Vegan Holiday Sugar Cookies anyone?! If you are subscribed to my newsletter, I recently told you I just found out that I’m allergic to eggs and sensitive to gluten. What I mean is, I should not eat eggs at all anymore, but eating some gluten every once in a while is fine.
So from now on all my bakes will be dairy and egg free, and I’ll be coming out with gluten free bakes as well! My traditional sugar cookie recipe was full of ingredients I now cannot have, so I made up a new one.
My new holiday sugar cookies are free of dairy, eggs and gluten and absolutely delicious!
Gluten Free Flours
For my gluten free baking, I am beginning to experiment with different kinds of flours. I prefer almond flour because it is one of the healthier alternatives. I recently discovered coconut flour as well which I love.
Many gluten free bakers use their own original flour blends made up of any manner of flours such as brown or white rice flour, potato starch, garbanzo bean flour, sorghum flour, and tapioca starch.
I am still doing research on all these different types of flours, but for now these are the two I am working with. As I learn more I will share it with you.
Where to Find Almond and Coconut Flour
You should be able to find both almond and coconut flour at your local grocery store either in the bakery aisle or the health food section.
Cookie Dough Tips
This holiday sugar cookie dough is very simple to make. It’s all done in one bowl, but when the time comes to roll it out, just remember it is more delicate and pliable than a cookie dough made with all purpose flour.
It’s best to refrigerate it after you make it for at least 20-30 minutes. This will get the butter cold again and keep it from being too sticky. If you don’t have time to refrigerate it, you can still roll it out. You may have to dust your surface and rolling pin with a little more almond or coconut flour though. I strongly suggestion refrigeration.
The yield for my recipe is a dozen cookies. When I doubled it, I ended up lessening the coconut milk by a tablespoon because the dough was beginning to feel too wet. If you plan on making more than a dozen, add the coconut milk slowly, you may only need 6-7 tablespoons instead of the full 8.
You can start by beating your butter until it’s fluffy. Then add in the sugar and beat it some more, until it’s all beaten together. Beat in the almond and vanilla extract for 1 minute.
In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and salt. Then mix all the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Last thing is to add the coconut milk. Beat it in 2 tablespoons at a time.
Form your dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, then you can start rolling and cutting out your dough into shapes.
Shape and Bake Sugar Cookies
This is where the fun parts start happening! Sprinkle some almond or coconut flour onto your work surface. Roll out of the dough so it’s about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the dough. Then with a spatula or bench scraper, carefully pick out the scraps and lift up the cookie.
Place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you just try to pick up the dough with your hands, the shape with fall apart. It’s essential to use the spatula or bench scraper to gently lift it from the countertop.
Bake the cookies until they’re golden, but not brown. If they start to brown, they are overcooked. Better to undercook than overcook these cookies. Overcooking takes out all the moisture. They only need about 8-10 minutes. Then let the holiday sugar cookies cool down on wire cooling racks.
Icing Sugar Cookies
After the cookies have baked and cooled down, it’s time to make them look pretty! I used to make a simple icing mixture of powdered sugar, almond milk and vanilla extract, but now I’m finding the addition of corn syrup helps the icing harden better and gives it a glossy shine. I ended up using this recipe from Real House Moms website to make my icing.
If you have no desire to use corn syrup, you can just mix the other ingredients together without it, but it won’t harden as much and the cookies might not be stackable.
You have to play around with it to get the right consistency. More powdered sugar for a thicker icing and more milk for a thinner icing. Start off with 2 cups of powdered sugar and add the milk a teaspoon at a time until it’s thin enough to pipe onto the cookies, but not too thin where it will continue to pool off the edges. Take your spoon and drip some back into the bowl. If it takes about 10 seconds to disappear, that’s perfect.
When you add food coloring, it will thin it out as well, so you might have to add some more powdered sugar in.
Decorate Sugar Cookies!
Make the colors you want to decorate with and separate into piping bags or ziploc bags. Cut a small tip from the end. Pipe on the designs you want and give the icing several hours to harden.
Here’s one more tip for you. My husband and I actually love to freeze these cookies and eat them straight from the freezer. It sounds weird, but you have to try it! The cookies freeze really well and they will last longer in the freezer. They are also still chewy when you take them out, that’s why you can eat them right away. They don’t harden.
Warning: These holiday sugar cookies do not do well in heat! If they are kept in a warm area, they will fall apart. They are quite delicate, but so so delicious.
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Other Holiday Posts!:
- Christmas Reading List
- Foodie Gifts to Give for Christmas
- String Gnomes — No Sew Holiday Craft
- DIY Dried Orange Garland/Ornaments
- Gifts for Book Lovers: The Ultimate List
- Gifts for CookBook Lovers
Vegan Gluten Free Holiday Sugar Cookies
- 4 Tbsp Vegan Butter
- 6 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Dash of Almond Extract
- 1 Cup Almond Flour
- ¼ Cup Coconut Flour
- 1 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
- ½ Tsp Baking Soda
- Pinch of Salt
- 4 Tbsp Coconut Milk
Icing (Recipe adapted from Realhousemoms.com)
- 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 6-8 Tsp Coconut Milk or Water*
- 4 Tsp Corn Syrup
- ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Food Coloring of your choice
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and beat for another minute. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Then beat in the coconut milk last. Form the dough into a disc and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Roll out your dough on almond floured work surface until it's about ¼" to ½" thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out the shapes that you want. Then with the help of a spatula or bench scraper, pick out the extra pieces and gently lift your cookies and place onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just barely golden. Do not let them brown or overbake or they will be dry! Let cool on a wire rack completely before decorating.
- Mix all the ingredients together for the icing. Lift your spoon and let some icing fall back into the bowl. If it takes 10 seconds for the icing to disappear into the rest, then it's the right consistency. You can add food coloring if you want, but you may need to add more powdered sugar to make it thicker again.
- You can spread your icing onto the cookies with a spoon or knife, but the easiest way is with a piping bag. If you don't have one you can use a ziploc. Give the cookies at least 12 hours for the icing to harden compeltely.