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Low FODMAP Southwest Winter Crackle Cookies

Southwest Winter Crackle Cookies Horizontal


Also known as Crinkle Cookies for their unique look. This version has a rich red-brown crackle mimicking the sunbaked earth of the southwest, coated with a wintery confectioners’ sugar snow. They are a cold weather and holiday treat.

Pure red chile powder adds an earthiness that balances out the brown sugar dough beautifully. The crackle effect is achieved with a firm dough rolled into walnut-sized balls and coated with both granulated and confectioners’ sugar before baking.

Something else to love about them is that they taste better the next day, as the chile flavor intensifies. This makes them a perfect make-ahead treat.

The dough requires chilling in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, so plan accordingly.

Makes 26 cookies; 2 per serving



3 cups (445 g) low FODMAP gluten-free all purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour (in the blue package)

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (10 g) pure mild red chile powder such as New Mexican, containing no onion, garlic or other high FODMAP ingredients

1 teaspoon baking powder; use gluten free if you are following a gluten-free diet

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


1 1/2 cup (240 g) packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (essence)

6 drops red food coloring

1/2 cup (4-ounces / 113 g) butter alternative, such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, melted and at room temperature


1/3 cup (65 g) granulated sugar, in a small bowl

1/3 cup (45 g) confectioners’ sugar, in a separate small bowl



Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until fully incorporated.

Southwest Winter Crackle Cookies The Dry Ingredients

Use a hand mixer on high speed to beat the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl for 4 minutes until slightly frothy. Add the food coloring to the melted butter. Stir to mix. Pour into the bowl and mix on low for 1 minute (to avoid splatters) until fully blended.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 batches, using a wooden spatula as this is a very firm dough that has been known to snap the top off of silicone spatulas (speaking from experience here). Stir and fold the dough until it comes together into a ball and has a firm consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325  F / 165 C

Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pull 2 tablespoons (35 g) of dough and roll it into a ball. You want it to be the size of a walnut. Roll it in the granulated sugar to completely coat. Roll it in the confectioners’ sugar for a second coating.

Southwest Winter Crackle Cookies Roll in Granulated Sugar
Southwest Winter Crackle Cookies Confectioners' Sugar

Place on the baking sheet and repeat for remaining dough balls, spacing them 2-inches (5 cm) apart. You will most likely need to bake them in 2 batches. While the first batch bakes, keep the bowl of cookie dough in the fridge to chill, covered.

Southwest Winter Crackle Cookies Before Baking

Bake for 6 minutes. They will just begin to crackle. Rotate the pan. Bake for 6 minutes longer. They will be nicely crackled with random patterns, just like the snow-covered southwest red earth. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before using a spatula to transfer them to a baking rack or platter. Repeat for the remaining cookies. You will not need to replace the parchment between bakes. Just shake off any sugar and line it right back onto the baking sheet.

Southwest Winter Crackle Cookies Vertical

When stored in an airtight container, they will keep at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

For freezing; wrap each cookie with a small piece of plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. They will keep up to 2 months. Leave them out on a platter to thaw to room temperature.


Tablespoons are US Standard / Imperial 3 teaspoons per.

Parchment paper can sometimes roll up at the ends, making it difficult to line the baking sheet. I find that it stays in place when I press the parchment into a ball and then flatten it out onto the pan. Crinkled like the cookies!

Click here to download the recipe as a black and white PDF.

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