Sugar Cookies….good enough to eat.

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.

43 thoughts on “Sugar Cookies….good enough to eat.

  1. Ummmm…I’m not sure I could eat those…they’re so BEAUTIFUL – seriously like a work of art – particularly the red leaves…just stunning – they almost look like a pendant they’re so pretty.

    • Hi Mary Ann, I hadn’t planned on posting the recipe, but I’ve had so many requests that I will try to do it before the holidays. So check back sometime soon! Thanks for visiting.

  2. I’m not a big fan of sugar cookies because I had never tasted delicious ones before. We get all kinds of sugar cookies from school, holidays, and all kinds of events, but I just never thought they are “delicious”. I wish to eat yours and change my mind! ;-) I love the autumn theme cookie cutters and colors too!

  3. These are not only works of art but any kind of dough that can be worked with like this, frozen and delicious is fabulous. The fact that you’ve made them gluten, corn and dairy free is fantastic. You are a clever cookie.

  4. Thank you so much for this blog! The Honey Millet Rolls are a staple in my home now! I must say that this Christmas was the first that we have had cut out sugar cookies since I went GF nearly or more than 5 years ago! The texture was great! I was so worried about the dough before baking and spreading during baking etc. but it held it’s shape beautifully! I am GF, SF, DF and tapioca allergic and we are watching our corn intake as well so your recipes are a perfect fit.( I sub extra potato and arrowroot starches for the tapioca)

    • Thank you for your comment Kate! Hearing stories like yours is exactly the reason I started the blog. :) It just doesn’t seem right for people to miss out or feel deprived because they need to eat GF, SF, DF, etc.!! Happy to hear the cookies were a success. We love that recipe. Oh, and good for you to adjust the starches to your particular diet. I keep meaning to mention that to readers! Arrowroot is a great sub for either the tapioca or the potato starch depending on individual dietary needs. Cheers, Terris * Oh, and feel free to let me know if there are any recipes you would like to see in the future here at Free Eats.

  5. mmm! those WERE good enough to eat! Much better than the other recipe (bleagghhh!) that I found on another site. Your glaze/frosting is really beautiful, it there a recipe for that? Or even just loose instructions? You have a real talent for creating beautiful food–that’s edible, too! thanks for sharing! I am so glad I discovered your site.

    • Hi there, I’m so happy you liked the cookies. My kids love these, frosted or un-frosted. Lots of people have asked about the glaze and I feel guilty because I have never had time to do a posting about it, but I will tell you what is in my recipe, and you are free to experiment with it. Glazing cookies and getting just the right consistency takes a lot of trial and error, but when you get it right, it just clicks! So, I use 1 cup (corn-free powdered sugar), 1 tablespoon liquid sweetner (if you weren’t corn-free, you could just use corn syrup) such as Authentic Lyle’s golden syrup (which is pure cane sugar syrup) or agave syrup, 1 tablespoon milk or milk substitute. Stir until smooth and adjust consistency by adding additional milk/milk sub one drop at a time. It usually seems quite thick at first, just keep adjusting very slowly with the milk. Even back in pastry school this is essentially what I iced sugar cookies with. I always loved that you didn’t have to mess around with egg whites, particularly for food safety reasons. I usually allow the icing to set up for a couple of hours or overnight with the cookies laid out, uncovered on a sheet pan in a cool oven. This will dry hard, dry and shiny. I have used this to decorate cookies and then wrapped them in cello and they stay beautiful. *You may also add a drop of flavoring to this icing or a squeeze of citrus to cut some of the sweetness. Hope this helps! Have fun.

      • Thank you for the icing recipe. I’m new to allergy free cooking since my daughter was diagnosed with her allergies just a few months ago. I had been trying to grind my own sugar for the corn free icings, but it doesn’t work well. Corn free powdered sugar is a revelation to me! Thank you for sharing!

  6. About how many cookies does this yield? Do you think doubling the recipe would be necessary if I plan to make these for gifts for several families, or does it make quite a big batch?

  7. Hey great recipe. I tried these last week on Christmas eve and they barely made it to Christmas! I did have to add all 3 cups of flour, but they tasted great. I put a link to your cookies on my page, I hope that’s ok. Thank you for the recipe.

    Christie

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