Once you’ve prepared your kitchen for some gluten-free baking, you’ll need some tried-and-tested recipes to offer your friends and family. We’ve tested (and tasted!) some classic cookie recipes and each one gets our delicious seal of approval.
A couple of notes to keep in mind with each of these gluten-free goodies:
- If the recipe calls for the dough to chill in the fridge, don’t let it sit for more than a couple hours. Gluten-free flours dry out quicker than wheat-based ones, which makes rolling the dough much more difficult.
- We used commercially produced, all-purpose gluten-free flour, which you can find in most grocery stores in Canada. If you want to make your own blend, there are many recipes available online for you to try.
On to the cookies!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
We adapted this recipe from the original one found on the gluten-free food website, Elena’s Pantry. Her recipe is vegan and calls for 100% almond flour in the base. Instead, we used mostly gluten-free flour with one cup of almond meal, since almond flour is expensive to buy and time-consuming to try and make at home.
We also added eggs and changed the type of fats. Feel free to start with Elena’s recipe, or take this one and tweak the ingredients to suit your tastes.
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free baking flour
- 1 cup blanched almond meal
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (should equal 1/4 cup)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Beat eggs, vanilla extract and maple syrup with a whisk until combined.
- Slowly pour butter and coconut oil blend into the wet ingredient mix, whisking constantly.
- Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Form one-inch balls and press into a flat disk onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 350°F for 7-10 minutes.
- Cool and serve.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
- 3 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (don’t use if your flour blend has this already)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat together brown sugar and butter until fluffy.
- Add water, molasses and vanilla extract, and continue to mix until ingredients are combined.
- In a separate bowl add flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
- Slowly add the flour mixture while still mixing until all ingredients are combined into a wet dough.
- Lightly sprinkle flour on dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Press into a disk shape and refrigerate for no more than two hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease).
- Roll out dough to about 1/4-inch thick, generously sprinkling the rolling surface and dough itself with extra flour. Add flour as needed if it feels too sticky.
- Use a cookie cutter lightly dusted in flour to cut out your gingerbread men and transfer them to the baking sheet. If they are sticking to the surface, lightly add flour to a spatula and use this to move them to the baking sheet.
- Roll leftover dough back into a ball and repeat the process of rolling and cutting until all dough is used up.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until cookies are puffed and slightly brown on the edges. The longer you leave the cookies in the oven, the more firm they will be. Keep an eye on the cookies in the last couple minutes to ensure they don’t burn.
- Wait for cookies to cool completely before decorating.
Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
This is a perfect alternative to the classic sugar cookie. They aren’t too sweet, which is perfect for icing decorations, and one batch of these cookies will keep your kids occupied (and full!) for an afternoon. While the cookies can hold their shape, make sure you don’t roll them out too thin or they will crumble.
- 1 1/2 sticks or 175 g margarine or butter
- 1 cup or 200 g sugar (*we suggest loosely packed brown sugar for this recipe)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups or 450 g all purpose gluten-free flour blend
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (don’t use if included in your flour blend)
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Beat together margarine and sugar until creamy.
- Add in eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, and mix until combined. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl so all of the ingredients are properly mixed.
- Measure out the dry ingredients into another bowl and mix by hand to combine the gum and baking powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the sugar and egg mixture, and mix well to combine.
- If the cookie dough is too soft to roll out at this point, place it in a bag or in a covered bowl in the fridge to allow the margarine to harden enough so you can roll it out later.
- When the dough has hardened, roll it out on parchment paper. Use cling wrap to cover the top of the dough as you roll it out so it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.
- Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes at 350°F on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Let the cookies to cool on the baking sheet. This will allow them to firm up.
- When they are fully cooled, they are ready for decorating.
Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies
There seems to be two kinds of shortbread in the world – whipped, which are light and melt in your mouth; and Scottish, which is far more dense and crumbly. This shortbread recipe is firmly in the Scottish camp, with some adjustments made to include butter as the primary fat. Dip the finished products in melted chocolate or use a different flavour of extract (such as mint or almond) to add flavour variety.
- 1/2 cup butter OR coconut oil, softened
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
- 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare a rolling area with two additional sheets of parchment paper, and have a pizza (or dough) cutter and a fork handy.
- Place butter, sweetener, salt and vanilla into a bowl, and mix together to combine.
- Add in flour and use a wooden spoon to mix. Then get in there with your hands and mix everything together by working the dough until you can shape it into a ball (note: depending on the flour mix you use, there may be a slight variance in what you need). The consistency of the dough should not be sticky but should press together when pinched – be sure to knead it really well first for some time. If it’s a little sticky, add a little more flour (try 1-2 tbsp). If it’s a little dry add some more liquid sweetener (try 1 tbsp).
- Once the dough is kneaded to the right consistency, shape the dough into a ball and then flatten into a disk.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it is 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick.
- Use a pizza or dough cutter to cut the dough into 1″ x 3″ rectangles (cut into vertical, 1″ strips, and then cut horizontally to create the rectangles).
- Carefully transfer them to the prepared cookie sheet, spacing them 1/2-inch apart (they won’t spread as they bake). Gather up any dough scraps and repeat until all dough is used up. Use a fork to carefully pierce some holes in each cookie (this prevents bubbling and excessive cracking).
- Bake for approximately 14-15 minutes until the edges become a little golden. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Note: cookies will harden a little within minutes of cooling, so don’t overbake.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes and enjoy.