I can't tell you how happy I am to be using cookie cutters again. I thought rollable, sliceable sugar cookie dough would be impossible without gluten and eggs, but happily, I was wrong. To make these chocolate-filled sandwich cookies, I followed the Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar recipe for Roll-and-Cut Sugar Cookies, replacing 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons cornstarch with: ⅔ cup almond meal
⅔ cup white rice flour
⅔ cup tapioca flour/starch
⅔ cup millet flour
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
I'm beginning to get the hang of gluten-free flour science. I've learned you need a little protein and a little starch, and you have to consider the desired texture and flavor of the finished product.
The December/January issue of Living Without (helpful magazine, terrible name) features an exhaustive guide to gluten-free flours. For every type of flour, it provides information about protein and fiber content, texture, color, flavor, and recommended proportions for mixing—exactly what I needed to begin adapting recipes with confidence, instead crossed fingers. I highly recommend it; I've tucked a copy in the front of my recipe binder.
You can see these cookies are a little flaky, but a little more xanthan would probably take care of that. I don't mind the almond meal bumps, but if you do, try a finely ground almond flour instead.
This dough behaved and tasted exactly like traditional sugar cookies. Thicker cookies were soft and buttery in the middle and held their shape best; thinner cookies spread a bit in the oven and were crispy.
Since there are so many types of gluten-free flour to work with, the combinations are almost infinite. There's bound to be more than one mix that will yield successful sugar cookies, and different bakers will have different preferences regarding flavor, texture, and appearance. I'm not sure I've found my ultimate gluten-free sugar cookie recipe, but I'm well on my way. It's a good thing, because I wouldn't want my concentric heart-shaped cookie cutters going to waste.