Gluten-free Soft Sugar Cookies with thick meringue-type frosting. Just like you remember! more
Gluten free sugar cookies are great. Soft frosted gluten free sugar cookies are in a class by themselves.
I don’t buy most of my weekly groceries at the regular, big-chain grocery store. I generally find better prices, and almost always less aggravation, elsewhere (hello, Trader Joe’s). There are, though, certain staples that demand to be bought at the big chain store. I rush in, list in hand, hair flying wildly behind me, fill my cart with at least a month’s worth of evaporated milk, some organic dairy, confectioners’ sugar, and get the heck outta there. Self-checkout! Don’t wait for the receipt! Go! Go! Go!
Every month, though, those bakery cookies catch my eye, the little vixens. You know the ones: plastic clamshell case, stacked in that half-overlap manner, thick (usually pink) frosting above a pillow-soft, light and sweet cookie. Topped with a sprinkling of something that most decidedly does not exist in nature.
Be still my heart.
Many of you have asked me for a recipe for these cookies. Many, many of you. I was even considering sending myself an email through the contact form, just to be sure I didn’t overlook the need. You know how stingy I can be.
Don’t hate me, but I’m in the early stages of maybe possibly considering the act of thinking about … making some of these perfect-clone recipes only temporary fixtures on the blog.
What did she say?
Hear me out, though. Now you know how well I love talking to you here on the blog. But I also love writing gluten-free cookbooks. And to a certain extent, they work against each other. For instance, I’m busy busy developing tons and tons of new gluten free bread recipes for you in my kitchen. But I can’t share them with you yet, since they’re for Book 3, which should be out December 2013. My publisher won’t publish a book of recipes that are published on the blog. And who can blame them? So if I ever want to publish a cookbook of gluten-free clones … you see where this is going. I am but one woman, and recipes like these soft frosted sugar cookies? A dead ringer. Seriously.
Now I’m just in the early stages of considering thinking about this, though. And I would tell you ahead of time. Of course I would tell you.
A quick word about the frosting: this frosting recipe is super super thick. It’s not what I would generally use to frost cupcakes. And it’s very stable, thanks to the meringue powder. That means that if you wanted to travel with these, they could handle it. If you don’t have meringue powder, just skip it. The frosting will just be a bit softer.
You can of course add some food coloring to the frosting (I encourage it!), but use gel coloring or it will really alter the moisture balance and make the frosting weepy. Exactly what we don’t want. But I left out the coloring here because, to be honest, the anti-food-coloring people scare the devil out of me. According to some of the unsolicited emails I get, contrary to popular belief, it is not, in fact, a free country. :/
FOR THE COOKIES
2 cups (280 g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour (I like mock Better Batter with this recipe)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (22 g) confectioners’ sugar
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg (60 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE FROSTING
10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons meringue powder
4 cups (460 g) confectioners’ sugar
Sprinkles, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, egg and vanilla, and mix to combine. The dough will be thick and relatively stiff, and you may need to squeeze it together with your hands to bring all of it together.
Roll the dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper into a round a bit less than 1/3-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and place them about 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until just set, about 6 minutes. The edges of some of the cookies may brown slightly. Take them out before there is any significant browning. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool until set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the butter, milk and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until combined. Turn the speed up to high and mix until creamy. Add the salt, meringue powder and about 3 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Mix slowly until the sugar is incorporated. Turn the mixer up to high and beat until it becomes uniformly thick. Add the rest of the confectioners’ sugar if necessary to thicken the frosting.
Once the cookies are completely cool, pipe or spoon a generous amount of frosting onto the top of each, and spread into an even layer with a wide knife or offset spatula. Scatter sprinkles, if desired. Allow to set at room temperature until the frosting hardens a bit. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
P.S. If you don’t have one yet, don’t forget to pick up your copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread!