PS: Holiday Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Chef:  Brandi Doming; Vegan 8                                                                                                                 Makes:  18 cookies
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  8 minutes
Total Time:  28 minutes

Plant Strong; not recommended for those eating plant perfect.


  • 4 ½ T coconut sugar, powdered (54 g, finely ground, see directions)
  • 1 c + 2 T blanched almond flour (128g, see Note below on brands)
  • 7 T potato starch, not potato flour (70g, I use Bob’s Red Mill).
  • ¼ c + 2 T white rice flour (60 g, make sure it is not the sticky white rice flour, just regular)
  • ½ t aluminum-free baking powder (I use double-acting)
  • Scant ½ t fine sea salt
  • ½ c pure maple syrup (120 ml)
  • ¼ c + 2 T raw cashew butter (make sure to use raw and no other added ingredients for it to work correctly 
  • In the recipe, I make my own, see below)
  • 2 ½ t vanilla extract
  • Optional:  organic sprinkling sugar for topping if desired

Note:  To have the results turn out as I have here, make sure to use a kitchen scale, it is so important with gluten-free baking to get the right amounts, as even a couple of tablespoons off can alter results.  Also, I did multiple trials of these cookies, so if you sub, it’s at your own risk, I cannot guarantee results, these were very challenging to create. The almond flour absolutely cannot be subbed, as it gives the main source of moisture to the cookies since these have no added oil.  It’s very important to use a finely ground blanched almond flour for the cookie texture to turn out right.  They will not be soft likely if you us an almond meal or grind your own.  I recommend King Arthur brand or the Kroger brand called Simple Truth.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 dark metal cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Lighter color pans or aluminum left these with too soft of bottoms.
  2. First, you will need to blend up your coconut sugar down to a fine powder.  I did this in my Vitamix in about 15 seconds.  This gives better distribution of sweetness, and visual, to the cookies since coconut sugar granules are very gritty.  It did not work in my food processor, so use a high-powered blender or coffee grinder.  Beware, it will get very powdery!  So leave the lid on a few seconds to let it settle first.  Add the sugar to a large bowl, making sure to scrape it all out.  
  3. Measure all your flours with a kitchen scale for accurate results.  When measuring almond flour or starches, fluff them first to rid lumps and then scoop up with your cup and gently pat down to make sure there are no gaps, then level off.  Add the almond flour, potato starch, rice flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl of sugar.  Whisk very well until everything is well incorporated and no lumps remain.  I jab my whisk around to break up lumps.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, add the syrup, cashew butter and vanilla.  (make sure if your cashew butter has firmed up, then warm it to a really smooth consistency before measuring.  It should be smooth like a really soft butter cream frosting.   Make sure to level off the measuring cup for accurate results.)  Whisk until it’s a completely smooth liquid.  Pour over the dry ingredients slowly while stirring together the batter with a spoon.  Stir the batter for several minutes, making sure all the flour is incorporated and it becomes really thick and stiff.   Try not to eat all the batter, it is that good.
  5. Using a tablespoon, scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll into 18 balls and place on the two pans.  It is a sticky dough, but can be rolled into balls with your hands.  Use a small piece of parchment paper to place over each cookie and press down each ball down to ¼ inch thickness, no less or they will be too thin.  Mae sure to press down around the whole cookie evenly into a round shape.  Sprinkle with sprinkling sugar, if desired, for a festive touch.
  6. Note:  I noticed these cool more done/faster with crispier bottoms when cooed on a dark metal pan, versus a light thick aluminum pan, so keep that in mind.  Use a dark metal pan if possible, I preferred the results on a dark metal sheet pan (with parchment paper).   Bake for about 8 minutes in cold weather and 10 minus for warmer/humid weather.  If using a thick aluminum pan, it will likely take closer to 10 minutes for the bottoms to cook enough.  The tops should have poofed up and the edges have a slight crackled effect. Keep in mind, ovens vary.  So, remove them once they have poofed up nicely with slight cracked edges.  They will seem slightly under cooked at first, but still cook as they cool, that is the nature of potato starch.  Let them cool on the pan for 10 minutes as they will be too delicate to remove right away, then using a thin spatula, remove them to cool completely on a wire rack.  Once completely cooled, store in a sealed container, so they don’t dry out.  These are best when consumed within the first day, as they start to dry out by the next day because of the starch and no oil factors.  They are still good the next day, just not as moist.  Another reason why it’s important not to over bake.  

Follow BRANDI @ You’ll find lots of baked goods here, as I’ve been a baker all my life, it’s my passion!  Hope you love the recipes!  Share remarks on Instagram , tag me @thevegan8 and be sure to use my tag #thevegan8  or share them on my Facebook page.

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