You will want to read this, all of it, if you plan on making these Sugar Cookie Puzzles! There are many incredible aspects to it, so let’s name them off, shall we? 1). This is a cookie. That’s right, this is a gluten, egg, and dairy free sugar cookie; 2). This sugar cookie actually creates a puzzle. Say whaaaaa?; 3). This is made with aquafaba, which is the brine you get from a can of chickpeas (we’ll get to this at the end of the post); and 4). This makes the perfect gift for your favorite person. In desperate need for this Mother’s Day and haven’t bought mom a gift and/or card? Make her Sugar Cookie Puzzles that tell her how much you love her. Phew, this is the recipe that keeps on giving.
A few recipe notes so please read before you begin to make:
Tip 1: Do not collect $100, do not pass go, and by heavens, do not bypass the chilling process. This is crucial and will help keep your sanity throughout the making of these Sugar Cookie Puzzles. Remember, when in doubt, chill, chill, chill!
Tip 2: Make sure that your puzzles aren’t filled with too many shapes, are cut too close together, and that the shapes aren’t too close to the edge. This will prevent your cookie from cracking and/or breaking. Keep it simple. Oh and don’t worry about the shapes spreading while baking. As you can see below, you are going to immediately re-shape them once they are out of the oven. Move as quickly as possible too, you don’t want the cookie to firm up, you want it warm and pliable.
Tip 3: For the decorations, use your creativity and have fun with it. I made my own icing and sugar crystals because I didn’t have anything on hand. You can always buy this stuff at the store. Need all natural food coloring recommendations? I like the India Tree brand or I even buy a great selection from the online store Premium Chocolatiers.
Here is my technique for Colored Icing:
- 1/4 c. non hydrogenated shortening
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp. nondairy milk
- 1 drop all natural food coloring of choice
- Mix together until fluffy and easy-to-spread.
- Add food coloring as you need.
Here is my technique for Colored Sugar Crystals:
- 2 Tbsp. coarse granulated sugar
- 1 drop all natural food coloring
- Mix together with a wet fork. The water will help evenly color the sugar.
You don’t have to stop here either. Feel free to use dairy free chocolate chips, sprinkles, fun candies, or even a Butterfly Pretzels for more decoration options!
Ditch the gift and card for Mother’s Day and go for these Sugar Cookie Puzzles. SO CUTE!
- ¼ c. non-hydrogenated shortening
- 2 Tbsp. nondairy butter
- ¼ c.+ 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. aquafaba (brine from a can of chickpeas)
- zest of ½ lemon
- 1¼ c. Cara's GF Flour Blend
- ½ tsp. xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (should get from ½ lemon)
- Recipe for Colored Icing (see post)
- Recipe for Sugar Crystals (see post)
- In a large bowl, cream the shortening and buttah together with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the sugars and beat in until fluffy. Add the aquafaba and zest until just combined.
- Whisk together the flour, gum, baking soda and powder, and salt in a small bowl. Pour in half of the dry ingredients and mix with the electric mixer over low until mixed in. Mix in the other half of the flour. Your dough should be crumbly at this point. Breath. It's supposed to look like this. Add the lemon juice and it should create a more cohesive dough: Not sticky, not dry. If it's too sticky add a tablespoon of flour. Your dough should be smooth.
- Divide the dough into 3 balls. Knead with your hands until smooth, cover, and chill for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove 1 dough ball and keep the others chilled. Your dough will be crumbly upon coming out of the fridge if you try to roll it out but don't fret, warm up by passing it between both hands until easy to roll out.
- On a piece of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour, roll out the dough to a 7" x 4.5" rectangle at ¼" thickness. Cut the edges to straighten out. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 5-8 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and create your shapes with cookie cutters. Please read the post for tips on making your designs. Your dough should remove with the cookie cutters easily (this is why you need to chill it). Place the cut out shapes on a separate piece of parchment paper.
- Bake your cookie puzzle for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Once you remove it from the oven, immediately re-cut the shapes out so the other shapes will fit perfectly inside. See the photos above in the post. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then place in the freezer to set.
- Bake your shapes for 5 minutes. Keep your eye on them, you do not want them to burn or even brown because it will make re-shaping them more difficult. Remove from oven and re-cut them with your cookie cutters. Allow to cool and then freeze for a few minutes.
- Using colored icing, decorate your cookie and then immediately coat with sugar crystals (if using).
And last but not least, let’s talk aquafaba. I’m not going to go too far into the description of it because there is plenty of info out there. Google it. Seriously, it’s an amazing egg substitute and all from the brine of a can of chickpeas (or even white beans). You can even make an egg free meringue from it! But it’s the reason this cookie dough is fabulous. If you don’t want to use it, you can use 3/4 tsp. powdered Ener-G egg replacer + 1 Tbsp. water (as seen in this cookie recipe) or you can read this Egg Sub Guide to help you figure out what else you could use. Please do note that this recipe was created with aquafaba so I cannot guarantee the same results with other egg subs.
But above else, go crazy, have fun, and get all sorts of creative with these Sugar Cookie Puzzles!