Over the years, I have gotten a fair number of requests from readers to share a good recipe for a gluten-free version of Snickerdoodles (I have to capitalize the name, or you might think that I think it’s a normal word and not a name). I have made them a few times in the past, but never quite got them where I wanted them. The dough was fine. Lovely, even. It was the baking of the dough that tripped me up.
This time, I was smart. See? Smart. I outsmarted whoever it was who conspired with whoever else it was who didn’t want me to nail this recipe. Someone with superhuman Jedi powers kept willing me to bake the whole mess of cookie dough in the exact same way for the whole batch, each time. So I only had one chance at a time to get it right, and then this superhuman Jedi made me finish what I started, the exact same way I started it. I was powerless over this force. So powerless was I, and so powerful this force, that it brought one single tear to my eye.
And then I just went on to other recipes.
But I’m back, baby, and I’m S-M-A-R-T. I broke the recipe up into different batches, none more than a dozen strong. And I baked them differently.
And then the sugar burnt on the bottom before the cookie was baked through. Not good. So the next round was shaped a little flatter. First rolled round between my palms, and then a subtle squashing did the trick:
See? Two of them are so pleased with themselves, they’re sharing a brief moment of intimacy before going into the cinnamon-sugar showers. It’s sweet (ba-dum-bum). All kinds of touching going on in the cinnamon-sugar showers. Hey, this is a family show. Break it up!
Size and shape? Check. Onward to mastery of baking time and temperature. This batch was baked at the right temperature (375 degrees F), but for a couple of minutes shy of perfection:
They’re pretty, and crackled, but they’re just a smidgen too soft for my taste. If you like them that way, though, by all means bake them at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes flat. This next time was the charm. Just look at that crackle and pop:
Sweet success. *sigh* The cinnamon-sugar on the outside is kind of crunchy, and the inside is a bit chewy but almost cakey but smooth. Like an M&M. Except not really.
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. Okay, I want the color to come from the cinnamon-sugar mixture. If you prefer crispy Snickerdoodles, then I have decided I will not stand in your way. It’s a free country, after all.
Okay. I just looked back at the pictures, and I can see where you might think I had come down with a little touch of the … crazies. They look almost indistinguishable. But they are, in fact, distinguishable. I swear it. If we lived close enough, I’d have you come over and do a blind taste test. At that moment, you’d know. You’d know the way you know about a good melon.
Without further ado, I give you Gluten-free Snickerdoodles, just like the way you all seem to remember them, even though I have not one childhood memory of these little gems.
So what’s your childhood Snickerdoodle memory? I am in the market for a memory that I can pass off as my own. ;)
- 1 stick plus 5 tablespoons (13 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon combined with 3 tablespoons sugar for rolling
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla until well blended.
- Add the flour, xanthan gum, salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, baking soda, and cream of tartar to the wet ingredients. Beat the batter well until it becomes thicker and a bit more elastic. It should be thick.
- Separate the dough into two portions, wrap each tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled firm (at least 1 hour or up to overnight).
- Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Slice each portion of dough into 21 pieces of roughly equal size. Roll each of the 42 pieces of dough between your palms until it forms a ball, and then continue rolling to flatten the ball a bit 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 crisped around the edges (10 minutes). If you prefer them crispy, that’ll take about 12 minutes.
- Cool on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
I love you. Don’t forget about me. Visit me often. Perhaps, pick up a copy of my cookbook for more recipes and wacky hi-jinks.