Allergy Friendly Roll Out or Sliced Sugar Cookies
I been waiting MONTHS to do this post! I’m so excited to finally share because I truly believe this recipe is the answer to so many families who want a great roll out cookie recipe, and one that can be tailored to any safe needs. Now that it’s the holidays, let the cookie decorating BEGIN!!! 🍪🎉
This cookie recipe is one I have been using for 20+ years at work and when teaching. It is actually an icebox cookie, which is a cookie that is refrigerated and cut, think slice-and-bake from a tube. I tweaked this a bit so it can be rolled out and decorated or shaped in a log and sliced and baked. The cookies aren’t too sweet as they are waiting for icing, sprinkles and other treats but they are perfect alone. I make them all year long with the tops dipped in raw turbinado sugar. My mom lives with us and she always makes sure I have these and oatmeal cookies in the cookie jar just for her!
I’m adding in an egg white free royal icing, but you can use your favorite royal icing if egg is not an issue for you, or even safe tub or buttercream icing. When I make them slice and bake, I will marble a portion of the dough with cocoa or tint with color for the appropriate holiday. Icebox cookies are a freezer marvel-just pull out and slice and bake as many as you need at a time! There is really no way not to have fun decorating these cookies and they are actually quite sturdy and forgiving.
So, let’s jump right into it and start going over ingredients and substitutions. Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday everyone and be safe, well, happy, and thankful! -Katie, Casey and the Wolf Pack 💙👩🏻🍳
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**
Ingredients and Substitutions
Butter/Regular Butter/Shortening – One of the beauties of this recipe is that I tested with all (Casey can have BAKED dairy) individually and as combos and it all works. You will have slightly different effects for each. For the easiest dough to work with, a combination of butter, safe or vegan, with safe shortening, is the way to go. I use Spectrum palm shortening. All butter or vegan butter lends the best taste, but it is a bit more temperamental because it is more unstable to warmth. Remember, your refrigerator is your best friend! Just keep chilling the dough and you’ll be fine!
Flour – As always, I use gluten free flour, specifically King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure blend. If your gluten free blend does not have xanthan gum added, then add ¼ tsp. per cup of flour. Remember all blends are different with different weights and densities so if possible, use a scale to measure 140 grams per 1 cup of flour and the same goes when using plain all-purpose flour for this recipe. Don’t scoop flour from the bag no matter which type of flour you use if you are using a measuring cup! Spoon flour into the cup to the top, shake, and level off with a knife. I used this recipe forever using regular all-purpose wheat flour and was pleased to see how easily I was able to swap it out for gluten free.
Egg/Egg Replacer – Luckily the amount of egg in the dough recipe is very minimal and applesauce is an easy substitute. I don’t recommend a chia egg, flax egg or even Ener-g here, the egg is used for texture and fat in the dough and those will not provide that. If eggs aren’t an issue, then you’re all set.
Sugar – A combination of granulated and confectioner’s (powdered) sugar are used in the dough and it really is necessary to use both. Granulated helps with keeping the cookie crisp and confectioner’s sugar helps to absorb extra moisture and keep it tender. Coconut palm sugar can be used as well.
Decorations – There are so many options, just remember not all candies or decorations hold up in the oven if you bake them. I trust Betty Crocker and Cake Mate brand sprinkles/colored sugar as well as Let’s Do Organic sprinkles. I love to use crushed candy canes and safe hard candies as well. Please do your own research however!
Icing – The choice about icing is up to your safe needs. If eggs are not an issue, then by all means use a royal icing with egg white powder for stability. I’m adding an egg free royal icing recipe in this post. It sets up fairly hard (as hard as it can without the egg whites) and tastes EXACTLY the same! If you prefer, homemade buttercream or tub frosting works too!
Allergy Friendly Roll Out or Sliced Sugar Cookies
Author: Katie Martino Lopez
Prep Time: with dough prep and decorating, about 1 hour
Chill Time: 30 minutes-2 hours
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: about 2-3 hours
Yield: Sliced- about 4 dozen; Cutouts- about 2-3 dozen depending on size
- 8 oz. (2 sticks) regular/safe butter or a combination of 4 oz. each safe butter and shortening, slightly softened
- ½ c. (4 oz.) granulated sugar
- 1 c. (4 oz.) confectioner’s sugar, sifted if there are hard lumps
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 egg or ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups (12 oz./375 g.) gluten free flour blend or all-purpose flour (weight in grams will give the most accurate measurement)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
Egg Free Royal Icing
- 4 c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 Tbls. cornstarch, sifted with the confectioner’s sugar (can use arrowroot or tapioca starch instead)
- ¼ c. + 2 Tbls. cold water (to start)
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer on medium high speed, cream the safe butter with the granulated and confectioner’s sugar and salt. Use the paddle attachment and scrape down often. Don’t let the butter get too soft!
- Add either the egg or applesauce and vanilla to the butter mixture. Scrape down again.
- On low speed add the flour mixture. Stop and scrape down at least once, making sure it’s all incorporated from the bottom and sides.
- If you are tinting the dough with color, take out of the mixture and separate into as many bowls as you need for as many colors as you want. For example, to tint the dough green or red as I did in the picture, I split the dough into two, leaving one plain and adding color to the other half. If you’d like to have a marble effect, LIGHTLY knead the doughs together to see the color swirl.
- Shape the dough at this point to how you want to bake it. If you are doing a slice and bake log, drop dough into a long cylinder lengthwise on a piece of parchment paper. Use the paper to help manipulate the dough into a tight log by holding the paper folded over the log tightly while pulling the bottom part of the paper. Refrigerate until firm enough to slice or freeze for future use. Wrap tightly in plastic if freezing and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If you’re doing roll out cookies split the dough into two pieces and shape into a flattened rectangle on parchment paper. If you start in that shape and flattened it will be MUCH easier to roll out and you will not make the dough too soft while doing so. Refrigerate until firm enough to slice or freeze for future use. Wrap tightly in plastic if freezing and thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- When ready to slice/roll out cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees (if you’re not rolling out you can bake at 375 and get a softer cookie). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and have any decorations ready (ex. Sprinkles, colored sugar) ready to go.
- For slice and bake – If the dough is rock hard, let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. If you choose to have colored sugar or sprinkles on the edges as I have in the picture, dump them on a sheet pan, lightly brush the dough log with water and roll in decorations. Place the log on a cutting board and slice into ¼” rounds, turning the log after each cut to keep the shape round. Leave a bit of space on the pan as the will spread slightly. Bake until lightly browned on the edges and underneath, about 12-15 minutes depending on the size. Cool completely as the structure sets as it cools (especially if vegan and gluten free).
- For roll out cookies – If the dough is rock hard, let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Lightly dust the surface you’re rolling on with flour or between two pieces of parchment, roll out cookie dough to ¼” thickness. Cut out shapes and transfer to baking sheets. If the dough gets soft at any point, let it sit in refrigerator at least 15 minutes before moving forward. Dough scraps can be chilled and re-rolled. If the shapes tear you can brush lightly with water to patch. If adding sprinkles, candies or colored sugar, lightly brush cookies with water and sprinkle on. Leave a bit of space on the pan as the will spread slightly. Bake until lightly browned on the edges and underneath, about 12-15 minutes depending on the size. Cool completely as the structure sets as it cools (especially if vegan and gluten free) before decorating.
- Prepare the royal icing – Either with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, start on low speed to blend the confectioner’s sugar and water. Increase speed to high and whip until thick and stiff. If it’s too hard and pebbly, DRIZZLE cold water in until the consistency is correct for your needs. Thick icing is better for stiff lines, outlies and defined art, runnier is better for filling in. Color icing as needed and set aside. NOTE-keep a damp paper towel on the icing surface when not in use or it will start to set and crust over.
- Decorate the cookies with royal icing or safe buttercream/ tub frosting. Get your piping ready and have fun! Please know that tub frosting or butter will not set up like royal icing will. Add sprinkles, crushed candies, colored sugar, etc. Let the cookies set until icing hardens. The egg free royal icing will not set up as hard and brittle as its counterpart, but it will set. It will take longer on humid/moist days so let them set in open air, not in a container. When set, store iced cookies in single layers and other cookies lightly stacked. These keep great, over a week for sure if cool and dry.
- This cookie dough freezes amazing, I prep the dough at few weeks before I start my holiday baking two days before Christmas. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Have a game plan in mind before you start working on the cookies. They are a slave to temperature and having everything prepared ahead of time (as us chefs say, our mise en place) will make it a much better experience.
- The key is to keep the dough cold and it will be easy to with and have a great texture when baked. Store in a cool, dry area in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…
Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.
And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!