Whether it’s because you love building houses that have the capabilities of trapping Hansel and Gretel, or you simply crave holiday-spiced chewy sweet things in your mouth, you and/or your gluten-free loved ones are probably sad that the gingerbread man doesn’t come knocking on your December door. In standard form.
But who likes standard form, anyways?
I surely don’t. Especially when the wheat protein from said form sends my body filled with cheer into a body filled with fast-moving-molecules-of-air bloat. No. Me. Gusta.
<–Neither does my brother. After going to Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum of Medical Abnormalities, he came back with this gift for me. Anything but “cookie cutter”, my gingerbread men this year are all siamese twins. Twice as nice.
After a severe hankering for a Gingerbread Man Cookie (blame it on the gift or the weather turning cold, finally… I don’t know), I worked long and hard sampling ample amounts of dough and cookies in my Brooklyn apartment to come up with the perfect dough recipe for Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies.
It wasn’t hard! Molasses is the thing that makes these flavorful delights gooey and dark, and it is naturally gluten-free and void of refined sugars. Oat flour was a fabulous substitute for wheat flour, as it added some sweetness and oaty-nutty qualities that plain old wheat does not offer. What’s more, ginger helps with digestion, so not only are you avoiding your allergens with these cookies, but helping out your system, as well!
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 cups gluten-free Oat Flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. xantham gum
8 tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature*
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg white
2 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla (optional)
Preparation time: 2 hours 15 minutes (including chilling time)
Cook time: 12-14 minutes
Yields many cookies. (Depends on how you cut them!)
- In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, spices, sea salt, and xantham gum. Set aside.
- In a separate, large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer (or very vigorously by hand with a whisk) for about 3 minutes. Add eggs and molasses. Mix for another minute, or until completely combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Split the dough into two balls, and cover with plastic wrap (or aluminum foil in a pinch). Store in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or up to two days.
- When you are ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using either a floured surface (GF flour, of course) and a floured rolling pin, or two pieces of plastic wrap and a wine bottle/rolling pin, roll the dough into sheets that are NO LESS THAN 1/4 INCH THICK. The thickness of the dough really give the cookie a perfect balance between crunch and softness. Too thin will taste more like a ginger-snap (and if you’re going for that, be my guest.) Stamp with your favorite holiday cookie cutter, and place on ungreased baking sheet with no overlap.
- Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned and center is cooked. Over-cooking them will not kill the flavor, but they are sure more tasty when slightly chewier in the center.
- Remove cookies from oven, and let cool on a wire rack. While cooling the cookies, prepare the icing! Simply whisk the egg white with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until peaks form but it is not completely stiff. Then, gradually add in sugar (and optional vanilla). For “runnier” icing, add less sugar. For thicker icing, add more!
- To apply icing to cookies, cut a small hole in the corner of a zip-lock bag. Put icing in bag, and pump it out like toothpaste. For thicker strokes, cut a bigger hole, and vice versa.
- Dip in coffee or hot chocolate for a real treat, and enjoy your holiday sweets!
**For egg allergy, use 1 tbs. ground flax seed soaked in 2 tbs. cold water, instead.