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Gluten Free Snickerdoodles have the classic buttery flavor and coating of cinnamon sugar. But make them simply gluten free using a basic 1:1 flour blend and this easy recipe. And with this perfected technique, you get a Snickerdoodle cookie that is delicate and slightly crisp. Perfect with a glass of milk or cup of tea!
Snickerdoodles versus Sugar Cookies
Some accounts say that the name “snickerdoodle” is derived from German. However, outside of the United States, few people have even heard of this truly American cookie.
In fact, the name is more likely just a whimsical made up word from the New England tradition of giving cookies nonsensical names.
These cookies may seem like they are made from basic sugar cookie dough consisting of butter or a combination of butter and shortening, sugar, and flour. But there are a few key differences.
First, they typically have leavening added in the form of eggs, baking soda, or both. This allows the cookie to puff up, as many people like a softer Snickerdoodles.
Second, and this one is critical, Snickerdoodles have cream of tartar in the dough. This gives them a characteristic tangy flavor. It also keeps the sugar crystals from binding together, leading to a more tender cookie.
Finally, the balls of Snickerdoodle cookie dough are rolled in cinnamon sugar and then baked, producing a crackly exterior.
Making Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cookies
The classic Snickerdoodle cookies have been a favorite in my family for years, so naturally, I wanted to be able to find an easy way to make them gluten free, and tested them using 1:1 gluten free baking flour to achieve wonderful results.
Sure, in the future I will test out the combination of individual flours, but for now I am making my life and trying to help you make your holiday season simply gluten free!
How to Make Gluten Free Snickerdoodles
This recipe combines Betty Crocker’s Snickerdoodle cookies, my technique to make them a but thinner with a little bit of crunch, and a 1:1 gluten free baking flour blend to keep things easy.
You end up with a buttery cookie that is lightly crispy and tener, but definitely not hard and dry.
What do you need?
1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour
Cream of Tartar
As mentioned cream of tartar is an essential ingredient to make a classic Snickerdoodle versus just a cinnamon sugar cookie, so don’t skip it. It is a gluten free ingredient, but always check your labels for any additives.
Baking soda is definitely essential to getting that slight bit of puff that leads to a tender cookie.
Yes, as with most sweet recipes, there is a small amount of salt to enhance the sweet, buttery flavor.
Unsalted butter is recommended so that you can control the amount of salt in the recipe. Let the butter soften to room temperature, but don’t melt it in the microwave.
I rarely use shortening but this is what helps to give the cookies their characteristic crispy texture. If you don’t like to use shortening, you can use all butter, though you will end up with a softer cookie.
This is for the dough and for the cinnamon sugar mixture for rolling the balls of dough.
Like the baking soda, these also provide leavening and a richness to the flavor.
You can’t have a snickerdoodle cookie without cinnamon sugar.
What to do
To make the dough, you’ll start by sifting the dry ingredients together. Then in a separate bowl cream the butter, shortening, and sugar, and beat in the eggs one at a time. Gradually add the flour and mix just until a dough forms. Then chill the dough.
Now scoop out about a tablespoon of dough and roll it tightly into a ball, then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. And place on a baking sheet.
The next step is key to the perfectly crisp texture. Using your three middle fingers, press them down slightly to form thick disks. You don’t want to flatten them completely because they will spread while baking. If you prefer a thicker, more chewy cookie, you can just bake the balls.
Bake for 8-10 minutes then cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
As with most gluten free cookies, the can be a little crumbly, so be sure to handle them carefully. Once cooled, they can be kept in an airtight container for about a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make the dough ahead?
Yes, you can make the cookie dough several hours or even a day in advance. Just cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. You may need to let it warm up slightly to be able to scoop the dough balls.
It can even be frozen for up to two months either before or after you roll the balls. Just thaw in the refrigerator and take out of the fridge shortly before baking.
How do you store snickerdoodles?
Gluten free snickerdoodles can be kept at room temperature for up to a week if sealed well in an airtight container. I recommend placing them in a plastic Ziploc bag and squeezing out all of the air before sealing. Then place the bag inside a cookie tin or plastic container to keep out more air and prevent the cookies from breaking.
Can they be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze them for up to two months. I like to put them in a plastic freezer storage bag and press out all of the air before sealing. Then place the bag in a cookie tin or plastic storage container. This helps keep them from getting broken while being stored in the freezer.
More gluten free cookies
- Triple Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
- Flourless Mexican Chocolate Cookies
- Almond Joy Macaroon Cookies
And if you want snickerdoodles in a no-bake form, try Cinnamon Sugar White Chocolate Bark.
Classic Crispy Snickerdoodle Cookies
- 2 3/4 cups 1:1 gluten free baking flour (recommended: Bob's Red Mill)
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick or 1/4 pound)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar at medium high speed thoroughly until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, and mix thoroughly.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Place dough in the refrigerator until just cool enough to handle and roll into balls, about 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
- Using a small scoop or about 1 tablespoon of dough, form balls, and roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat all sides.
- Place dough balls about two inches apart on a cookie sheet.
- Just before baking, take your three middle fingers and press the balls down slightly, until they are about a half inch thick.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until barely set and slightly golden. They will puff up at first while baking, then flatten out.
- Cool for a few minutes on the pan, then remove and cool completely on cooling racks.