GF Frosted Sugar Cookies

So I have a confession….I am a hopeless romantic and have always been such a sucker for Valentine’s Day. As a kid (and maybe as a teen too) I used to get so excited each Valentine’s Day with the hope that I might have a secret admirer leave me a card, or preferably something edible. Even though each Valentine’s Day my spirit would be crushed as no one expressed their ardent love for me, the glimmer of hope would reappear each February nonetheless.

I partially blame my mother. That woman takes gifting to a whole new level and as a result, every Valentine’s Day she would shower us with See’s Candies and the most thoughtful cards. So of course I expected everyone else to do the same! Now I have a lovely guy in my life who has made me a no-longer-hopeless romantic. But regardless of whether or not you have a significant other, you don’t need an excuse to make treats to share with the important people in your life.

Valentine’s Day recipes can get a little cheesy sometimes but I wanted to share these cookies because you can make them year-round and don’t even have to make them heart-shaped. More importantly, though, they are absolutely delicious!

I have been wanting to perfect the perfect gluten-free sugar cookie for a while and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I felt like this was the perfect occasion to do so. I often get asked why I am gluten-free and more often than that, people go straight to, “do you have celiac disease?” Sometimes it feels like I am being probed and that I have to justify being GF for a reason other than gluten-intolerance. However, I know most people ask out of curiosity and not to put me in an awkward position. Yet, there is a method to my madness haha!

Although I don’t have a gluten intolerance, having an autoimmune disease makes me more susceptible to inflammation, so I eliminate gluten as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Of course, I am a firm believer in cheat days and definitely indulge occasionally. However, rather than indulge in regular sugar cookies, I thought I would meet in the middle with this recipe by making these gluten-free. Yes, there is butter and sugar in this recipe, but I attempted versions with coconut sugar and coconut oil and just found that the end result did not hold a candle to a traditional sugar cookie. This version truly does surprise everyone when they find out they are gluten-free and they are absolutely scrumptious.

What’s in these Cookies:

  1. Cup4Cup Flour: As I have said before, not all GF flours are created equally, and before I discovered Cup4Cup I always opted for almond, oat, or coconut flour. And while those alternatives introduce such delicious flavor into any baked good, for these cookies I like Cup4Cup because the cookie dough comes together just like a traditional sugar cookie dough and the flavor is virtually indistinguishable.
  2. Red Gel Food Coloring: When adding the food coloring for these cookies, I like using gel food coloring because it does not alter the properties of the dough as much as a liquid-based food dye. Don’t be afraid to really go for it with the red food coloring – I used at least a teaspoon of food coloring and incorporated it into the dough at the same time that I added the egg and vanilla so that it would disperse throughout the dough more evenly. If you wait until after you have added the flour, it is harder to get the color evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  3. Almond Extract: I know it might not seem as conventional as vanilla extract, but with frosted sugar cookies, I like the almond flavor because it adds more depth of flavor than vanilla. It works so well in these cookies and makes them irresistible.
  4. Butter: Unsalted butter is the ticket when it comes to baking. When baking, I opt for unsalted butter so that it does not disrupt the balance of flavors in the recipe. I often use coconut oil in the place of butter in my recipes but when making buttercream frosting or sugar cookies, I feel that butter is non-negotiable. You will definitely notice a difference if you opt for coconut oil instead, though vegan butter may be a more comparable substitute if you want to keep this recipe dairy-free.
GF Frosted Sugar Cookies

GF Frosted Sugar Cookies

Yield: 12 cookies
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 2 cups GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Red gel food coloring
  • Sprinkles

Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp nondairy or dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Start by combining the softened butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together with either a hand or stand mixer set to medium speed.
  2. Once the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture appears light and fluffy, add in the egg, food coloring, and almond extract. Beat the ingredients together for another minute or so until you achieve an even consistency.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixture one third at a time, mixing the dough together in between to help it come together.
  4. Once the dough starts to form, bring it together into a ball with your hands and place it on a large surface lined with saran wrap, parchment, or a silicone baking mat and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
  5. Place the dough in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Once the dough is chilled, use a cookie cutter and place the cutout cookies 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack.
  9. While the cookies cool, move on to making the frosting. In a large bowl, add the softened butter and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  10. Next, add in the vanilla extract, salt, and almond milk to the frosting and beat until smooth.
  11. Add a generous dollop of frosting to each cookie and spread with a knife or offset spatula. Then top each cookie with sprinkles and enjoy!

Notes

Cookies can be stored in an air-tight container for 3-5 days at room temperature.

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