Gluten free sugar cookies: test batch #1


Back in August a friend sent me a blog post about a Star Trek themed improv comedy show in Toronto. I take my Star Trek pretty seriously.  I forwarded it on to a friend of mine and she grabbed tickets and we went. It was kind of a no-brainer.

It was pretty funny and we went again, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to become regulars. I can certainly spare one night a month to drink Romulan Ale and answer Star Trek quiz questions! 😀

Somehow I volunteered myself to make Movember cookies for their non Star Trek themed Movember show.  So, once again this November I will be knee deep in mustache cookies between this and my office!  This offering of cookies was met with a gluten free clause and a deal was (well, sorta) struck! (Really I just said I would instagram them some pictures of my cookies!)

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Thankfully for me, October comes before November and I have an entire month to perfect a gluten free sugar cookie. And, oh, what a month indeed!  I have new, adorable zombie cookie cutters to test out… well, I’m pretty sure the cookie cutters will work, lol, the challenge rests with my ability to decorate it in a sufficiently descriptive manner. I also have Star Trek cookie cutters, a birthday present from my favourite lady.

zmobies!!!

Star Trek

I’m currently in the middle of a batch of my first gluten free cookies. And I’m feeling discouraged.

When I say middle, I mean the ‘put it in the fridge’ part of any sugar cookie recipe. I’m not optimistic about the results when I take it out, however. I’m afraid it will be like that time I accidentally doubled the butter and had a gooey mess and a few blobtastic cookies (pictured below).

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My dough is way too soft. I had this happened with gluten free pizza crust, in that it was sort of a paste that I had to almost spread onto the pizza stone, but it turned out great when baked. However, this doesn’t work so well in the world of sugar cookies. Particularly cookies that want to be shaped like the Enterprise.

*time lapse* 45 minutes later and the dough is still squishy. I’m going to try the freezer soon. 😛

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*time lapse* Took some of it out of fridge after just over an hour. The dough seemed firm, but it all but melted after barely 10 minutes on the table. I got 4 cookies before critical failure set in and I put the goo back in the cold.

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Thats it for me tonight.  I’ll deal with the rest on Friday. Maybe after 48 hours in the fridge it will be more agreeable? Probably not.

I think the failure here is not enough flour. The whole flour mix should be put in to the recipe, not just 2 1/4 cups. Oooo… I’m going to go mix in the rest of the flour mix to my softened dough.

Here’s the recipe – someone else might have more luck.

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1 cup sugar (I used brown)
1 cup butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour mix
1l4 tsp salt

*Flour Mix is 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, 1 tsp xanthan gum. Whisk together and use what’s needed in the recipe, store the rest.

On medium speed, beat the sugar and butter together in a large bowl until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla. Continue beating.  Add flour blend and salt, and beat on low until well mixed.

Cover and refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm. (I’m currently taking this step very seriously!) 

The recipe doesn’t specify making discs and putting it in plastic wrap or any of that… it would be way too gooey anyways.

Roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness on floured surface.  Cut out desired shapes and bake at 350°F for 8-12 minutes.

***UPDATE***

I decided to go to the bar on Friday after work instead of going home and rolling out these cookies, so the dough stayed in the fridge until Sunday.

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It was much firmer and ready to be rolled out, but after rolling, the leftovers had to go back into the fridge again for a while… I think about 2 hours.  I made an Apple Crisp in between.

They were very soft even after baking and a few of my Enterprises performed impromptu saucer separations. 😦
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I’m also not sure about the flavour… At first it is mostly standard sugar cookie goodness, but there is a strange bitterness at the end and it leaves a funny aftertaste in the mouth.  All in all, I’m not thrilled with this recipe. So, on to the next one!

*UPDATED UPDATE*

After eating these cookies and testing them out on a few people, I rescind all prior complaints about them. So long as they are just lightly browned they do taste great!  They’re very soft and buttery but mild in flavour and they melt in the mouth. Very tasty dipped in coffee too! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Gluten free sugar cookies: test batch #1

  1. improvdandies September 26, 2013 at 7:00 am Reply

    Yeaaay for volunteering and for coming out for Romulan ale shots. Don’t be too discouraged, gf recipes can be tricky; talk to Andie. I think she adds a bit of carageenan to thicken.

  2. Andie L. September 26, 2013 at 7:42 am Reply

    I second Dale’s yeays. 🙂

    I’ve never used carrageenan, but I have used agar agar powder. You can also try adding a small amount of unflavoured gelatin. Make sure you let it sit a little longer.

    Unfortunately, my sugar cookies didn’t work for cookie cutters. They were really soft. I rolled the dough into balls and they made delicious round soft sugar cookies, but alas nothing that could work for cookie cutters.

    GF recipes are very tricky. You will never get a pizza dough that looks like wheat dough when you spread it on the stone, unfortunately. The ones that do tend to be really dry and taste even worse. GF flour is really, really tricky, because you can put a pile of goop into the oven and then when you take it out, it’s a dry, crackly mess. I’ve had lots of trial and error.

  3. improvdandies September 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm Reply

    Agar Agar, you’re right, as always 😀

  4. MissModderman September 27, 2013 at 7:33 am Reply

    Hey guys! thanks for the encouragement and suggestions! I have one other recipe planned to try, then I go freestyle. might just try substituting GF flour into regular recipes… Where can I get Agar Agar? I’m guessing health food store? Noah’s?

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