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Anytime is a Fun Time with Butter Cookies

A fun time can be anytime if you are making easy butter cookies.  It is especially fun when I bake cookies with my 5-year old grandson, Mark. To any kid, a cookie or treat is special.  But not just any cookie will do for Mark.  You see, he is gluten intolerant, which means he cannot have baked treats that include wheat flour or products that contain wheat as an ingredient.  I always like to have treats at my house when he visits and often it means a purchased gluten-free treat.

So to have the opportunity to make a gluten-free butter cookie called Fun Time Butter Cookies, he can eat is my treat to him. What could be better than to have a home-baked cookie baked with love from Maca (my grandkids name for me).

The recipe is special and so easy that Mark can even help me mix up the cookie dough.  This time, I made the cookies ahead so they would be ready when he came to my house. These gluten-free cookies are crisp but chewy, and can be made in a fun rainbow of colors.

When baking gluten free the ingredients are important. Above all you need to use a Gluten-Free Flour Blend – a combination of 2 cups white rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum.  I keep this flour blend mixed up in a sealed container in my freezer.  The flour stays fresh longer in the freezer.  It is important, too, when making this gluten-free flour blend that you do not cross-contaminate the flour mixture with other wheat flours or ingredients.

Since the gluten-free flour blend is already mixed, I begin by combining the sugar, softened butter, egg and gluten-free vanilla in a large mixing bowl.

While mixing the dough I scrape the bowl often, to make sure the dough is well mixed.   

Next, I add 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour blend and baking soda.

At this point beat on low speed until the dough is well mixed. If you beat on high speed the dry ingredients you’re mixing will “cloud up” and end up all over your counter. It is important to scrape the bowl, too, since the dough is rather sticky.

The next step is the fun step.  It is a step where Mark could actually help shape the cookie balls.  The balls should be about 1 inch in size. They can be varied in size as well.  But, you might have to change the baking time slightly. 

Another step Mark likes to help with is to roll the balls in colorful gluten-free decorator sprinkles or sugars. What child does not like to have a wide selection of colors like this?  The kids were ecstatic when they ate the cookies. They had a hard time deciding which color cookie to eat first.

Place the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Then flatten each cookie with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in more sugar.  Bake the cookies for about 6 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet while still warm or they may stick slightly. 

Now for the hardest part, next to deciding which cookie to eat first, is waiting for the cookies to cool 15 to 30 minutes on a cooling rack.  The cookies, when hot, are fragile.  Once they cool they firm up a bit and are easy to handle.

One more thing… if all of the cookies will not be eaten the first day, be sure to freeze the cookies in a plastic freezer container with a tight-fitting lid.  The cookies tend to stale quickly. By freezing the cookies you can take out only the number of cookies you want and they will be as good as the day they were baked.  Sometimes I warm the frozen cookies slightly in the microwave and they taste like they just came out of the oven.

With the gluten free Fun Time Butter Cookies recipe I can bring my grandson some “love” and a treat he likes.  That makes us both very happy!

We'd love to hear about how your gluten free cookies turned out.  Please rate and review this recipe.

It's time for a spicy enchilada recipe, coming up next on the blog.

Cindy Manwarren is a Manager of the Test Kitchens for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz™ Blog.


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Used cup 4cup flour needed to add extra. Really couldn't judge how loose dough should be. Might try again

Posted Dec 23 2015 by Maureen cenci

I have been Gluten Free since March. Now I am heading into the Holiday Food months??
Trying to be strong and not go off the Gluten Free wagon??
I was searching around for an easy gluten free cookie to make with my granddaughter and preschool class when I came upon yours. Before I try your wonderful recipe I would like to ask where do you find Gluten free decorator sprinkles? I won't be able to use the kind with Red 40, because my granddaughter is allergic to red 40.
Thanks in advance.
I will do some researching too. When I bake your Butter Cookies I will report back.

Posted Dec 01 2015 by Mary

hi! before i had to go gluten free, i used to make candy kiss cookies using a butter cookie dough. the dough was formed around a candy kiss., baked, then rolled in powdered sugar. do you think this recipe would work?

Posted Dec 08 2013 by suzanne
Test Kitchen Comment


This cookie should work. I would follow general glut free baking suggestions and use a GF flour and bake on parchment along with any other suggestions.
Posted December 23, 2013

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