These gluten-free butter cookies are so simple. Surely know those yummy Danish butter cookies in the big blue tin? I used to love those before I was gluten-free. I tried my best to mimic them, but . . . these are way better! They are buttery, gently sweet, crunchy on the outside and delicate in the middle. Six simple ingredients are all you need for this recipe.
Be sure to check out more of my gluten-free cookie recipes including my no-spread gluten-free cut out cookies (perfect for holidays), chewy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, grain-free, one bowl lemon almond flour cookies and my gluten-free chocolate mint cookies.
Here’s a quick video on piping butter cookies
These cookies get their beautiful form with the use of a pastry piping bag (I prefer 16″ bags) fitted with a star tip. The dough is just the right consistency to be piped and easily hold its shape. I promise these cookies will not spread in the oven! Just be sure to refrigerate the piped dough before baking.
I used a #828 Ateco piping tip (open star). This tip made large, 2 inch cookies. I would not go any larger than that, but a smaller #827 or even a #826 piping tip would work too. I also made these cookies using a Wilton 2D closed star piping tip. This will make these cookies thinner (faster baking time) with a more ribbon looking effect.
I tested this recipe using King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour blend. It gave the cookies a nice consistency. This is my favorite store-bought gluten-free flour. It is widely available and is CERTIFIED gluten-free. Be sure to check out my collection of King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour recipes. Pamela’s All purpose Artisan Blend and Cup4Cup (contains milk powder) are similar blend and work well too. I have not tested with Bob’s Red Mill flours because they are not certified gluten-free and I have had some sensitivity issues with their products.
I also tested this recipe with my DIY gluten-free flour mix and it worked well too. The cookies browned a little better with my DIY mix. Click the link to learn more about the best gluten-free flour for baking. It can be a more affordable option than store-bought blends.
Be sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. The dough will mix up much more uniformly. A cold egg added to warm butter is not a good combo for this recipe. The egg can go in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes to gently warm it up. Warm cold milk in the microwave for 10 seconds on high. Leave the butter out for at least 2 hours before using. Slice the sticks to make the process go faster.
These cookies are wonderful with some coarse sanding sugar (just like the Danish cookies in the tin). Dip them in white or dark chocolate – these Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers need no tempering. They do have dairy and soy so be sure to read the label if you have sensitivities. Or coat with a cookie icing that uses just 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar.
Low-Sugar Cookie Icing
You’ll need 1 can of coconut cream, found in the market with the canned coconut milk. Do not shake, stir or refrigerate. Open the can and gently scoop out the top layer of thick coconut cream There will be a more watery layer below – save that for a smoothie. Mix in 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar. Taste. The coconut cream is sweet on its own, so I think this is all that is needed. If you prefer it more sweet, add more sugar.
Notes: Coconut cream is super sensitive to temperature. Very warm or cold temps in your house might make it more difficult to get the right consistency. This icing will make the cookies soggy if stored overnight or longer. So I recommend only using this icing immediately before consuming. Here is more detailed info on mixing up this low sugar icing. Or try my Easy Cookie Icing for one that is not so temperature sensitive.
I colored my icing with Color Kitchen Foods powdered colors. They are all natural, plant-based food colors and perfect for this recipe. I added 1/8 tsp color to this recipe and got a nice saturated color – a little goes a long way. Remember, that as the icing dries and firms up, the color will become more vibrant.
Gluten-Free Butter Cookies
- 2 1/4 c gluten-free flour*
- 1 c sugar
- 2 sticks 1 c soft, unsalted butter
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1/4 c milk dairy free subs are cool (warm for 8 seconds in the microwave if chilled)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- NOTES: This cookie dough will mix much better if all of the ingredients are at room temperature. Place the egg in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes and heat cold milk in the microwave for 10 seconds.
- Cream the butter and sugar together – a mixer will make this easier but it’s not mandatory. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour and mix on medium high just until combined. Go too long and you will mix too much air into the batter.
- Pipe onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Pipe a small, tight circle, aiming to keep them as close in size as possible. Release the pressure on the bag as you pass the start point. Then use your fingers to press the end of the dough against the circle. (see video above).
- Top with coarse sugar if using.
- Chill on the pan, in the refrigerator for 20 minutes (30 minutes on a warm day).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 22-30 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. In my oven the 1½ inch cookies took 23 minutes and the 2 inch ones took 30.