I have to state that sugar cookies are difficult to make out of gf flour; they have to be sturdy enough when rolled out that you can handle them and get them to the baking sheet. I can’t say that I have loved any I have made in past years; not terrible but just not the best. Last year I tried a totally different tack; I used my favorite Betty Croker cookie cookbook recipe that is normally made with all-purpose flour and just subbed in 1 for 1 GF flour; I used Bob’s Redmill. Exact same amount. They were a bit fragile in the cut out process but I was able to do it and the flavor and texture is superior in my opinion.
Notes: I added lemon extract to give a bit more flavor and I sprinkled them with colored sugar. Do suggest you sprinkle as you make and not get the baking sheet coated in colored sugar as it burns and can have a negative flavor impact as well as causing cookie edges to burn. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes so they are a bit firmed up and be gentle in that moving process to the cooling rack.
Angie’s GF Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup butter or other solid butter substitute at room temp but not squishy
1 cup granulated sugar
2 room temp eggs, large
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 tsp. lemon extract (or orange or more vanilla)
2 1/2 cups 1 for 1 GF flour mixture (I used Bob’s Redmill)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Directions: Put butter and sugar in stand mixer bowl, Beat until very smooth and light. You might want to stop a couple of times to scrape the bowl sides to help it blend. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended in. Add extracts. Mix the flour and dry ingredients in a small pour spout bowl. Add to dough mixture in bowl, at slowest speed. Blend until smooth. Chill 1-3 hours. Use 1/4 of the dough at a time to roll out on lightly floured bread board. Roll to 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Use more flour to help it to not stick to rolling pin. I actually used a thin flat metal pancake turner/spatula to shove under th dough edges to release the dough from the board as it kept sticking. Too much flour will make them tough so the pancake turner helped keep me from excessive flouring. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters. Use that same turner to move them to the baking sheet. I strongly urge that you decorate before placing on an ungreased cookie sheet. Our favorites are green and red decorating sugar for much of the cookies, a blue for stars, and some tiny colored decorating balls on the Christmas trees. We love Christmas pigs and fish as well as the traditional trees and stars. Don’t try any super fancy cutouts; this dough is not so good for fancy shapes. Narrow necks, complex curves etc are not do-able.
As you are cutting them out get the oven ready. Put oven shelves on two middle racks. Heat oven to 380 degrees (the 400 degrees of the original recipe seems too hot). Leave 1 to 1.5 inches between cookies. Bake 6-9 inches. I like to put all the small cutouts on one sheet and the bigger ones on its own baking sheet as the small ones will bake a bit faster. Watch them closely; the outer cookies bake faster and smaller ones faster too. Pull out when the edges are a light brown. let stand on sheet for 3-5 minutes. Gently move each cookie to a cooling rack using that flat metal spatula. Best consumed when they are fully cooled; warm they don’t have the correct texture.
I did only make a half recipe last year; with 6 tbsp. of butter. as I just didn’t have the audience to eat a whole batch of them. I have half the dough wrapped tightly and stored in the fridge for making fresh next week. I save all the scraps and roll them out as the last roll out of dough. More than 2 roll outs will make that dough tough and dry, so some scraps end up in the trash as they get too reworked. Enjoy these cookies; they are definitely worth the effort and are a blast from my Christmases before my diagnosis of celiac disease.