These quick-baked mesquite cookies are a soft and chewy gluten-free treat. The cookie batter combines mesquite flour (aka mesquite powder) with gluten-free flour and cinnamon to enhance the warm spicy flavor of mesquite flour. Ready within 25 minutes!
All About Mesquite Flour
Is Mesquite Flour Gluten-Free?
Yes! Gluten is only found in grains (wheat, barley and rye) and mesquite is not a grain. If you’re concerned about possible cross-contamination with gluten, Zint Mesquite Flour is an excellent gluten-free option.
What is Mesquite Flour Made From?
Mesquite flour, or powder, comes from the the pods that grow on mesquite trees (common in the southwest US and Mexico).
What Does Mesquite Flour Taste Like?
It has hints of cinnamon and caramel and is wonderful in baked goods. I enhance the flavor by adding cinnamon to these gluten-free cookies.
Chewy Cookies vs. Crispy Cookies
I really don’t have a preference when it comes to the texture of cookies. I love them all, whether they’re soft, chewy, crispy or cakey.
Normally the key to getting chewy cookies, is to form the cookies and then refrigerate the dough before baking. But that is not necessary in this recipe. The key is to use butter that is colder than room temperature. Room temp butter makes for warmer cookie dough which. Warmer dough means the cookies will spread faster in the oven and cause the cookies to be thinner and more crunchy.
So keep your butter refrigerated and take it out just before gathering the rest of the ingredients. Cut it into 10-12 pieces and set it on the counter. This will soften it just enough to cream it with the sugars.
I have used several different flour blends for these cinnamon mesquite cookies. My preferred gluten-free flour for baking is King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour. Cup4Cup (contains milk powder) will yield similar results. Both of these flours are certified gluten-free and contain binders, so there’s no need to add xanthan gum.
My custom DIY blend of sorghum, millet and brown rice flours is my favorite. See the notes in the recipe for a super simple DIY gluten-free flour blend or my guide to gluten-free flour blends.
For a cookie that is gluten-free AND rice-free, try my super simple gluten-free flour without rice.
Many cookie recipes, including this one, use a combination of brown sugar and granulated white sugar. I am a fan of both in cookies but I also love coconut palm sugar (doesn’t taste like coconut). It has a similar flavor to brown sugar but is more heavy on the caramel flavor and less on the molasses. I highly recommend giving it a try. This recipe can be made with brown or coconut palm sugar.
In my opinion these cookies are in need of a little decoration and I love a drizzle of icing to add some visual appeal. So, I recommend a super simple icing of powdered sugar and water (or milk) that mixes up in 1 minute. Immediately after icing, before it sets, you can also add some rainbow sprinkles or colorful sanding sugar to add a pop of color.
Soft & Chewy Mesquite Flour Cookies (Gluten Free)
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
- ¾ c gluten-free flour blend King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour recommended
- ¾ c mesquite flour/powder
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp xanthan gum (omit if your flour contains it)
- ½ c sugar
- ½ c light brown sugar or coconut palm sugar if using coconut palm sugar, add 1 tsp water to the recipe with the vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
- ½ c powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp milk milk substitute or water
- If your butter is refrigerated, place it on a plate and cut into 10 or 12 pieces. The butter should not be super soft for this recipe, otherwise the cookies will spread too much. The 5 minutes that it takes before you are ready to mix in the butter will soften it just a little bit.If your butter is frozen, it will need at least an hour to be ready for the recipe.
- A stand mixer with a paddle attachment (best) or an electric hand mixer are ideal for this recipe. The colder butter makes mixing by hand more difficult.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free flour blend, mesquite flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, & xanthan gum (if using).
- In a medium sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar & coconut palm (or brown) sugar with the softened butter. Mix for 1½-2 minutesWith firmer butter than you might be used to, the mixture will start out crumbly but will eventually come together.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat 10-15 seconds or just until they are combined.
- Drop about 1½ Tbsp per cookie onto the baking sheet. NOTE: If it's a particularly warm day and the air temp in your kitchen is above 76℉, I recommend placing the pan in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 10-11 mins. The cookies will be delicate and puffy on top but will settle once out of the oven.
- Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Icing (optional)
- Sift the powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Stir in the milk/water with a whisk. If it's too thick, add a teaspoon of water and stir. A little water goes a LONG way.
- Use a squeeze bottle, piping bag or a spoon to drizzle the icing onto the cookies. Allow 10-20 minutes for the icing to set.
- Store the cookies in a sealed container to maintain the soft and chewy texture.
- 2 c brown rice flour
- 2/3 c potato starch
- 1/3 c tapioca starch