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Gluten Free Snickerdoodles

Gluten Free Snickerdoodles

These gluten free snickerdoodles are the classic, super-soft cookies you remember, with that classic, crisp cinnamon-sugar crackle outside. The perfect cookie!

These gluten free snickerdoodles are the classic, super-soft cookies you remember, with that classic, crisp cinnamon-sugar crackle outside. The perfect cookie!
The Best Recipe?

If you have childhood memories of snickerdoodles, then I bet your mom’s recipe is The Best (says you). I had never even heard of these perfect cookies with the funny name until sometime in the 2000s. Crazy, right?I don’t have anything to compare them to. Yet I’m still certain that this recipe for gluten free snickerdoodles is, in fact, The Best.

That means that I don’t have anything to compare them to. Yet I’m still certain that this recipe for gluten free snickerdoodles is, in fact, The Best. And not for nothing, but they make amazing ice cream sandwich cookies in the summertime. ☀️

These gluten free snickerdoodles are the classic, super-soft cookies you remember, with that classic, crisp cinnamon-sugar crackle outside. The perfect cookie!

The cinnamon-sugar on the outside is kind of crunchy, and the inside is a bit chewy but almost cakey but smooth. The trick is to get the cookies to crackle, but not to brown much at all.

You want the color to come mostly from the cinnamon-sugar mixture. This recipe gets the job done.

These gluten free snickerdoodles are the classic, super-soft cookies you remember, with that classic, crisp cinnamon-sugar crackle outside. The perfect cookie!

Tricks and Tips

Whatever you do, don’t skip the cream of tartar in this recipe. It gives the cookies their iconic tang and chewiness, which transforms them from butter cookies to, well, snickerdoodle cookies.

Cream of tartar is a dry, white acidic powder that’s made when grapes are fermented into wine. You’ll find it in the spice aisle of most regular grocery stores, and it’s super useful for lots of things like stabilizing beaten egg whites instead of using lemon juice.

These gluten free snickerdoodles are the classic, super-soft cookies you remember, with that classic, crisp cinnamon-sugar crackle outside. The perfect cookie!

A proper snickerdoodle has a thick layer of cinnamon sugar that caramelizes slightly in the oven as the cookies bake and crackles as they spread. The key to getting that thick enough layer of cinnamon sugar is the double coat.

Simply toss the disks of raw cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture once, then chill the dough. Some of the coating will absorb into the cookies. Toss them again, and that extra layer of goodness is insurance that it’ll crackle in the oven.

These gluten free snickerdoodles are the classic, super-soft cookies you remember, with that classic, crisp cinnamon-sugar crackle outside. The perfect cookie!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Dairy Free: Since my oldest child is newly (and hopefully temporarily, but who knows?) dairy free, I’ve made these cookies with Earth Balance buttery spread in place of the butter. I made a gram for gram substitution of the buttery spread, and the recipe worked perfectly. I did find that they didn’t brown as quickly, so the cookies turned out more pale. No biggie.

Egg Free: I haven’t tried this recipe with an egg substitute, but I think it would work fine with a “chia egg.” Any recipe that has only one egg should work fine that way.

Other snickerdoodle recipes on the blog:
Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cookie Chips (crispy and crunchy; bet you can’t eat just one)
Brown Butter Gluten Free Snickerdoodles (extra chewy, extra flavor)

Click play ▶️ and watch me make them. Then it’s your turn!

These gluten free snickerdoodles are the classic, super-soft cookies you remember, with that classic, crisp cinnamon-sugar crackle outside. The perfect cookie!
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 18 cookies

Ingredients

6 1/2 tablespoons (91 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups (175 g) all purpose gluten-free flour (I like Better Batter here)

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

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Cinnamon sugar mixture, for rolling (1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon)

Directions

  • In a large bowl, place the butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy. Add the flour, xanthan gum, salt, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, baking soda, and cream of tartar to the wet ingredients, mixing to combine after each addition.
  • Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes to an hour). Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 375°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
  • Divide the dough into 18 pieces of roughly equal size. Roll each piece of dough between your palms until it forms a ball, and then press into a disk. Toss each disk in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until it is well-coated. Place the balls of dough into the freezer for about 10 minutes, until firm again. Roll each ball of dough in the cinnamon-sugar mixture once more, and arrange them about 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets.
  • Place the rimmed baking sheets in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or they are either pale but flat (8 minutes), or a tiny bit crisp around the edges (10 minutes). Cool on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Originally published in 2011 (!). Photos, video, text all new; recipe largely unchanged.

Love,
Nicole

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meatballs

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meatballs

Dried herbs in the crock are the secret to the rich flavor and perfect texture of these slow cooker meatballs. And it’s also the easiest, most convenient meal you’ll make all week!

Dried herbs in the crock are the secret to the rich flavor and perfect texture of these slow cooker meatballs. And it's also the easiest, most convenient meal you'll make all week!

Falling in love again

Something like 80% of Americans own a slow cooker. Until a few years ago, I was not among them (for shame!). But since upwards of 250 million people can’t be dead wrong, I finally went for it.

I cooked and cooked from it when I first got it, to give it a fair shake. Soups, chilis, stews, oatmeal and unforgiving cuts of meat. My kids thought that I had fallen in love with my slow cooker, and looking back that was probably a reasonable assumption at the time.

But I think that was the problem—I was trying to fall in love with it. And as anyone who has ever been in love with anything or anyone before knows, forcing the issue is not necessarily a good plan.

Love needs an easy touch. So I decided to relax a bit. And then … I finally hit the slow cooker jackpot: gluten free slow cooker meatballs. Ridiculously easy in both preparation and cleanup, and quite possibly the best meatballs I’ve ever had. Love really does happen when you least expect it!

Dried herbs in the crock are the secret to the rich flavor and perfect texture of these slow cooker meatballs. And it's also the easiest, most convenient meal you'll make all week!

What’s the deal with the crock?

Slow cooker cooking really is different than conventional cooking, isn’t it? You probably knew that already (you well-schooled 80%), but I didn’t!

You really do need recipes that are at least reformulated, if not originally created, specifically for a slow cooker. You want to use dried herbs, not fresh ones for sure for sure. And go a bit easy on the salt, as the crock tends to intensify the flavor of salt.

Dried herbs in the crock are the secret to the rich flavor and perfect texture of these slow cooker meatballs. And it's also the easiest, most convenient meal you'll make all week!

So what makes these slow cooker meatballs better than conventional meatballs? Well it’s the flavor, but (believe it or not) it’s also the texture!

The meat slowly absorbs all of the flavor not only of the ingredients you add to the meatballs themselves, but of the simple tomato sauce they are nestled into for all those hours. And since they do sit in the sauce for all that time while it very gently bubbles away, they don’t need a lot of moisture themselves so they stay together beautifully—but are still moist and tender when you serve them.

Notes on Cooking Times

I’ve made these meatballs on both the high setting (for 4 hours), and the low setting (for 8). I’ve served them right after they’re done cooking, and after they’ve sat on “warm” for an hour and a half. After sitting on warm, they definitely absorb more of the sauce and

After sitting on warm, they definitely absorb more of the sauce and look like they might taste dry, but they’re still moist and tender.

And although you might think of slow cookers are only for wintertime, consider this: They do not heat up your kitchen at all. So stay cool in the summertime with these perfect slow cooker meatballs. And buy another crock and make some slow cooker mac and cheese. Let them make dinner for you tonight!

So what’s your favorite way to use your slow cooker? Are you in love with yours, or just sort of “meh”? Click play ▶️ to see one of mine in action:

Dried herbs in the crock are the secret to the rich flavor and perfect texture of these slow cooker meatballs. And it's also the easiest, most convenient meal you'll make all week!
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 to 14 large meatballs

Ingredients

Meatballs
1 1/2 cups coarse gluten free bread crumbs

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) red table wine (or an equal amount of beef stock + 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar)*

1 pound ground pork

1 pound ground beef

1 egg (any size, really), beaten

1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed to release oils

2 teaspoons dried basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (or 1 ounce nutritional yeast flakes for a dairy-free version)

Tomato Sauce
1 28-ounce can tomato puree (or 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, pureed with their juices until smooth)

3 ounces (1/2 6-ounce can) tomato paste

1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed to release oils

2 teaspoons dried basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

*A note about wine: Be sure to use a wine that you would like to drink with red meat, and make sure but that it doesn’t have an overly fruity taste. Cooking with wine, particularly in a slow cooker, tends to intensify its flavor and you don’t want it to overpower the dish.

Directions

  • First, begin the meatballs. In a small bowl, place the breadcrumbs and red wine (or stock mixture), and mix to combine. Allow the breadcrumbs to sit in the wine (or stock mixture) while you prepare the tomato sauce.

  • Prepare the sauce. In the liner of a 6-quart slow cooker, place all of the tomato sauce ingredients and whisk to combine well. Set the liner aside and return your attention to the meatballs.

  • Form the meatballs. In a large bowl, place the ground pork and ground beef, and break up the meat gently with your fingers. Add the remaining meatball ingredients in the order listed, mixing gently to combine with your fingers. Do not overwork the meat or the meatballs will be tough. Add the breadcrumb mixture, and again mix until just combined with your fingers. Divide the meatball mixture into 12 to 14 pieces and roll each gently into a ball.

  • Cook the meatballs. Nestle each meatball into the tomato sauce in the slow cooker liner. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours or until the meatballs are cooked through. The cooked meatballs can remain on your slow cooker’s “warm” setting for up to 1 1/2 hours. Turn the cooked meatballs over in the sauce to coat completely before serving.

  • Adapted from Fine Cooking. Originally published on the blog in 2015. Video and some photos new, text modified slightly.

Love,
Nicole

Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

Cupcakes Are Not Mini Cakes (exactly…)

Did you know that not all cake recipes make good cupcakes? It’s true! Just like not all muffin recipes can be made as quick breads (or vice versa).

When you bake cake batter in miniature portions, even if it bakes flat in a round or square cake pan, it may dome quite a bit when portioned into the wells of a cupcake tin.

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

I like a cupcake with a nice, flat top, so it’s easy to pile on a nice fluffy frosting. You can see for yourself that this recipe for gluten free vanilla cupcakes is the perfect frosting delivery system. 😋

My recipe for the very best gluten free vanilla cake is one of the most popular recipes on this site. It is truly perfect in every possible way—and it does happen to make very nice cupcakes. But it requires some sifting and other fussiness in the method, and the cupcakes don’t bake up as flat.

These gluten free vanilla cupcakes effortlessly rise into a flat top, anddon’t require any sifting of the dry ingredients. Just be sure not to overfill the wells of the cupcake tin (2/3 of the way full is absolutely perfect), bake at no more than 325°F, and only until the tops spring back when pressed very lightly in the center. The toothpick test is not the best test for doneness here.

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

Speaking of Frosting…

Although I do love a traditional buttercream frosting, my favorite vanilla frosting is this “Best” Vanilla Frosting. It’s a cooked flour frosting that can be made in stages. Instead of relying upon confectioners’ sugar for the proper consistency,

Since it doesn’t rely upon confectioners’ sugar for the proper consistency, a cooked flour frosting has significantly less sugar than buttercream. And it’s soft and velvety, but still stable at room temperature.

I haven’t ever tried making it with dairy-free butter, I’m afraid. I bet it would work with butter-flavored Spectrum nonhydrogenated shortening, though.

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Dairy: These cupcakes can easily be made dairy free by using Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or butter-flavored nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening in place of butter. Nondairy milk (I like unsweetened almond milk—be sure your nondairy milk is not nonfat) works well in place of cow’s milk.

Eggs: It’s a little tricky to replace the egg and egg white here than it would be if the recipe called only for whole eggs. I haven’t tried it, but you can try replacing the egg and egg white with 1 1/2 chia eggs. Be sure to use ground chia seeds, not whole seeds, though. And avoid flax eggs, particularly in a recipe as simple as this, as flax has a strong flavor.

Sugar: If you need to replace the granulated sugar, I always recommend trying Truvia baking blend sugar.

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

Click play ▶️ to watch this quick how-to video. For visual learners, and the generally curious!

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 16 cupcakes

Ingredients

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) + 1 egg white (25 g) at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten-free flour (I like Better Batter here)

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

2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup (5 1/3 fl. oz.) milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease the wells, and set the tin aside.
  • In a large bowl, place the butter, sugar, egg, egg white and vanilla, and beat to combine well. Set the bowl of dry ingredients aside. In a small bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine well. To the large bowl with the butter mixture, add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the milk or buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat lightly after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter should be light and fluffy.
  • Fill the prepared wells of the muffin tin about 2/3 of the way full with the batter. Shake the tin back and forth to evenly distribute the batter in each of the wells. Place the tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cupcakes are very lightly golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the center (about 20 minutes). Don’t over bake. Allow the cupcakes to cool for at least 5 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cupcake batter. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting and/or decorating.

Love,
Nicole

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