Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles and Pink Peppercorn Cookies

Another Northwest native summed up my Southern food issues the other day:

“Seattle food adventurer journeys to the land of processed food and obesity and bakes gluten-free [cookies] for frightened locals. Can she survive?

It really does feel that way sometimes. 

I’ve learned that generally, people in the South don’t like spices.  Or ethnic food.  Or desserts with sea salt or bacon or matcha.  Or vegan things.  Or vegetables that haven’t been stewed half to death with a smelly pork bone.  Honey, don’t you dare say the words gluten-free. 

I’ve learned to slowly slip my plate of cookies onto the potluck table at a party or into the staff lounge at work, sans labels touting “Vegan!”  “No nuts!”  “Whole grain!”  That’s a guarantee that no one will eat them. 

But un-labeled?  I’m suddenly this diabolical baking genius. 

People are weird.

We’re going to a superbowl party tonight.  Naturally, everyone’s bringing a snack.  The concept of bland, unoffensive, and boring foods is confusing, so I was at a bit of a loss as to what to contribute.  I stood in the kitchen for a few long minutes, staring into cupboards and peering into the depths of the fridge, racking my brain. 

Ultimately, a compromise arose.  I made a batch of soft gluten free snickerdoodles and dipped half in the customary cinnamon-sugar, and half into crushed pink peppercorns.  (Have you discovered these fruity, mild, gorgeous little gems yet?  They are delicious!) 

I’m bringing both kinds of cookies, no apologies.  If no one eats pink peppercorn-topped ones, we’ll just have to bring them home.  Oh, shucks. 

{Gluten-Free} Soft Snickerdoodles & Pink Peppercorn Cookies
Yields 25
I’ve made these with both xanthan gum and a mix of xanthan gum & guar gum. The former tended to fall apart, but this batch with guar gum was the best yet. I’m still learning about the properties of guar v. xanthan gum, so if you make these with just guar gum, let me know how they turn out!
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
  1. Cookies:
  2. 1/2 c. butter or vegetable shortening
  3. 2/3 c. sugar
  4. 2 oz. sour cream
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp. salt
  10. 1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  11. 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  12. 1/2 tsp. guar gum
  13. 11 oz. gluten-free flour mix (I used about equal parts brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and millet flour)
  14. Topping:
  15. 2 Tbsp. sugar
  16. 1/2-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  17. -or-
  18. 2 tsp. ground pink peppercorns
  1. Cream fat and sugar using an electric mixer for 2 minutes, or until light. Add in the egg, vanilla, and sour cream in two additions. Add in flour mixture, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar. Beat until a very soft dough forms.
  2. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour, or until firm enough to roll into balls. Mix together cinnamon and sugar and pour into a small dish, if using. Roll dough into 1 1/2″ balls, and coat each in the cinnamon-sugar mixture or dip the top into the ground peppercorns. Place on a lined baking sheet and flatten gently with your palm.
  3. Bake about 12 minutes, and allow to cool about 5 minutes on pan before removing with a spatula to a wire rack. They will be rather delicate, so be careful.
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