These sugar cookies are the chewiest you will find, and they're gluten free to boot! Rather than subbing all-purpose flour with a gluten-free blend, we used instant pudding mix (and rice and coconut flours) to give these cookies their gooey texture. You can even swap out vanilla for your own favorite pudding flavor, such as chocolate or caramel. The dough is equally ideal for making large rolled cookies or cutouts, as instructed below.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy (it will be almost white), about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, add the egg and beat until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the pudding mix, rice flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat until the dough comes together, 1 to 2 minutes.
For rolled cookies: Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Pinch off 12 small pieces of dough and roll each one into a ball. Roll each ball in colored sanding sugar, cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar to coat, if using. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Bake the cookies until the cookies are slightly cracked on top and lightly golden brown on the bottom, 18 to 20 minutes. Let sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
For cutout cookies: Divide the dough in half and form into 2 disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour and up to 12 hours. Place each disk between two pieces of parchment and roll to 1/8-inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut out cookies into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Bake until the cookies are set and lightly golden brown on the bottom, 8 to 9 minutes. Let sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
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