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Chewy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Chewy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Baking these chewy gluten free sugar cookies in a low oven keeps the cookies pale and tender, without crisping the edges much at all. The result is the perfect chewy sugar cookie—holiday decorations entirely optional!

Chewy Gluten Free Sugar CookiesThere is just something that makes me very, very excited about a stack of thin & chewy gluten free sugar cookies. Actually, make that a stack of any kind of big, chewy gluten free cookies, but right now I’m smitten with these chewy sugar cookies.

I almost feel like I could take a knife and fork to that stack of cookies and eat them like pancakes. They’re so nice and chewy! And the cute little Christmas tree designs don’t hurt, either.

Chewy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

I got the idea for these simple Christmas tree designs from Real Simple’s tree cookies. They used a pre-made refrigerated sugar cookie dough, one that looks more like my drop gluten free sugar cookies, just made thinner.  But I kind of like the design more on thin & chewy sugar cookies.

You can make this design on any sort of cookie you like. Or leave off the tree. Or make a heart with red mini M&Ms. Be advised, though: the really deep colors (like red and brown) bleed a bit more during baking. Not a huge problem, if you ask me.

Chewy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

I really like to bake these chewy little numbers in a very, very low oven (300°F!) because that way they stay very pale in color. You could increase the baking temp to 325°F and bake them for a few minutes less. They’ll definitely brown a bit more. Up to you. But whatever you do, give them the proper amount of space to spread during baking. They’ll nearly double in size in the oven.

Chewy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Oh, and one more thing: If someone walked into my kitchen (other than one of my dogs or my cat, that is) while I was decorating these cookies, they’d wonder if it was really worth my time, picking out all those green mini M&Ms. And, before they even had a chance to ask, I’d tell them “YES.” Yes, it is worth my time.

Chewy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

What was perhaps not worth my time? Trying to remember to turn the mini M&Ms over, so that my trees didn’t have little “Ms” all over. Everyone knows they’re M&Ms, and anyway it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I don’t always make the best choices, but I do make some really good gluten free sugar cookies.

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 20 cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose gluten free flour (I used my Better Than Cup4Cup blend)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot if you can’t have corn)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (200 g) sugar

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (24 g) vegetable shortening, melted and cooled (I use Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening)

1 egg (60 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Miniature M&Ms, for decorating (optional) (gluten free in the United States)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 300°F (not a typo!). Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter, shortening, egg and vanilla, mixing to combine after each addition. The dough will be thick and smooth, but easy to shape and not greasy (unless you didn’t allow the shortening to cool after melting it!).

  • Divide the dough into 20 pieces, and roll each into a ball (about 1-inch in diameter). Press each ball of dough into a disk about 3/8-inch thick, and place fully 2-inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheets. The cookies will spread quite a lot during baking.

  • Place the baking sheets in the freezer to chill until firm (about 5 minutes). Remove from the freezer, and decorate with miniature M&Ms (if using) in the shape of a Christmas tree as shown in the photos (or any other shape you like). Place the M&Ms close to one another in the design, in the desired pattern, as they will separate from one another as the cookie spreads during baking.

  • Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until set in the center and just beginning to brown around the edges (about 12 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes, or until stable, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. Do you have your copy of Bakes Bread yet? If your local bookstore is sold out, ask them to carry more! They can usually get it in pretty quickly and you still have time to bake amazing gluten free bread for the holidays!!

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my new book!

Gluten-Free Small Bites

100 irresistible one-bite recipes—for everything from parties to portable meals

Learn More

  • Donia Robinson

    Let’s open this up for debate: Are crunchy, chewy, or soft sugar cookies the best? My husband likes them super crunchy, which I think is a cookie travesty. I would vote for soft or chewy… probably soft, if forced to pick.

    Are people ready for Christmas? I’m not!

    • John Lachett

      I’m team crispy! My hubby team chewy…He always says that crispy cookies are stale and I always tell him there is no such thing as a “soft cookie” there is only an “under baked cookie”. We both agree that Snickerdoodles are perfect though. A bit crunchy with a bit of softness. Kinda counts as a sugar cookie, doesn’t it?
      I should point out that we’ve never TURNED DOWN a cookie because it was crunchy or soft.
      Cheers!
      John L

      • Donia Robinson

        Crispy cookies are called crackers! ;) But I’m glad for different types of cookies to suit all tastes and moods!

        • John Lachett

          HA!!

    • John Lachett

      I’m team crispy! My hubby team chewy…He always says that crispy cookies are stale and I always tell him there is no such thing as a “soft cookie” there is only an “under baked cookie”. We both agree that Snickerdoodles are perfect though. A bit crunchy with a bit of softness. Kinda counts as a sugar cookie, doesn’t it?
      I should point out that we’ve never TURNED DOWN a cookie because it was crunchy or soft.
      Cheers!
      John L

    • Jennifer S.

      Team soft!!! I agree crunchy cookies are blah. not wasting calories on that.

  • Jennifer S.

    These are super cute! thanks for another recipe to add to my Christmas cookie list.

  • Candice

    I love sugar cookies and I’d be making these in a heartbeat if I hadn’t already made your GF rollout sugar cookies and GF drop sugar cookies:)

    On a bread update, I’ve got my first loaf of English muffin bread in the oven and another batch of oatmeal bread rising in the refridgerator (that stuff is so good).

    I made hot dog buns for dinner last week. My husband and I had chili dogs and the buns held dogs + chili without disintegrating like GF buns usually do. And they tasted like a slice of buttered bread! If I serve my kids hot dogs on frozen GF buns, the bun gets abandoned halfway through. Who can blame them? When I served them hot dogs on your buns, they abandoned the HOT DOG halfway through! They loved them and asked me to make them again! Not good for gluten-free, but good!! My kids do not sugar coat it if they don’t like something. I am becoming rather fond of their compliments on this bread baking:). Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  • Rebecca Rudolph Thompson

    I’m always glad that you include the weight of the egg. That helps us backyard chicken farmers!

    • In my better dreams, Rebecca, I’m a backyard chicken farmer. I would really really like some of those adorable little chickens that have fluffy heads and feet. :)

    • In my better dreams, Rebecca, I’m a backyard chicken farmer. I would really really like some of those adorable little chickens that have fluffy heads and feet. :)

  • kclark

    I went to a cookie party last night and team GF was clearly represented. It was great. I would have liked these little numbers to take to the party last night. I will make them for Christmas Eve dinner instead! They are just too cute.

    I am Team Chewy. I do like crispy ginger bread cookies and speculoo (sp?).

    Thanks for this cute recipe Nik!

    • Love it! These Christmas tree cookies are a very easy way to impress. And since they spread, they seem like bigger cookies than they really are. Props all around! ;)

      • Amy

        These were wonderful. Thank you for this recipe. I cheated and used a cookie press, but they turned out perfect. You helped create a gluten-free holiday family tradition.

    • Love it! These Christmas tree cookies are a very easy way to impress. And since they spread, they seem like bigger cookies than they really are. Props all around! ;)

  • Shruti Nath

    I bought the kindle version of your newest book, and am excited to try it out. I’ve ordered most of the starches and flours from amazon, and the expandex from Navan, so hopefully it’s all here soon.
    I’m picking up a kitchen scale today as well.
    I made your pumpkin butter breakfast cookies using my Namaste Perfect Blend Flour and flax eggs, and they turned out amazing!!! My almost 3yo, my hubby, and my sil love them for breakfast. I added in some choc chips for fun too! :)

  • LyttleO

    There’s no way I can fit baking sheets into my freezer. Does the baking sheets themselves have to be chilled too? or can I chill the flattened cookie dough on something else and transfer them to the cookie sheets to bake?

    • Definitely, LyttleO. You just need to get the dough into the freezer somehow.

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  • Laura

    These are so yummy! Just like my favorite Mrs. Field’s!! Usually I share my gf treats with my gluten eating bf but not these!!

  • Amy

    These were wonderful. Thank you for this recipe. I cheated and used a cookie press, but they turned out perfect. You helped create a gluten-free holiday family tradition.

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