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Totally Together

Homemade Gluten Free “Trefoils” Girl Scout Cookies

March 12, 2009 by  

More Girl Scout cookies! yay!

I hadn’t had the traditional Trefoil cookies before this year. I bought one box of every kind of cookies so I could try to recreate them gluten-free. These don’t taste exactly the same if you are doing a side-by-side comparison, but they taste pretty darn close. And if you’re gluten-free you can’t really do a side-by-side comparison, anyway, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. :-)

These cookies are gluten, nut, and egg free. I’d assume you could make them dairy free by using rice or soy milk. The butter is tricky—the secret to yummy shortbread is the obscene amount of butter. I haven’t experimented with dairy butter alternatives, but if you do and find something that has worked in the past, I’d love to know!


The Ingredients.

“Trefoils”—simple shortbread cookies

yields 60 cookies

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 (15-ounce) package Gluten Free Pantry Cake & Cookie Mix

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup milk (can use soy)

The Directions.

img_3367_edit-small Combine butter, cookie mix, vanilla, and milk in a large mixing bowl. Stir well with a fork until dough forms. Roll dough out 1/4-inch thick between two pieces of parchment paper. Use a very small cookie-cutter (or an empty film canister)* to press out circles. Place circles on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Use the blunt end of a wooden skewer to poke some holes in each cookie. Bake for 8-14 minutes in a 350° oven. Let sit for a few minutes before removing from sheet.

* the small cookie cutter or film canister is important if you want small “trefoil” style cookies. The cookies spread quite a bit due to the high butter content. I would imagine the lid from a traditional water bottle would work, too.

The Verdict.

I took these to our girl scout meeting last week and shared. The 8 girls all ate and enjoyed these, minus one who called them “boring” (she doesn’t have allergies, and I shouldn’t really say anything else ;-)).

I tried freezing the dough and baking a second batch with the dough. It didn’t go well, because of the high amount of butter. The cookies all ran together into a big glob. I was able to salvage the globbyness by cutting the cookies into squares, but they really didn’t look very good, so I wouldn’t recommend freezing the dough. As a contrast, the Thin Mint dough froze extraordinarily well.

related: Homemade Gluten-Free “Thin Mint” Girl Scout Cookies

Post a comment · 8 Comments »


8 Responses to “Homemade Gluten Free “Trefoils” Girl Scout Cookies”

  1. Kate Hesser on March 13th, 2009 6:51 am
  2. Laurie on March 13th, 2009 11:50 am

    I have been using coconut oil a lot for health benefits and using it in place of butter in baking. I’ve been very pleased with the results. Flaky biscuits and pie crust.
    I haven’t tried this recipe, but it might be worth it for dairy free. I use Nutiva
    Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Organic). Yummy!

  3. Alison from on March 14th, 2009 12:15 am

    I use Spectrum Palm Shortening in place of butter and it usually works well, especially in cookies. You just might have to use a little more shortening than the butter called for, or add a little more liquid. And I’m not sure I would melt shortening all the way, but definitely soften it in the microwave.

  4. Katy on November 10th, 2009 3:26 pm

    I have used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks in place of butter and it works quite well. I was shocked at how good they taste. I’m a butter girl myself, but I will actually seek these out when butter isn’t on sale.

  5. Barbara on March 1st, 2013 2:26 pm

    I was glad to find this ‘shortcut’ recipe that only uses 1/2 c butter. I don’t use any versions of palm or coconut oil or shortening. This is simple and has a good proportion of fat to starch. I’m going to try it. Btw, the forests of Indonesia and other countries are being destroyed for the production of palm oil. This includes the habitat for the Orangatang.

  6. Stephanie on March 13th, 2009 7:16 am

    Hi Kate,
    that’s a cool cookie cutter. How big is it? I was really surprised at how much the cookies spread. When I used a pretty small circle (the lid to a spice container), I ended up with a cookie blob. The kids would have a lot of fun with a cutter like that, though.
    xoxo steph

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