Editor's Note: I've been a huge fan of Aki and Alex of the blog Ideas in Food ever since I was a little chef-ling burning meat as a line cook in Boston. With their newest book, Gluten-Free Flour Power, they turn their considerable intellect to gluten-free recipes, developing unique solutions for folks who maintain a gluten-free diet. —Kenji
Snickerdoodles are a holiday favorite in our house. While their cinnamon-sweetness can be appreciated at any time of year, our Christmas cookie tin is never without them. Making them gluten-free is as simple as substituting the regular flour in our original flour recipe with our cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend.
To make the cookies, we start by dumping sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla directly into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Although it may seem strange to put all those ingredients in the mixer all at the same time, and it will look like a mess in the beginning, it comes together beautifully, saving you the trouble of creaming the butter and adding the eggs one at a time as more traditional recipes call for. Our original family recipe used a combination of butter and shortening, but shortening leaves a funny aftertaste, so our snickerdoodles are 100 percent butter, and all the more flavorful for the change.
Next, we whisk together the gluten-free flour with some baking powder and salt, then stir it into the butter mixture. The only step left before baking the cookies is to dish the dough out with a cookie portion scoop, then roll each ball of cookie dough in a bowl full of cinnamon and sugar to give the snickerdoodles that characteristic cinnamon-sugar flavor.
We bake them for just 10 minutes at 400°F, then let them cool on a rack. All in all, it takes under an hour from the time you start mixing until the cookies are completely cooled and ready to eat.