These gluten-free holiday sugar cookies are deeeelicious!! So delicious that I ate about half the batter before we baked them and had somewhere around 10 cookies afterwards. I have a sweets problem. I also want to preface this by saying these holiday sugar cookies are not 100% paleo, I used Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix for the flour because I digest it well and because I’ve always had great results baking with it. If you’re looking for a pure paleo sugar cookie recipe A) it’s not here, and B) sugar cookies are not truly paleo because they contain sugar. Sometimes you have to pick your battles and this year I wanted to create a memorable experience with my daughter by spending our Saturday afternoon making these cookies together. Those are the kinds of memories that will last your kids a lifetime and at the end of the day, some gluten-free cookies aren’t going to ruin your health.
I am by no means claiming these cookies as a health food, they are definitely loaded with sugar, and should be consumed in moderation. This is just simply my take on creating a holiday sugar cookie that I can digest well and that I know will be a slightly healthier choice for my family. Gluten allergies are becoming more and more common so it’s great to bake an option that most people can handle. Plus I firmly believe that everyone should avoid gluten, that stuff is just bad news for our tummies.
For the icing, we used natural food coloring that I picked up from the health-food store in the frosting and as I mentioned above Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix for the flour. You can find both of those at most health food stores or order from Amazon. Also please note that I used confectioners sugar for the icing. This is not paleo so please omit the icing if you’re looking for a full paleo cookie. These cookies taste great even without the frosting.
I made 3 different varieties of these cookies and they all turned out great. I made a batch as listed below with Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix and coconut sugar, one with Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking mix and refined white sugar, and one with all-purpose flour and refined sugar just so I could compare the results. The coconut sugar/gluten-free variety had the best flavor, the refined sugar/gluten-free variety was easiest to work with (surprisingly) and the all-purpose flour/refined sugar variety was my entire family’s least favorite (also very surprising).
We had so much fun making these and I hope you will too!
- 2¾ cup gluten-free flour (I used Pamela's gluten-free baking mix)
- 1 cup coconut sugar (or other refined sugar of your choice)
- ½ cup grass-fed butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp almond extract
- **If your gluten-free baking mix does not include baking powder and xanthan gum, add 1 tsp each
- 1 and ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 2 - 2.5 tbsp warm water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Cream butter and sugar together, then add the egg and almond extract and beat together.
- Add gluten-free flour and beat until well combined.
- Separate dough in half, place each half between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out with a rolling pin until about dough is about ¼ inch thick, or to your desired thickness.
- Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours, or overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator and cut into cookie shapes. Work quickly as the warmer the dough gets the harder it will be to work with. If dough gets to be difficult to work with, put in the freezer for 15 minutes again.
- Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes (the thinner your cookies the less time they will need to bake).
- Let cookies cool completely before removing from cookie sheet. You can put the icing on when they are cooled completely or refrigerate them for up to a day before putting icing on.
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. It should be pretty thick, but not thick enough that you can't spread it. Add more sugar to thicken if needed or another tablespoon of water to thin if needed. You can divide into separate bowls if you're going to be adding food coloring to make different colors.
- Decorate cookies however you'd like. They take about 24 hours for the icing to set and harden.
2. Using coconut sugar will make the cookies darker than regular sugar cookies. I made a batch with gluten-free flour and regular white cane sugar and the color of those turned out the same as the wheat flour batch.
3. The maple syrup in the icing will give the icing a slightly dingy color and won't be pure white. Use light syrup if the white color is what you're after.
**Please note that making any of these modifications above will change the recipe to not being paleo and/or gluten-free.
This is not a sponsored post, I just truly believe that Pamela’s products are great for people who can’t handle gluten and they don’t contain any funky ingredients.