Cut-Out Sugar Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free with Corn-Free Suggestions)

Cut Out Sugar Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free with Corn-Free Suggestions)

1 cup Earth Balance (for dairy-free and corn-free, try using Coconut Oil or Palm Shortening, see notes below)

1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar (for corn-free, use a corn free powdered sugar.  I made my own, see below)

Egg Replacer for 1 Egg (see notes below)

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract (I make my own, using Shirley's Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe over at Gluten Free Easily)

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

2 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend (see above)

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Cream of Tartar

  • In a medium bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, add Earth Balance (or other dairy-free substitute) and powdered sugar, beat on medium speed until fluffy, reduce mixer speed to low.
  • Add egg replacer, vanilla and almond extract, mix until combined.
  • While mixer is still on low, add dry ingredients then slowly increase speed and mix until well combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Cover the dough and refrigerate* for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes.  Place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes*, or until light golden brown around the edges.
  • Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before decorating.

Okay, I have tried this recipe several ways and here are my ingredient notes:

Egg Replacers:

  1. Ener-G works best for maintaining the cut out shape of the cookies during baking.  The flavor and texture are great, but they are a tad bit on the dry side (and I do mean just a tad).
  2. For corn-free: check out this recipe for homemade corn-free egg replacer over at Live Corn Free.
  3. If you aren't planning to make special shapes out of the cookie dough, I definitely suggest trying the egg replacer I used in the GF/DF/EF Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe I shared recently: 2 Tbs. Water + 1 Tbs. Oil + 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder (this mixture is equal to one egg).  Of all the different experiments I tried for this tweak, everyone thought this was the best (combined with Earth Balance).  A light, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookie.  The only problem is that this egg replacer made the cookies spread during the baking process, so they lost their shape (I even tried putting the cut cookies in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to baking and it didn't help matters).

Earth Balance Substitutes:

Coconut Oil: This was my first time trying coconut oil, and I will just say straight up that it was a learning curve.  I melted 1 cup of coconut oil over low heat before mixing it with the powdered sugar (then followed the rest of the recipe as instructed).  The first mistake I made was refrigerating the dough overnight.  It came out hard as a rock and took several hours to warm up so I could work with it (I will not refrigerate this dough next time).  I also used White Chia Seed Meal for the egg replacer (using this recipe) in this experiment (We have really enjoyed the chia seed egg replacer in muffins, loads of nutrition!). The dough was very dry and crumbly and I had difficulty rolling it out.  The second mistake I made was not checking on the cookies until they were 8 minutes into the baking time and they were already quite "dark and crispy." ;-)  I will definitely try using coconut oil again because I am newly allergic to corn and cannot have Earth Balance anymore (although my kids can have it, so I will continue to use it for them until I figure out yet another allergen).

Palm Shortening: I used 1 cup Palm Shortening with Ener-G Egg-Replacer.  The dough was more crumbly than when using Earth Balance, but the cookies held their shape while baking.  The taste of the cookies were good, but the texture was more akin to pie crust.  Not bad, just not what I was expecting for a sugar cookie. 
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