Snickerdoodle Squares

I am a chocolate chip kind of girl, through and through, but every once in a while something buttery calls my name. After my second child was born, during those blurry first weeks, a sweet friend brought us dinner and included the most incredible snickerdoodles I have ever encountered. Rich, luscious, and definitely buttery, but somehow still light and tender.
I dream about those cookies when my no-longer-baby children are driving me nuts and I want to drift back to a time when they just needed a bottle and a nap. Given that those things don’t solve their problems anymore, I decided I should  have a really strong cookie in my repertoire to subdue them. My friend’s cookies were decidedly not gluten free, so I couldn’t use those, but I had another plan. Enter Smitten Kitchen.
Have you visited Smitten Kitchen? It’s a really fabulous food blog by a woman named Deb Perelman. I was given her cookbook as a gift and have found it to be simply excellent. That’s where this recipe originated. I took her recipe for Gooey Cinnamon Squares and converted it to the gluten-free-ness that I needed. These little babies took first prize at a recent potluck and I am happy to report that they do indeed subdue my children when necessary! Hurrah!
Snickerdoodle Bars
Cookie Base
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
Gooey Layer
1/4 cup light corn syrup or honey
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons white rice flour
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon almond flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
Cinnamon Topping
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 inch pan.
For cookie base: Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and milk. Beat well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add dry ingredients. Beat well, scraping down the sides as needed. Batter will be pale yellow and smooth. Spread evenly in the bottom of your prepared pan.
For gooey layer: Whisk corn syrup (or honey, if using), milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cream butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add egg. Scrape down sides and beat again.  Combine flours and xanthan gum in separate bowl. Add 1/2 of flour mixture to butter and sugar. Beat well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add 1/2 of milk mixture. Beat well. Add remaining flour mixture and beat well, scraping down the sides. Add remaining milk mixture and beat well, again scraping down the sides as needed.
Dollop batter over the cookie base and spread evenly.
For topping: Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small dish. Sprinkle ALL of the mixture evenly over the top of the batter in the pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes. Center will be slightly gooey when you remove it from the oven. Cool. Cut into 1-inch squares to serve.
PS: They don’t keep very well so eat them up in the first couple of days, though honestly, I don’t think that will be too much of an issue!