December 08

Gingerbread Cookies

I love Christmas. I love all the decorations, music, craft and of course the cooking.

Many years ago I made a non-gluten free gingerbread house, and ever since then I have made them every year. It only made sense that my first gluten free Christmas I had to recreate gluten free versions of gingerbread cookies and a house. This week we are going to focus on the cookies.

I love strong flavours, so the recipe I have created is spicy and very gingery. You might want to add half of the spice quantities and do a little taste test before putting in a little more til you get it to your right taste buds.

This recipe produces lots and lots of cookies, as it’s enough mix to make a gingerbread house. I usually roll the dough until it’s approximately 5mm. This is way we like it. But, this is the thickness you will need for a house. If your not making a house, you can roll the mix our thinner and it will multiple the quantity of cookies you make. You will also need to adjust the baking time down as thinner cookies don’t need as long to bake.

We use all different cookie shapes and sizes so it’s a little difficult to be specific in the amount the recipe makes, however, for us it usually makes around 70-80 cookies (at a dough thickness of 5mm). My girls usually help cut out the cookies so I really don’t have that much of a say in which shapes to use.

If you want to make ‘mini Gingerbread Houses’ then you might like to a pattern I have created if you don’t have a mini house cutter/shaper. Mini Gingerbread House Pattern. If you print it out then cut the shapes with an old cereal box then cover it in foil. You then use the below royal icing recipe to put the mini Gingerbread Houses together. They look so cute, and make great presents.

They taste delicious on their own or you can coat or pipe icing onto them. If your prepared for a mess, it’s fun for kids (and grown ups) to sit around a table with an array of sweets in bowls and let them decorate the cookies. If you do this, we have put the royal icing into zip lock bags for each child (or grown up) and snipped one of the corners. Make sure they wear aprons, as it can still get messy. I put one cookie on a plate for each child otherwise it can get a little too messy.

Gingerbread Cookies

Prep timeCook timeTotal time
53 mins12 mins1 hour 5 mins


The number of cookies this recipe makes depends on the size of the cookie cutters. I use small and medium shapes (between 4cm to 9cm) and it makes approximately 70-80 cookies if the dough is rolled out to approximately 5mm thick. This recipe produces enough mix to make a Gingerbread House, however, the method varies slightly.

Author: Tracey Francis of Essential Olie

Ingredients

  • 5 cups gluten free flour (sifted)*
  • 1 Tablespoon guar gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons ground all spice
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 Tablespoons ground ginger (use 3 Tablespoons if you like a hot ginger taste)
  • Small pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 150g organic molasses (sulphur free)
  • 200g soft butter or nuttelex
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1 cup cold water

Method

  1. Preheat oven at 170°C on fan bake.
  2. Sift by whisking together gluten free flour, guar gum, baking powder, baking soda, all spice, cinnamon and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl (for a mix master or hand beater) cream butter/nuttelex, brown sugar, vanilla powder and molasses til lighter in colour and fluffy (it should become a peanut butter colour).
  4. Slowly drizzle cold water whilst lightly mixing til combined, then beat on high speed til creamy. Make sure you use a splash guard just in case.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients (by the spoonful) til fully combined (just a light mix).
  6. Divide the mixture into 3 batches (just so it’s easier to work with!).
  7. On a floured bench or board (I use some greaseproof paper and sprinkle/spread it with a little flour) knead to incorporate any unmixed sections, then with a rolling pin (floured) roll the mixture into 5-10mm thick pieces. Cut using your desired cookie cutters. Tip: roll the off-cuts into the next batch of mixture and continue til all off-cuts are used.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  9. Cool on a wire rack then decorate.

Notes

* Click here to make and use my flour mixes.
** If your making a gingerbread house then do the sides thicker and the roof thinner then use Gingerbread house cookie cutters to cut into desired pieces. Or, using a drawing on cardboard covered with Al-foil and cling wrap and cut with a knife. If you are making a Gingerbread house – leave the cooked biscuit shapes for at least a day for it to dry out.
Tip: Use a pastry brush to brush off any excess flour before icing or piping.

Once the cookies have cooled completely they are ready to be iced or piped with royal icing. I have tried a couple of different icings over the years, but my favourite is royal icing. I like using royal icing as I love the crunch and the sweetness combined with the spicy flavour of the cookies. You can either have the cookies plain (i.e. just royal icing) or use the royal icing as a glue to stick on chocolates, lollies, sprinkles, etc. Whatever you fancy really. Just remember the royal icing is the glue to make your sweets stick to the cookies. Warning – piping is time consuming, so best to set aside half a day to a full day. If your a good piper then you may not need that long. I’m very basic so it takes me around 3 hours to pipe 70-80 cookies (minus a few that were eaten by my family before being iced). If you don’t have a piping set, then use a zip lock bag with one of the corners cut to produce a small hole. If your making a Gingerbread House with this cookie recipe then you will need to double this royal icing recipe.

Royal Icing

Prep timeTotal time
6 mins6 mins


If your making a Gingerbread House then double this recipe

Author: Tracey Francis of Essential Olie

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups Pure icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white

Method

  1. Sift icing sugar.
  2. Whisk together egg white and lemon juice til white and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add sifted icing sugar until all of the icing sugar is incorporated.
  4. Whisk until mix is light, smooth and glossy.
  5. Put into a piping bag or zip lock bag and pipe away*.

Notes

* If your not putting all of the icing into a piping bag, make sure you cover it as it dries out quickly and goes hard. If this happens add a drop of boiling water and whisk again.

I hope you enjoy these gingerbread cookies. I would love to see pictures, so tag me on Instagram, Facebook or send an email.

Next week I will share with you my pattern for my gingerbread house, and my step by step procedures for making it.

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