- 3 cups (456 grams) Johnna’s Favorite Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
- 1-1/2 teaspoons guar gum (I substituted with ½ teaspoon xanthan gum)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (220 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks:224 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance dairy-free spread)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour blend, guar gum, baking powder, and salt to combine.
- In a small mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla bean paste and mix until combined. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir to form a smooth dough.
- Split the dough into two equal parts. Place each on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- To roll out dough, unwrap the plastic from one dough disk and lay plastic wrap on a flat surface.
- Place the dough on top of the plastic wrap and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a sheet 1/3 inch thick.
- Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into any shapes you like. Transfer the cut cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 8-1o minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving. If decorating transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
Dairy-Free and nut-free option
Living without gluten can be hardest at the holidays or when celebrating. Feeling left out of the festivities is no fun, especially for the young and sociable. Johnna Wright-Perry , gluten-free blogger at In Johnna’s Kitchen has created a gluten-free cut-out sugar cookie that will bring the fun back to seasonal celebrations. She has graciously shared the recipe from her new cookbook. See my review of her cookbook in a previous post. I tried Johnna’s recipe using Earth Balance spread to make the cookies dairy free. As I was preparing to bake, I realized the recipe called for guar gum and I had none. A quick online search suggested xanthan gum as a substitute. I knew it worked in Johnna’s gluten-free Raspberry Shortbread Bars and I liked the texture of that, so I used ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum just as that recipe did. I found the texture and ease of rolling out and cutting the dough was very satisfying and not unlike gluten recipes. I asked Johnna why she used guar gum and she says some people can taste an ‘off’ after taste with xanthan gum in some recipes. I couldn’t taste anything, but your taste buds may vary.
This was one of the first recipes Johnna adapted to be gluten free and she even won a baking contest with it. After receiving the award, she found out that the judges didn’t know the recipe was gluten-free. I can vouch for that. We ran out of the gluteny pumpkins and I had extra gluten- free cookies, so I gave those out. I got rave reviews for those cookies from gluten eaters.
We chose to decorate the cookies with royal icing and spreadable icing with sprinkles for a fall/early Halloween gathering. The cookies were sturdy and held up to icing by eager young people and were still delicious the next day. No soggy or crumbly cookies from this recipe.
What you need to know
Decorate these cookies with sprinkles or colored sugars right after they come out of the oven-no icing necessary.
Press the decoration gently into the warm cookies to ensure it sticks.
Make It Dairy-Free: Substitute an equal amount of dairy-free butter(such as Earth Balance).
Wendy Gregory spent her career working with children as a culinary and gardening teacher in an arts-based summer camp for at-risk children in Nelsonville, Ohio, and as the director of a children’s museum in Lancaster, Ohio. She is a freelance writer exploring the ways seniors can contribute, grow, and reinvent themselves in a new chapter of life. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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