(Mostly) Easy Gluten-Free Cookies

Persian-Style Cardamom Cookies

(Updated 1/19/2015)

A friend of mine toured the Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free facilities and was so enthusiastic about what she learned, she bought a very large bag of Bob’s gluten-free all-purpose flour. For the record, my friend is not gluten free. Some marketing messages are very powerful.

She went home and baked up a batch of chocolate chip cookies using her own tried-and-true recipe. Needless to say, the cookies were not good (her description of her family’s reaction is much more colorful!). She had to dump the whole batch. On the plus side, I was the grateful recipient of the rest of the bag of gluten-free flour.

While my friend wasn’t a master in the art of gluten-free baking, the truth is that there are many great — and sometimes easy-to-make — gluten-free cookies. As I thought about this post, I realized I already had two recipes in my limited cooking-baking arsenal, and I was testing a third that weekend.

Below are just a few ideas, plus I’ve linked to some gluten-free cookie collections to jumpstart your cookie-baking frenzy:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies: There are many, many recipes for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies available online, so Google away. I like this recipe from Yammie’s Gluten Freedom because it features oat flour instead of making you create a more complicated flour blend.
  • Ginger-Molasses Cookies: While I haven’t tried this recipe from Food 52, it’s only because I haven’t had time. How can you go wrong with a mix of chickpea and oat flour? Also, ginger…
  • Macarons: Macarons are delicate and gorgeous. They’re also, generally, gluten free since they’re traditionally made from almond flour. Every year, I tell myself I’m just gonna throw caution to the wind and make these colorful French cookies for my friends and family. Maybe this will be my year. Until then, here is a recipe accompanied by beautiful photos from The Little White Kitchen.
  • Macaroons: When I was in high school, I worked in a Danish bakery in the town of Solvang, California. The bakery’s policy was that we could eat as much as we wanted; as it turned out, when you’re staring at pastry all day, the urge to nibble passes quickly. Ove, our baker, did discover I had a weakness for his macaroons — he made them flat with a thin filling of raspberry jam. Whenever he made them, he’d save me the crispy edges. He was a fine, fine man. I rarely make macaroons these days, but do still have a weakness for filling them with a dot of raspberry jam. And, because I love lemon beyond belief, I also adore this recipe from Real Simple.
  • Peanut Butter Cookies: When I was a wee baker — a Brownie — we made peanut butter cookies as part of a badge-earning exercise. I continued to impress my family for years with my ability to mix eggs, sugar, peanut butter, and a bit of salt into something edible. In all truth, I think what impressed them the most was my decorative touch: pressing the tines of a fork into the top of the cookies. Sheer genius! I’d actually forgotten about my immense cookie-baking talent until I ran across this recipe in Cooking Light Magazine…and I’d forgotten these very simple, very good cookies are gluten free! By the way, my childhood recipe didn’t include chocolate chips — a clear oversight on my part.
  • Persian-Style Cardamom Shortbread: This recipe was another magazine find that I modified after some trial and error. The ingredients are simple: butter, powdered sugar, rice flour, and cardamom. Top each cookie with chopped pistachios or, like me, just one pistachio. The saltiness of the nut is perfect against the sweet cookie.
  • A collection of gluten-free cookie recipes via Pinterest.
  • Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes from Gluten-Free Goddess (while some require a lot of ingredients, others are quite simple).
  • Gluten-Free Cookies (and other desserts) from Elana’s Pantry.

Do you have a favorite gluten-free cookie recipe? Share it below.

Tip of the Week

Like other gluten-free baked goods, gluten-free cookies get dry quickly. Store them in tightly sealed containers or freeze them if you’re not eating them right away.

Menu of the Week

The Persian Cardamom Cookies remind me of something you’d have with afternoon tea, and lead to thoughts of a rainy evening snack. So, I’m thinking of a grazing menu, or meze, that finishes with these cookies. You can mix and match small dishes, saving room at the end for cookies!

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