Monday, November 29, 2010

Glorious Gluten Free Snickerdoodles and Other Musings

These cookies represent a turning point for me.  Snickerdoodles were one of my favorite cookies as a child, back in the day when I knew of no other flour than the gobs of white wheat flour that populated a whole drawer in my mother's kitchen.  Flour, butter, eggs, sugar, with a hint of cream of tartar and cinnamon thrown in.  

Fast forward to a few years ago when I journeyed down the road of multiple packs of gluten free flours, binding agents, egg replacers, nondairy butter substitutes, and refined sugar alternatives.  At first, it made my head spin.  I had not yet discovered the plethora of gluten free blogs on the internet.  I made some really horrible creations.  Frustration and tears were not uncommon the first year.  If my story sounds familiar, things do get better.

Gradually, I learned through my mistakes.  I discovered the joys of cooking with coconut oil and figured out that certain flours, such as almond, teff, and oat were nutritionally dense and could sometimes stand on their own.  I learned how to take an existing recipe and substitute the ingredients that are okay for my family.

In this case, I started with the snickerdoodle recipe from the Gluten Free Homemaker, removed the dairy, sugar, vanilla and potato, adjusted the measurements, and it came out perfect the very first time.  I knew they were good when my husband (not usually a snickerdoodle fan) compared them to donut holes.  But for me, the real joy is seeing the wide smile spread across my son's face when he eats these cookies.  


1/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread (look for the red label for soy free), melted
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 large egg
1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tbsp date or coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.  Mix the melted earth balance, agave and egg in a small bowl.  In a larger bowl, mix the sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, cream of tartar, baking soda and xanthan gum.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well with a fork.  In a small bowl, mix date or coconut sugar and cinnamon.  Form dough into walnut size balls, roll in the sugar/cinnamon mixture and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 9 to 10 minutes.  Makes one dozen.  Source:

Some hard to find ingredients can be purchased through Amazon:

Authentic Foods Sweet Rice Flour
Big Tree Farms SweetTree Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Blonde, 16-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 6)
Aunt Patty's Organic Date Sugar, 11-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)


  1. I haven't tried Linda's snickerdoodle recipe yet, but I've had great success with every recipe of hers I have tried. Glad you were able to recreate a favorite food of yours, gluten-free! They look delicious.

  2. Thank you, Iris! I agree, I am so thankful for the people who are thinking up new gluten free recipes for all of us to try.

  3. These sound great! I have not really experimented much with melting the soy free earth balance - I so with they made the sticks soy free too! glad it works, cause these look addictive. Thnks for linking to gf holiday!

  4. Thanks for the kinds words! I appreciated the opportunity to participate in the GF holiday. Nice work putting it together.

  5. These look good but wondering why you would choose fake "butter" over coconut oil and agave nectar over raw honey?

  6. Hi Megan,

    Legitimate questions! I prefer coconut oil over earth balance and raw honey over agave. However, when I made this recipe, my son was sensitive to coconut and I was sensitive to honey. We have to rotate our ingredients around to feel good.

    Your point is well taken. Someday, when our guts are totally healed, I hope to eat the healthiest ingredients all of the time! Thanks for your feedback.

  7. I made them! WOW they are good! and you can make them more low GI by using Chickpea flour in place of half the rice flour, and use only brown rice flour instead of white. and skip the coconut or Date sugar and just use cinnamon to roll them in.

    Love in Christ,
    My You Tube Chanel= dcravey1

  8. Jamie, thank you! I'm excited to hear those modifications worked! They definitely increase the nutritional value. Thanks for the feedback.

  9. Thank you! I hope my question wasn't interpreted too harshly. I just re-read it and I think I came off a bit rude with my "fake butter".
    Our one big no-no in this house is anything corn based which is everything "normal". I am very thankful that we can have things like raw honey and coconut oil.


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