These gluten-free sugar cookies are remarkable, so good, that no one will even know they are gluten-free! If you’re like me, you went gluten-free and then instantly missed everything you used to eat? If this is you, you’re not alone! When I first went gluten-free back in 2017, I remember being so sad about all the things I couldn’t eat, but I’ve now learned to think about all the things I can eat and these gluten-free sugar cookies won’t disappoint!
l have such amazing memories of making and decorating cookies with my mom when I was little and I want to do the same thing with my kids and still be able to enjoy the cookies, so that is how this cookie was born!
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Why use oat flour?
Oat flour is amazing! The rich flavor is so delicious. After I took these out of the oven, I had my husband do a side by side comparison with a sugar cookie made with regular flour and one made with oat flour. Guess which one he liked more?! You guess it! He said he loved the flavor of the one made with oat flour. I like Kauffman’s Fruit Farm Oat flour. Click HERE to see it. I like to buy it in bulk, so It cuts the cost down.
Once you go oat, you’ll never go back! It’s my new go-to-gluten-free-flour.
Can I use gluten-free flour instead?
I have made this recipe with 3/4 c. oat flour and 1/2 gluten-free flour and they still turn out delicious! I’m sure you could try an all gluten-free flour, but oat flour gives the cookies such a wonderful flavor, once you try them with oat flour, I don’t think you’ll want to replace it with gluten-free flour. If you do want to use gluten-free flour, or it’s the only thing you have I would recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1 to 1 Baking Flour.
Why use tapioca starch?
Tapioca starch helps with thickening and adds a little bit of chewiness. Usually, wheat flour helps hold cookies together, but without it, you will need something to bind it all together. Tapioca starch has a naturally bland flavor, to begin with, so it’s perfect because it won’t change the taste of the cookies.
Why melt the butter?
First, you will want to melt the butter so that it can cool a little. I love Kerrygold butter! It’s so delicious! Melting the butter helps everything to stick together a little better and contributes to the overall flavor of the cookies as opposed to using oil or water. You can also try creaming the butter together with the sugar. I’m sure this option would work as well, but I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if you try it!
Why cream cheese?
I read over at My Gluten-Free Kitchen that cream cheese can help to take out some of the grittiness. She also has the most amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe! They are to die for! I make them and freeze them. This way I bake up fresh warm cookies whenever I have a craving for something sweet!
Where do I start?
First, you’ll want to get 2 oz. of cream cheese from the fridge to soften. Then you will need to melt your butter and let it cool a little bit.
In a separate bowl mix oat flour, gluten-free flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, and sea salt, so they are ready to be combined with your wet ingredients.
Add your softened butter to the bottom of your Kitchenaid mixer and pour the melted butter on top. Mix until almost completely incorporated. You may seem spall chunks of cream cheese, but that’s ok. Now you are going to add in your sugar. See the picture below for what it will look like once mixed.
You are now ready to add your egg yoke and vanilla.
The yoke will make your batter very yellow but don’t worry, this is ok. Mix the batter until well combined and then add in your oat flour, (you can use part gluten-free flour if you want), tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, and sea salt.
*Keep the egg white if you’re making royal icing. This royal icing recipe by Alton Brown on the Food Network is a good one!
You are now ready to add in your dry ingredients. You can either dump it all in or slowly add it while the mixer is going. Either way seems to work just fine. Mix until well incorporated and a soft dough begins to form.
When you are done the dough will be very soft. You don’t need to add more flour, because it will firm up while you chill it in the fridge. Your batter will look like the picture below.
Scrape the dough into the fridge to chill. I like to seal mine in saran wrap so that if I don’t use all of it, I can freeze it. *Side note: when you label things “GF” your husband will wonder why your cookies are called “girlfriend” cookies. LOL!
When you are ready to start baking your cookies set your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oven is done preheating, roll out the dough.
On a floured surface, roll out your dough. Rub your rolling pin with some gluten-free flour as well. I use gluten-free flour for sprinkling on my cutting board because I found that the it worked better than oat flour.
You will want to roll out the dough in small batches because the dough softens quickly. I usually cut the dough into thirds. Roll out the dough until it is about a 1/4″ thick. Cut out using your favorite shapes.
Place your cookies evenly on a silicone baking mat. Set the timer for 6 minutes and watch them closely. I usually check mine at around 5 minutes. Bake for 6-7 minutes.
You will know they are done when they are light brown. Take them out and remove them from the cookie sheet right away. I like to put my cookies on a brown paper bag to cool.
These gluten-free sugar cookies are sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Remember, my husband couldn’t even tell they were gluten-free. Here’s the challenge: See in anyone in your family can tell the difference.
Gluten-free never tasted so good! These sugar cookies are a must-have for anyone living a gluten-free life. No one will believe these are gluten-free because they taste so much like normal! This will be your go-to sugar cookie recipe. Save it for later. They are perfect for decorating and your guests won't even know they're gluten-free.
- 1 1/4 c. oat flour (I use a local fine ground flour, you can sub some of the oat flour for gluten-free if you want)
- 1 T tapioca starch
- 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 6 T butter (melted and cooled)
- 2 oz. cream cheese (softened)
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Set out cream cheese to soften. In a large bowl combine oat flour, gluten-free flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda and sea salt.
In another large bowl or kitchen aid mixer, add softened cream cheese and melted butter. Mix on medium for 2 minutes or until combined. If there are still a couple of tiny pieces of cream cheese, it's ok.
Add sugar and mix for another 2 minutes on medium or until well combined.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix on medium until it has a nice creamy consistency. It will look very yellow, but don't worry, once the cookies are cooked they won't look that yellow. The dough will be sticky.
Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. (see notes below)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mate or parchment paper and set aside.
Roll out a 1/3 of the dough onto a lightly flours surface about a 1/4-inch thick. Use more flour if necessary. Leave the rest of the dough in the refrigerator to stay chilled. The dough softens quickly.
Cut out the dough with cookie cutters, and place the cookies on the baking sheet.
Reform and roll out the scrap cookie dough, or if it's too soft, return it to the fridge to chill.
Bake for 6-7 minutes. These bake very quickly, so keep an eye on them. Turn the baking sheet half-way through. You will want them to be slightly brown. When they are done, remove them from the oven and move them to an area to cool. Let them cool completely before decorating or storing.
Store in an airtight container for 5 days.
- Gluten-Free Flour: My favorite gluten-free flour is Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour.
- Oat Flour: Make sure to spoon the oat flour into your measuing cup, just like you would do with normal flour, make sure NOT to pack it down. I use an oat flour from a local mill, but Bob’s Red Mill oat flour is a good option too. The oat flour is the secret to great flavor!
- Chill: You NEED to chill the dough, otherwise the dough will be too sticky to work with, if you don’t have a lot of time you can chill it in the freezer.
I’d love to know what you think of these gluten-free sugar cookies! Let me know in the comment. I’ve already eaten 3 today! Happy baking!