Twinkle Star Cookies, Gluten Free

Sparkle Star Sugar Cookies, Gluten Free. Don't forget to share!

One of the best things about holiday time is the opportunity to make cut-out cookies by the truckload and top them with sparkly sugar. It isn’t even necessary to make these into cut-out shapes. You can roll them into little rounds and flatten them, top with colored sugar and they still look holiday festive. 

Used to be I’d swear that we’d just have a nice healthy ginger cookie come holiday time, but there hasn’t been a year yet where sparkly cut-outs didn’t show up eventually. That the recipe makes 40 gazillion helps. No one wants to keep making the same recipe three hundred times. Once is plenty.

Divide the dough. Freeze some, bake some. When you need more festive eats, just thaw the dough in the refrigerator and make more. Remember – the dough is very soft when it is first mixed together. It’s supposed to be that way so don’t panic. Just use the big chill to get the dough to behave. It will.

They also keep really well. Store the cookies in a tin for best cookie-keeping. If need be, you can refresh them in a low oven for a few minutes, let them cool and they’re good as new.

These make great gifts from your kitchen if you’re willing to share. And word has it that Santa loves sparkly star cookies.

Sparkle Star Sugar Cookies, Gluten Free. Sparkly festive.

Twinkle Star Cookies, Gluten Free
These little cut-out cookies are an adapted recipe from JB Chang's book, Flour - one of my favorite baking books. I've made them often and they are a winner. Remember to not panic because the initial dough is very squishy - it will behave after it is chilled. And there is an alternative method to cut-outs if you don't have the time, patience, or desire to make 4 gazillion little shaped cookies. And they're still festively holiday perfect, no matter which way you bake them.
  • 230 grams unsalted butter, chilled room temperature (2 sticks or 16 tablespoons)
  • 300 grams granulated sugar (1½ cups)
  • 2 extra-large eggs plus 1 extra-large yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon pure orange extract or almond extract
  • 425 grams GF AP flour (213 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 106 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch) (3¼ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (generous)
  • 2-3 tablespoons green and red colored sugar (or color of choice)
  1. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Line 3 or 4 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a mixer, beat butter with sugar just until incorporated and slightly fluffy. Beat eggs and yolk with a fork in a small container and add to butter/sugar mixture. Add vanilla and orange or almond flavoring. Mix until fully incorporated. In a smaller bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mixture and combine until fully blended. Use a silicone spatula to fold the dough from the bottom to make sure all the dry stuff is mixed in. The dough will be very soft - so don't panic. Flatten dough into two disks. Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate overnight. If you can't wait that long, you'll need to chill it for at least three hours, but overnight is best.
  3. Roll one disk at a time and leave the other one in the big chill. Place dough on parchment. Cover with clean plastic wrap. Using a heavy-duty rolling-pin, hit the dough a few times. Then take the rolling-pin and press the dough - don't roll it out yet. The dough will begin to feel pliable, but still quite chilled. Then you can roll. These cut-outs are kind of thick so keep the dough about ⅛ inch thick. If the dough seems warm and floppy, cover the parchment with plastic wrap, slide it onto the baking sheet and freeze or refrigerate for about 5 minutes. Working with chilled dough is easy. But floppy, warm dough is a pain in the tush. The freezer and refrigerator are your friends when it comes to cookie dough.
  4. Cut out the dough directly on the parchment and peel away the excess (chilled!). Sprinkle colored sugar on the cut-outs as generously as you wish. Chill the cut-outs before baking for best results. Bake directly from the refrigerator or freezer.
  5. Bake about 8 minutes and rotate pans. Bake about 3-6 minutes more depending on the size of your cut-outs. Remove from the oven when they start to get a little color on the edges.
  6. Alternatively - using teaspoon size pieces of dough, roll them into little balls and place on the parchment. Once the sheet pan is filled (about 15 to a pan) cover with plastic wrap and using a flat-bottomed glass, press the dough balls flat. Remove plastic wrap. Cover with colored sugar, chill cut-outs for about 10 minutes and then bake. This method is one I use a lot of the time when I'm tired of cutting out cute little shapes. Or when I run out of patience. Or when I'm doing the bah-humbug thing. But be sure to chill these flattened cookies before baking! Bake as directed above.

Sparkle Star Sugar Cookies, Gluten Free. This might be Santa's plate.


  1. I would like to try these, do you think margarine would sub well for the butter for dairy allergic kids or should I try another fat?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Heather – margarine will probably not work well. It tends to make cookies spread so they might look more like a pancake. I have not tried this recipe using shortening, but you could try. I can’t guarantee it’ll work but here are some hints that will help. Shortening weighs less than butter so maybe cutting it back to a scant 1 cup or about 192 grams of shortening (like Spectrum vegetable solid) might work. Chilling the dough would be really important and chilling before baking so it holds the shape of the cut-out. Let me know if you try it and how they turned out.

  2. I think these GF sugar cookies are superior to even the gluten filled ones I formally consumed. These turned out dreamy, they were pillowy and u could make out the intricate shape. I fed my son one “frosted” with peanut butter & banana for breakfast this morning. YUM! I think I just won Mom of the year. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Do you need to make your own AP flour or is there a mix that is already out there? If there is a mix what would you recommend?