Holiday Iced Sugar Cookies

This recipe has been adapted from a Cooks Illustrated recipe: Foolproof Holiday Cookies. Of course cooking with gluten-free flours is far from foolproof. The recipe in Cooks is simple, straightforward but I had to do a bit of tweaking to make them gluten-free and acceptable. I was shocked when I could actually roll out the dough as I have experienced many gluten-free sugar cookie failures that have ended up in the trash...

Holiday Sugar Cookies
1.5 cups sweet rice flour
3/4 cups fine sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
16 tbs butter, cut into 1/2" pieces, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs cream cheese, softened

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flours, sugar, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum until combined, about 5 to 10 seconds. With mixer running on low, add butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer. Add the vanilla and the cream-cheese and mix on low until dough begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. 

Remove bowl from mixer; knead dough by hand in bowl to form a large cohesive mass. Turn out dough onto a piece of parchment paper, and divide in half. Pat into two (2) 4-inch disk. Wrap each in parchment paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. 

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375°F. Roll out 1 dough disk to a fairly even 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters and place on a parchment paper- lined baking sheet, spacing cookies about 1-inch apart. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough ball. Cool cookies on wire rack to room temperature. Do not ice cookies until completely cool. 

(These cookies can be simply made non gluten-free. Follow all instructions, but omit baking powder and xanthan gum and use 2.5 cups white flour instead of the GF flours) Enjoy!

All-Purpose Glaze (Cooks Illustrated Nov & Dec 2011)
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tbs milk*
2 tbs cream cheese, softened

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Spread glaze onto completely cooled cookies. Let glaze dry completely before serving, about 30 minutes. 

*For citrus flavored glaze, substitute orange, lemon, or lime juice for the milk. The glaze can also be flavored with 1/2 tsp of your favorite extract. Or you can add a bit of lemon, lime or orange zest to the glaze for a subtle flavor. 


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  2. Quick tip from experienced (diagnosed at 7!) UK Coeliac...

    Tritamyl flour by the Irish firm Odlums. Can be used as a near direct substitute in any recipe. By far and away the best GF flour I've encountered in x0 years of testing :)

    PS great site, thanks for the Sweden tips ;)

    (reposted to fix typo!)