Gluten Free Small Batch Sugar Cookies

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These Gluten Free Small Batch Sugar Cookies are soft, chewy, and full of creamy flavor.  This is an easy recipe for 6 sugar cookies made with an almond flour blend and decorated with Funfetti sprinkles.  Plus, I add a little milk powder to enhance the texture and sweetness of these delicious cookies! 

Gluten Free Small Batch Sugar Cookies

It’s September, and in baking blogger world, that means holiday recipe testing is well underway.  However, I’m going to ease us in to cookie season with a classic cookie recipe that should be a staple in any baker’s library.  I already have a Sugar Cookie recipe on the blog, and I figured it was time to a gluten free version.

This recipe for Gluten Free Sugar Cookies has some delicious features:

  • Easy Small Batch – When you can prep and bake a cookie recipe in less than 30 minutes, I consider that easy.  Yes, we do need to chill the dough, and I I strongly recommend this so the cookies don’t bake into little sprinkled puddles.
  • Soft and Chewy – There may be two camps when it comes to sugar cookies. Those that prefer a crispy sugar cookie – like the Marshmallow Sugar Cookies or Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies.  Or, those that prefer a soft and chewy sugar cookie.  These cookies are the latter and have nice lift and chew – thanks to the egg white only and milk powder.  
  • Caramelized Texture – The milk powder helps to create a slight crust on the outside of the cookie.  Sugar will naturally do this, and the milk proteins in milk powder will enhance that.
  • Creamy Flavor – Sugar, butter, egg white, and again – milk powder – make these Gluten Free Sugar Cookies taste creamy with a vanilla forward flavor.
  • Customizable – The great thing about sugar cookies is they can be enhanced with just about any add-in, sprinkle, or topping.  For these cookies, my little jar of Funfetti sprinkles was begging to be included in the debut recipe!
  • Almond Flour Blend – I prefer an almond flour blend for gluten free baking because I find it creates a more tender bake.  I use blanched almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, and tapioca flour.  I have provided more detail on my gluten free flour blend below.

Paleo/Almond Flour Blend

  • Blanched Almond Flour
    • The base in the flour blend.  Almond flour produces a light and fluffy cake-like bake.  Which makes it a great option for cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and even gluten free cookies.  I will always recommend a blanched, super-fine almond flour.  This means the flour is ground as fine as it can be (before turning into butter), and the skins are removed.
  • Arrowroot Starch/Flour
    • Flour and starch are used interchangeably in the package titles.  Arrowroot aids in the tender texture we like in baked goods.  It also adds structure to the crumb.  
  • Coconut Flour
    • Ground from dried coconut meat, coconut flour is super absorbent.  It should be blended with other flours as it does not work well as a 1:1 swap.  Its absorbency allows swapping granulated sugar for liquid sweeteners –  like maple syrup or honey.  I also find it counter-balances other wet ingredients in the recipe.
  • Tapioca Starch/Flour
    • Another where flour and starch are used interchangeably in package titles.  Tapioca adds a little more chew to the baked good – where normally we’d get that from gluten in all-purpose flour.  And I have found in baked goods, it gives a ‘crisp’ exterior.
Gluten free funfetti sugar cookies stacked against a jar of sprinkles

Sugar Cookies Made With Milk Powder

I have talked a lot about milk powder, and you may be asking – what does milk powder do in baking?  Before I answer that, we should first understand what is milk powder?  

Milk powder – not to be confused with malted milk powder – is milk that has been dehydrated, leaving only the milk solids.  

And after quite a few test batches, and a little research (I like to know the why!), I can confirm milk powder does the following in baking:

  • Adds sweetnessMilk naturally has lactose in it.  This will add to the sweetness of the cookies.
  • Hydrates and provides structure – It works with the proteins and starches in our almond flour blend to expand and work harmoniously with the fat in the recipe.  
  • Caramelizes and adds a rich, creamy flavor – The proteins and naturally occurring sugar in milk (powder) will add an extra creamy flavor and texture, along with a slight crust to the cookies.

Cookies Made With Only Egg Whites

Typically, egg white only dessert recipes include cakes (i.e. Angel Food Cake) or meringues (i.e. Marshmallow Meringue Frosting).  And you don’t see a lot of egg white only cookie recipes because we tend to rely on the fat from the egg yolk to make our cookies rich.   

However, using only an egg white in cookies does have delicious benefits:

  • Natural leavener – Chances are you have whipped an egg white into a fluffy cloud for a meringue or cake recipe.  A whipped egg white adds volume and structure to your baked good.  
  • Lighter and airier texture – Think of how light and fluffy a whipped egg white is.  It contributes to a lighter texture in these cookies.
  • Provides moisture – On its own, an egg white is mostly water.  You would think that if that is all we use in these cookies, then the cookies would turn out dry because the moisture gets baked out.  However, when you combine the egg white with something that loves and holds on to water – like sugar – the result is cookie that is moist, not dry. 
Sugar cookies with in a pan with a jar of sprinkles

What You Need To Make Gluten Free Sugar Cookies Cookies

Ingredients

  • Blanched Almond Flour
  • Arrowroot Starch/Flour
  • Tapioca Starch/Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Milk Powder – I use Nestle Carnation milk powder, and it usually can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery.
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Egg White Only – The whipped egg white provides lift and structure to the cookies.  For the extra egg yolk, you can make a small batch of Chocolate Pudding to go with your cookies!
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Sprinkles – Optional, but if you choose to use Funfetti sprinkles in your batch of cookies, I recommend the rainbow Jimmies sprinkles, because their color doesn’t bleed as much as nonpareils sprinkles.  

Baking Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Baking Sheet and Parchment Paper
  • Cookie Scoop – I use a #40 cookie scoop for most of my cookies.

Tips For Making A Small Batch of Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

  • Use blanched almond flour – For my almond flour blend, I recommend blanched almond flour.  This means the skins have been removed and it is typically ground finer.
  • Try the milk powder! – If you are uncertain with all the milk powder talk, I do recommend trying a batch with it!  You never know, it may show up in future recipes … 
  • Mix the egg white well – The egg white provides lift and a lighter, softer texture the cookies.  To achieve this, we want to make sure we are mixing the egg white well and incorporating air into the mix.  
  • Use a cookie scoop – This just makes cookie baking easy.  A cookie scoop ensures equal portions, and less mess.
  • Chill the dough – I am slowly becoming an advocate for chilling all cookie dough.  It helps to firm the butter and gives the flavors time to develop.  Otherwise, you are likely to end up with cookies that spread into thin cookie puddles.
  • Watch your bake time – We are looking for golden edges around the bottom of the cookie.  However, if you want a crispier cookie, bake for about 1 minute more.
  • Perfectly round cookies – A fun trick I have learned to make round cookies:  While the cookie is fresh from the oven and still warm, use a biscuit cutter that is larger than the cookie, and swirl the cookie around the inside of the cutter.  Just be careful, because the biscuit cutter can get hot with the residual heat from the baking sheet!
  • Let the cookies cool completely – I find that gluten free cookies taste better when they are completely cool.
Close up of a bite of a small batch sugar cookie with a bite

Common Questions For Making Gluten Free Small Batch Sugar Cookies

Can the recipe be doubled?

I have not tested a larger batch. And I’m not sure what adding two egg whites would do versus just using one egg. If you try it, let me know!

Will a 1:1 gluten free flour work instead of the almond flour blend?

I don’t have a lot of experience working with 1:1 gluten free flours. I don’t see why it would not work, and if you try it, let me know how it turns out!

Do I have to use the milk powder?

You do not, but I highly recommend it! The flavor and texture should be equally delicious, however the cookies may not be as creamy tasting.

Can I use my stand mixer, instead of the hand held mixer?

You can! I have invested in a 3-quart mixing bowl that works with my KitchenAid tilt-head stand mixer. This way I can use the attachments I already have. I have linked the mixing bowl in the recipe.

Why do you scoop the cookie dough before chilling it?

Scooping the cookie dough before chilling it ensures the dough stays firm before it goes into the oven. If you chill the dough, then scoop it, this gives the dough time to warm up and we loose all that chill time!

You don’t scoop, then chill the dough with your other cookie recipes.

True! But, I plan on changing that where it makes sense for the recipe. Some recipes, like the Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, need time to set before scooping because the dough is so sticky.

Why do you only use an egg white in the sugar cookies?

I wanted the sugar cookies to be light, soft, and chewy, a the egg white provides this. I have tested a batch of with only an egg yolk, and while the cookies were still delicious, they were missing the soft and light texture I was looking for.

What can I make with the leftover egg yolk?

I have added a few recipe ideas in the recipe Notes!

How did get your cookies to be so round?

I use a round biscuit cutter, larger than the cookie, and swirl the freshly baked cookie around the inside of the cutter!

Gluten free funfetti sugar cookies on a napkin

More Gluten Free Small Batch Baking Recipes

A stack of gluten free small batch funfetti sugar cookies
Close up of a bite of a small batch sugar cookie with a bite
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5 from 1 review

Gluten Free Funfetti Sugar Cookies

Yield: 6 Cookies
Prep15 mins
Cook16 mins
Chill30 mins
Total1 hr 1 min

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, and milk powder (if using). Tip – Milk powder adds creamy flavor, makes cookies chewy, and delicate crust.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar. Use a hand held mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and creamy – about 3 – 5 minutes. Tip – You can also use your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment along with 3 quart mixing bowl that fits a standard tilt-head stand mixer.
  • Add the egg white and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and continue to beat on medium-high speed until the mix is light and creamy – about another 3 minutes.
  • Add the sprinkles (if using), and stir in by hand with a spatula. Using a cookie scoop (I use a #40 cookie scoop), and scoop the cookie dough into 6 equal portions. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes. You can even chill overnight.
  • As the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 350F degrees, and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
  • Bake the chilled cookies for 14 – 16 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden. Tip – For a crispier cookie, bake for about 1 minute longer. For a chewier cookie, bake for about 1 minute less.
  • Cool the cookies on the baking sheet set on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. TipFor a perfectly round cookie – while the cookies are still warm on the baking sheet, use a round biscuit (or cookie) cutter slightly larger than the cookie, and swirl the cookies around the inside of the cutter.

Notes

  • Use sprinkles that don’t ‘bleed’ when baked – Like rainbow Jimmies.
  • What to do with the leftover egg yolk – My Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free Blondies, and Peanut Butter Cookies are just a few recipes that use only 1 egg yolk.
  • Milk powder – Using this is optional.  Use milk powder and not malted milk powder.  I use Carnation, but any brand would work.  The milk powder makes the cookies creamy, chewier, and gives them a modest crust.
  • Chill the dough – This helps the cookies from spreading into little puddles.
  • Cool the cookies completely – I find gluten free cookies taste better once they are completely cool.

See the Blog Post for more Tips and FAQ’s

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss
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