Buttery with an incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture, make FIVE different cookies with this Gluten Free Butter Cookies Recipe.
If y'all know me, you know I love to reuse a great recipe as many times as possible. I've made over 30 recipes out of my gluten free sweet dough, which I call "miracle dough" and last year I made EIGHT cookies from my favorite sugar cookie dough!
So I wanted to do something similar this year, but use a little different dough. This time I chose a butter cookie recipe that I found on Emma's Goodies. I of course needed to alter it to be gluten free, and then I changed up her flavors and made my own.
what you'll need to make these butter cookies
- Kim's gluten free all purpose flour blend - a store bought blend may be substituted, but has not been tested.
- Butter - obviously, for butter cookies you need butter. It's the best. I know some of you out there are going to ask about dairy-free alternatives, so check below for those.
- Egg whites - there's plenty of fat from the butter in these cookies, so we only need the egg whites to hold everything together. Also, egg whites make a slightly crisper cookie.
here's how to make the dough
Beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy.
Add vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract) and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
Pour in egg whites and continue beating until well combined. The mixture may look curdled at first, but will come together once all the flour is added.
Add the salt and the flour, in three increments, until all has been incorporated.
The finished dough can then be divided and made into as many different cookies as you'd like!
- Dairy free - I haven't tried it, but you should be able to use a dairy-free butter alternative that comes in sticks (not a tub). You will also need to replace the dry milk powder in my flour blend with a substitute (there are a few options on that recipe here).
- Egg free - you may be able to use a chia or flax egg (see here) or possibly even aquafaba. I am not experienced in these realms of baking, but there are plenty of experts out there who can give you information you'll need to make that decision.
flavor and texture variations
The amount of cookies you come up with is only limited by your own imagination. Here I'll show you FIVE different types of cookies that you can make from this one dough, but BYOC (Be Your Own Chef) and try to come up with ones yourself. It's fun!
1. Italian pinch cookies
Probably my favorite cookie in the bunch, these little jam-filled wonders are delicate and delicious!
Add more flour to ⅕th of the dough and use your clean hand to mix in.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it is approximately ¼-inch thick. Place this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.
Remove the dough from fridge and peel off the top parchment sheet. Cut out circles about 3 inches wide from chilled dough. Place circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Using a small spoon, dollop approximately one teaspoon of jam into the center of each circle of dough.
Pinch the cookies together in the center, making sure they are well sealed so they don't open in the oven. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.
Sprinkle cooled cookies with powdered sugar.
2. Chocolate thumbprint cookies
Almost like a cross between a cookie and fudge, these cookies are a cookie you never knew you needed in your life.
Bloom unsweetened cocoa and one tablespoon of powdered sugar by pouring hot milk over both and mixing to make a paste.
Add bloomed cocoa paste to ⅕th of butter cookie dough and mix with clean hands until smooth and well combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll chocolate cookie dough into one inch balls.
Dredge each ball of cookie dough in a small bowl of turbinado or sparkling sugar. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Press thumb into the center of each ball of cookie dough to make a thumbprint. Bake at 325 F for 8 minutes, or until set.
Once cooled, fill chocolate thumbprint cookies with chocolate ganache or jam.
3. Frosted sugar cookie cubes
Like a frosted sugar cookie, these cubes are much easier and just as tasty!
Press ⅕th of the gluten free butter cookies into an 8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges. Cool completely.
Spread cooled large square cookie with colored buttercream frosting. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.
Cut chilled cookies into small one-inch cubes.
4. Sandwich cookies
Using the very same ganache (or jam) you already have, these cutout sandwich cookies are as decadent as they are beautiful.
Begin with the same method as used for the Italian pinch cookies (add extra flour to dough and roll out between two sheets of parchment; chill). Cut out squares approximately 3 inches in diameter and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
Cut smaller shapes (here it's stars) out of the middles of half of the squares of dough. Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes, or until very light golden brown around the edges.
Spread each square cookie with chocolate ganache or raspberry or apricot jam.
Top each square with the star cutout square to make a sandwich. Press down lightly to adhere fully. Allow to set completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
5. Slice and bake M&M cookies
So easy, fun, and festive, these slice and bake M&M cookies will be adored by both children and adults.
Pour about ½ a bag of mini M&M's into ⅕th of the butter cookie dough. Fold them through with your clean hand.
Roll dough into a log that's about 2 inches in diameter.
Sprinkle a good amount of red (or green or white) sparkling sugar onto sheet of parchment and roll log of dough through the sugar to coat completely. You may need to go over some areas twice or more to get it completely covered.
Roll the log of dough up in the parchment tightly and then in plastic wrap to seal completely. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
Remove dough from refrigerator and slice into ½-inch thick slices. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until very light golden brown around the edges.
gluten free butter cookies FAQs
There's a more significant amount of flour and sugar in butter cookies, which allows them to hold together well and be manipulated into many different shapes.
Absolutely! You can mix and match, make as many different varieties as you like, or just one if that's what you feel like. Make it your own and have fun with it!
I personally bake with salted butter, unless a recipe indicates otherwise. I feel there's not enough saltiness to offset all the sugar in baked goods, so I find that the extra salt coming from the butter really helps balance the flavor.
more gluten free cookies for christmas
- gluten free sugar cookies with endless variations
- gluten free peanut butter blossoms
- perfect gluten free chocolate chip cookies
- perfect gluten free snickerdoodles
- gluten free mexican wedding cookies
- gluten free cornflake wreaths
- gluten free caramelized white chocolate ginger cookies
- gluten free no bake cookies
- gluten free stollen bars
- perfect gluten free ricotta cookies
Gluten Free Butter Cookies Five Ways
MASTER BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH
- 6⅔ sticks (750g) butter, softened (a dairy-free butter alternative may be substituted, but hasn't been tested)
- 2½ cups (300g) powdered sugar
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 6¼ cups plus 3 tablespoon (900g) Kim's gluten free all purpose flour blend (a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn't been tested)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1. Italian Pinch Cookies
- ⅕ master butter cookie dough
- ¼ cup (35g) Kim's gluten free all purpose flour blend
- ¼ cup (60g) jam (I used raspberry and apricot, but any jams that are your favorite can be used)
- powdered sugar, for dusting
2. Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
- ⅕ master butter cookie dough
- ½ cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 5 tbsp (75g) hot milk (heat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds)
- turbinado sugar for coating
- chocolate ganache for filling
3. Sugar Cookie Cubes
4. Sandwich Cutout Cookies
5. Mini M&M Slice and Bake Cookies
- ⅕ master butter cookie dough
- ½ bag (approx 140g) mini baking M&Ms
- colored sparkling/sanding sugar, for coating
MAKE MASTER BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH
- In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add egg whites and mix until incorporated. The mixture will look a little curdled, which is normal.
- Combine salt with flour and add flour in butter mixture in three increments, beating well after each.
- Divide dough evenly into 5 bowls.
1. Make Pinch Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add additional flour to dough and mix well to incorporate. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper to ¼-inch thickness and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and peel off top parchment. Cut out circles using a 3-inch round cookie cutter and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Spoon about 1 teaspoon of jam into the center of each circle and fold dough up and over the jam, pinching together at the center.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until very light golden brown around the edges.
- When cool, dust with powdered sugar.
2. Make Thumbprint Cookies
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Add powdered sugar to bowl of unsweetened cocoa and pour in hot milk. Stir until a thick paste forms and add this to your dough; combine well.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter and roll each ball into turbinado sugar to coat. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Use thumb to press an indentation into the top of each ball of dough.
- Bake for 8 minutes, or until set.
- Fill cooled cookies with chocolate ganache and let set completely.
3. Make Sugar Cookie Cubes
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with parchment with a little overhang.
- Add additional flour to dough and combine fully. Press dough into lined baking pan and use plastic wrap and a dough scraper to level the top until smooth.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown around edges. Cool completely.
- Frost with American buttercream and chill to set. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
4. Make Sandwich Cutout Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add additional flour to dough and combine completely. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper to about ⅛-inch thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from fridge and peel off top parchment. Cut out squares of cookie dough (about 3 inches in diameter) and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure you have an even number.
- With half of the squares, cut out smaller stars using a small star cookie cutter, in the middle of each.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. Cool completely.
- Sandwich together with chocolate ganache. Let set until firm.
5. Make M&M Slice and Bake Cookies
- Add mini M&M's to cookie dough and fold throughout dough until well dispersed.
- Roll dough on a piece of parchment into a log roughly 12 inches long and about 2-2½ inches wide.
- Pour a couple of tablespoons of sanding sugar onto parchment and roll log of dough in the sugar to cover completely. You may need to do this a couple of times until it's well covered.
- Roll log of dough up in parchment paper and then in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut out rounds of dough approximately ½-inch thick. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until set in the middle. Cool completely.
Recipe adapted and inspired by Emma's Goodies.