Angel Sugar Cookies, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on June 3, 2010

shameless copy of Ree’s cookie photo

As you know, I take requests for recipes.  I love to develop original recipes or adapt old ones to gluten-free.  Experimenting in the kitchen is something that makes me very happy.  It calms me down when I feel under stress, it relaxes me at the end of a long day.  It is some sort of deep-rooted urge I have.  I need to be in the kitchen, puttering, to maintain my equilibrium.  Too long away from the stove and oven and I’m not a happy woman.  I remember realizing this in graduate school, when I would come home to my apartment and cook and bake as a way to transition from classes and work to studying.  It was me-time that a cherished.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve adapted several recipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes From an Accidental Country Girl, by Ree Drummond.  Every recipe I’ve tried I have loved!  One recipe I haven’t done (until now) is her angel sugar cookie recipe.  Then one of my readers, Glendee R. (hi Glendee!), asked if I would adapt it and so I have.  And I love it!

These cookies are extremely light and delicate.  They almost float.  Ree talks about these being stay at home and eat cookies because they crumble easily and don’t travel well.  It’s true, you should listen to her.  I brought these cookies for an after-school treat for Girlfriend one day.  It was her day of the week to go straight to her violin lesson and I thought should might need a little pick-me-up.  By the time I actually got it into her hands, it was in 3-4 pieces.  But those were 3-4 delicious pieces.   They are easy to make.  I haven’t done it yet, but I think they would go quite nicely with ice cream.  And, I have had them with my afternoon tea.  And, if you were really, really careful, I’ll bet you could ice them with a soft buttercream.  I haven’t done that yet, but I am now going to experiment with that.  Mmm.

Also, this recipe makes a lot.  The original recipe says that it makes 18 cookies.  Each one of those cookies must have been the size of a salad plate.  The cookies I made at about 3 inches in diameter–and the recipe makes at least 4 dozen of this size.

Angel Sugar Cookies, Gluten-Free
-adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Ree Drummond
-makes about 4 dozen 3 inch cookies

Special Equipment Needed
-a stand mixer is nice, but not necessary

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C (170 g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205 g) white rice flour
1 C (120 g) tapioca flour
1 C (165 g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cookies)

Ingredients
4 C plus 2 TBL (580g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 sticks (1 C;  225g) unsalted butter, softened
1 C (235 ml) neutral oil–I use rice bran oil, but you could use canola
1 C (190g) granulated sugar, plus more for the tops of the cookies
1 C (120g) powdered sugar, sifted
2 large or extra large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, oil, and the 2 sugars.  The mixture will be quite runny.  Beat for about 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla extract.  Beat to combine.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.  Beat for a minute more to combine all.  Or you can mix it all by hand with a spoon.

Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.  Cover your bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  The dough is quite soft and you need to firm it up enough to work with.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Put some granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.  Cover the bottom of a drinking glass with butter and then dip it into granulated sugar.

The sugar should now coat the entire bottom of your glass.

With your hands, grab blobs of dough that are a bit smaller than a golf ball and form them into balls–place each on an ungreased baking sheet.  Place the unused dough back into the refrigerator–it is very soft and only gets softer at room temperature.  Now press down on each ball with your sugar and butter covered glass–this will flatten each cookie and place a topping of sugar on each.  Dip your glass bottom into the granulated sugar before flattening each cookie.

There should be about 2 inches between each cookie on the sheet because they will spread as they bake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes.  You want the edges to be just barely brown–but not too brown.  Cool on sheets for about 1 minute or two and then remove to racks to cool completely.

These cookies are truly lighter than air and are fragile.  They are the perfect treat for anytime you want a little something sweet.  I also like them with my cup of tea in the afternoon.  They are quite addicting–it is kind of hard to stop eating them once you start!

Enjoy!
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