Cut-Out Sugar Cookies are a holiday tradition in many families, including ours. With this recipe, even those with food allergies can enjoy making and eating Christmas cookies. This cookie dough has no gluten, dairy or eggs, and is extremely easy to work with so it's great for kids!
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup shortening (Spectrum Palm Shortening) or Earth Balance vegan butter sticks
Step 1 – Using a hand or stand mixer (my Sunbeam Heritage Series Mixmaster works great for this), cream together sugar and shortening (about three minutes). This is an important step as it creates air bubbles so the cookies will rise as they cook. To read more about creaming, check out this article.
Step 2 – In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum.
Step 3 – To the creamed shortening/sugar, add applesauce and vanilla and mix in. Add in dry ingredients and mix together till well combined.
Step 4 – With this recipe, there is no need to chill the dough. Divide dough into workable sections. This dough is remarkably easy to work with, but you still may need to lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out dough to about ¼ inch thick (thinner dough will create crispy cookies). Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on cookie sheet lined with either a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Step 5 – Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. The cookies will look like they need to stay in the oven a few more minutes, but don't be tempted. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy as is, or decorate with icing (see recipe below). These cookies stay fresh and yummy for several days in a sealed plastic bag.
NOTE: In case you want to make the dough a few days before cooking making, this dough fared just fine wrapped in plastic wrap in my fridge for several days. Just be sure you leave yourself time to let the dough come to room temp or you'll have a rather hard ball of dough.
For the cookie icing:
⅓ cup shortening
pinch of salt
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 TBSP dairy-free milk
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together until well combined. I then put a scoop of icing into several separate plastic sandwich bags and, using food coloring, make several colors of icing. When ready to decorate, cut a very small hole in the corner of each bag so you (or the kids) can squeeze out the colored icing onto your cookies. Loads of fun