4. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1 tsp. orange zest
  6. 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. brown rice flour
  7. ⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp. potato starch
  8. 2½ Tbsp. tapioca starch
  9. ⅓ cup sweet rice flour
  10. 1 tsp. baking powder
  11. ¾ tsp. xanthan gum
  12. ¼ tsp. salt

Steps

  1. Cut four pieces of parchment paper to fit your baking sheet.
  2. Using an electric beater on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add in the egg, then the vanilla extract and orange zest, mixing until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and sweet rice flour. Stir well, then add in the baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt, stirring to combine completely. Sift the flour mixture to lighten the flours and get rid of lumps, and to make sure all dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing on medium speed until the dough comes together. Do not over-mix.
  5. Roll the dough into four flat disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and use a rolling pin to roll out to ¼-inch thick on one of the pieces of parchment paper. Cut out different shapes with cookie cutters, making sure to leave 1 inch of space between the shapes. Carefully peel away the extra dough and cover the sheet with wax paper before sliding it into the refrigerator for another 15 minutes. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of dough.
  7. Take the first pan of cut cookies out of the refrigerator and place it into the preheated oven. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the cookies are gently golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment onto a cooling rack, allowing the cookies to come to room temperature before removing them from the paper. Remove the next baking sheet of cut cookies from the refrigerator and place it into the oven, baking, again, for 11 to 13 minutes. Repeat with remaining baking sheets.
  8. Once the cookies are cool, you can frost them however you prefer. Freeze baked cookies in sealed containers for up to a month.