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Thursday
Dec152011

Gluten-Free, Egg-Free Sugar & Spritz Cookies

Okay all you health food nuts (of which I am one), this recipe may not be up your alley. For the rest of you (or the nuts like me who indulge on occasion), you can't go wrong with this here sugar cookie. Shoot the dough out of a cookie press or roll it into a log, freeze, slice and bake—either way, this recipe makes a very versatile dough.

I don't know what possessed me to to take on the challenge of creating a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free version of the sugar cookie. Something tells me it had a little to do with my childhood memory of eating Danish Butter Cookies this time of year. Remember them? Those round tins of cookies that come in a variety of delightful shapes—the ones you can pick up at the nearest drugstore for 2 for $5. My favorite was the sugar sprinkled pretzel shape.

Though free of preservatives and additives, this recipe is by no means free of sugar and buttery spread—alas, those ingredients are what make these cookies perfectly light and crisp. Yes, slightly healthier than the drugstore variety, but they don't quite qualify as a health food either. But shhh, it's okay. It's the holidays. Indulge. I won't tell.

I had a ton of fun packing this dough into a cookie press and squirting it out to make festive spritz cookies. 

Factoid: "Spritz" comes comes from the German
word
spritzen, meaning "to squirt".

I didn't decorate this last batch so that you could see what they looked like naked and hot out of the oven, but decorate away with a glaze and sprinkles if you are so inclined to. I've rounded up some spritz cookie decorating ideas on Pinterest. Take a look. If opting for the freeze and slice cookies, here's a refined sugar-free frosting recipe I look forward to trying.

The ingredient that really makes these cookies is the Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice Flour I used. Food allergy chef extraordinaire, Cybele Pascal, writes in one of her cookbooks that Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice flour is "the Cadillac" of rice flours. I have to agree. I have been using it in pie crusts and cookies and am so impressed. No grittiness whatsoever! I highly recommend it—it's a bit pricey, but I reserve it for baking only. You can order it from Amazon or locate a store near you that may carry it by clicking here.

Tips to keep in mind as you head into the kitchen to make these:

1. Follow recipe to the "T".
2. Freeze the dough or pressed spritz cookies on sheets prior to baking.
3. If making spritz cookies. Do not line the cookie sheet with parchment.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Sugar & Spritz Cookies

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free | Wheat-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon white CHIA SEED MEAL (grind seeds in a coffee/spice grinder)
3 tablespoons cold WATER
1 tablespoon gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
3/4 cup superfine BROWN RICE FLOUR (like Authentic Foods)
1/4 cup TAPIOCA FLOUR
1/4 cup POTATO STARCH
1 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
1/2 cup cold Earth Balance® Soy-Free BUTTERY SPREAD
1/2 cup granulated SUGAR

Instructions:

  1. In small bowl, whisk chia meal, water, and vanilla. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flours and baking powder.
  3. In separate medium bowl, beat buttery spread and sugar on high for 30 seconds.
  4. Add chia mixture and beat on high for 30 seconds.
  5. Add flour mixture and beat on high for 30 seconds.

For Freeze & Slice Sugar Cookies:
Form dough into a ball and roll into a 2" diameter log. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. When ready to bake; remove plastic wrap and slice into 1/2" disks. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375˚F for 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies from cookie sheet to rack and let cool.

For Spritz Cookies:
Immediately after mixing dough (do NOT refrigerate), load cookie press and press out cookies onto UN-lined, UN-greased cookie sheet. Transfer to freezer and freeze 45-60 minutes. Transfer to 375˚F oven and bake 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies from cookie sheet to rack and let cool.

A Helpful Video Tutorial

Reader Comments (28)

You are awesome! I'm so tempted to borrow my Mom's cookie press and give these babies a go. Could the kids do the pressing? Thanks for linking to my frosting recipe :) Happy holidays and enjoy your indulgences, I know I will! xo

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Maggie, I think the indulgences are already catching up with my waistline : ) As for the kids operating the gun. Maybe older ones. You kind of have to click, hold, lift. Probably more for an adult. But the decorating ... that's all for the kids : )

xoLexie

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

I absolutely loved those Danish Butter Cookies, Lexie! And the Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies. And my homemade Butter Cut-Out Cookies, which I still have to convert. ;-) Your cookies look incredible! Already shared on my gfe Facebook page. :-)

xoxo,
Shirley

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

Lovely Lexie! And just for the record - this recipe is right up MY alley! :)

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol, Simply Gluten Free

LOL! I somehow felt compelled to use real sugar this week too in my pie recipe. LOL We are living on the edge, girl. I tell ya!! We are wild! I grew up with my Mom making spritz cookies every year!! She still does! I love them! This is an awesome recipe. I just may have to get myself a spritzer!
xo
k

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim(Cook It Allergy Free)

This is perfect Lex, just what I needed. When we were kids we'd make these press cookies but I didn't have a gluten-free and casein-free version. Thanks! I'm going to try them this year!

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Matthews

I am inspired! I want to make these today, thank you for the recipe and inspiration!

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

If I'm allergic to rice, what can I swap in instead that would still work and taste yummy? This recipe sounds awesome esp. since it's egg free. It's so hard to find both GF and egg free baked good recipes that sound delish. thanks!

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterali

I LOVE Spritz Cookies. We used to get the ones from Denmark in the tins. So much fun. My husband and I made a ton two years ago and when I started to make them last year he told me he'd broken my toy. You think he would have fessed up if I hadn't asked him about it? :-) You're right about the flour though - the best.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

Timely post! I had given up on my cookie spritzer due to failed recipe adaptations and was about to donate it to charity (literally, taking the boxes over tomorrow). I'm so excited to see you've mastered a GF and DF variation, and can't wait to try this recipe. I LOVED spritz cookies pre-diagnosis. I get the feeling I'm going to be able to love them again :)

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Ali, I wish I had a magic flour for you : ) This recipe went through 6 tests and superfine rice flour is what I tested with. Not too many of my recipes are finicky, but this one was. xoLexie

December 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterLexie

Laurel, OOPS! But I am impressed by a man who has the patience and desire to make sprtiz cookies. Maybe it's the gun thing that intrigued him! Happy Holidays my friend. xoLexie

December 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterLexie

Stephanie ... YES, go dig the cookie press out : ) That is too funny! xoLexie

December 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterLexie

Julie ... now I know you aren't the biggest fan of Earth Balance, so if you find a sub for the fat (coconut oil + a little salt), do let me know : ) This recipe was such a delicate balance of sugar, fat and flour. Twice in development I ended up with 2mm thin disks, no joke : ) xoLexie

December 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterLexie

Is there anything that can be substituted for the chia seeds?

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Lori, though I have not tried and tested it, you probably can use an egg if they are tolerated. A flax egg would work as well. http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2011/10/how-to-make-a-flax-egg-for-vegan-baking-the-right-way/

Hope that helps : )
xoLexie

December 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterLexie

This is perfect for the coming holidays! Thanks for sharing!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Everything sounds great except for the sugar. My sister is allergic to it. Any ideas on a substitution or another recipe. I've been trying to find a gluten, dairy, sugar, yeast free recipe.

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTara

Tara, I haven't tried it but you could replace the sugar with coconut sugar? Can she do that? I would powder it first in a blender or spice/coffee grinder. No guarantees, like I've told others, this recipe wasn't forgiving of little adjustments : ) xoLexie

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Hi - why no parchment?

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLady Miss Jme

Lady Miss JME, the dough must stick to the surface of the baking sheet as you press it on. It's the only time I don't use parchment. Imagine trying to wipe glue from your fingers onto a sheet of paper. The paper lifts up as you lift your fingers away. It becomes a real mess. :) xoLexie

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

These look great. Is the white chia just a color thing or is there another reason? Just curious because I have "brown" on hand.

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Kelly, black chia is just fine ... but it may add a speckled (like black pepper) appearance. You could also use flax meal (ground flax seed). xoLexie

December 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

Looking forward to trying these . . . so far the other spritz recipes I've tried ended up with VERY fragile cookies.
The freezing step is going to be tricky . . . only room for one sheet in my freezer at a time. Do you think chilling in the frig would be enough?

I'm also wondering why no guar gum (or xanthan gum)? Does the chia/flax provide enough "glue" without it? Finally, I can't use Earth Balance because of a corn sensitivity . . . Do you think Spectrum palm shortening would work?

Thanks!

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdewluca

Dewluca,

I am amazed at how many cookies fit on one sheet ... I usually can fit the entire batch (they don't spread). No gums because the chia does it. I have not tried spectrum shortening in this recipe ... should work okay ... chose earth balance for the buttery flavor.

xoLexie

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Thanks! I went ahead and made a batch yesterday before seeing your reply.

The good news is that they held together much better than my previous batches (yeah!). The bad news is I'm not really wild about their chewiness & flax seed taste. (I had flax seeds, but no chia seeds.) Maybe all the extra flavorings in Earth Balance cover that flax taste, but I can't use that (the Spectrum Palm Oil Shortening seemed to work fine). I even added a bit of cinnamon, but they still tasted "funny."

I ended up with three sheets: Sheet #1 went in the freezer for the full 45 minutes and turned out crispier than the others. Sheet #2 went in the frig until #1 went in the oven (so only froze for about 15 minutes) and turned out fine, but chewier than #1. Sheet #3 went directly from press to oven (only 9 cookies) and also seemed to turn out fine, just chewier than I'd like. So, just out of curiousity . . . why do YOU think the freezing is needed?? (i.e., what happened to you when you didn't freeze the cookies first?).

So, all in all, they were okay . . . just not as light and flaky as I want . . . so my search/experimentation continues . . . but THANKS! for a great effort.

_________________________________

Dewluca,

I am sorry these did not appeal to you. Keep on searching, maybe you will find something that does. You never know how a substitution will work. Mine are far from chewy. So I don't know what happened with yours. And if I don't freeze them, they come out flat as pancakes ...

xoLexie

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdewluca

darn! my spritz cookies all blended into each other. They tasted great~a delicious sugar cookie, but not what I expected in "design". I followed to a "T"...it seemed a little too soggy so maybe next time I'll cut back on the water. nonetheless, tasted good.

September 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEsther

Esther, oh bummer! Sorry they did not turn out like mine :( I am realizing that the fat makes a difference. Did you use Earthbalance? Ad you froze them before putting them into the oven? Hmmmm.

September 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

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