Gingerbread cookies are a tradition in my house. Every year I bake gingerbread cookies in an array of shapes from big gingerbread men with little cut-out hearts to all sizes of stars for my Gingerbread Cookie Christmas Tree. I love making tiny shapes to use up the small bits of dough; little houses, candy canes, Christmas trees and tiny gingerbread people.
Giving away my homemade gingerbread is part of the tradition. I have lots of cellophane bags and pretty ribbon for gift giving so I can bake with abandon. Julia Child would have liked that.
Tips For Making Gluten Free Cookies
In the past year I’ve learned a lot about baking gluten free cookies and have shared all that in this post, Tips For Making Gluten Free Cookies. Writing my year-long blog series on How To Use different gluten free flours inspired me to try new recipes and experiment as I learned.
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Cookie baking is an activity to be enjoyed, not endured. It is an afternoon or evening project in the kitchen being creative. Basking in the aroma of gingerbread with Christmas music playing in the background is a sure sign of the holiday season in my kitchen.
Making rolled cookies involves counters dusted with flour (sweet rice flour or tapioca starch) a lengthy process of moving cookie dough in and out of the fridge then in and out of the oven. Rolling the dough, cutting it into shapes and cookie cutters strewn all over the counter. This is the joy of baking and I love it.
For tips and techniques for rolled cookie check out this post for Sugar Cookies.
A Gluten Free Cookie Flour Mix
I set out to perfect a gluten free gingerbread cookie recipe because I wasn’t completely satisfied with the recipes I had tried in the past. I finally tweaked my old favourite recipe with the right amount of molasses and spices to make it gluten free. It’s a large recipe calling for 4 1/2 cups of flour so you’ll be able to eat lots of cookies and still give some away.
My advice for adapting a wheat flour recipe is to record what you do, make notes and learn.I’ve had great success with this mix but it hasn’t worked in every recipe. That’s the joy of gluten free baking!
Recipe x 4
- 2⅔ cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 6 Tbsp potato starch, sifted
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp tapioca starch
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
Makes ~5 cups, enough for this recipe.
Organize for Success – Saving Recipes
Do you have a file of favourite Christmas recipes? I think it’s a good idea for anyone but especially for gluten free cooks. Create a simple system to save your personal and family favourite holiday recipes. Add the new gluten free recipes that you love and toss the ones that don’t work. As your collection grows the hard part will be deciding which ones you want to bake. This recipe for gingerbread cookies is now in my collection of holiday favourites.
Gingerbread Cookie Christmas Tree
This gingerbread cookie Christmas tree is made with sixteen star shaped cookies made from a set of four star shaped cookie cutters. Craft store dowling stuck into a wooden base holds the cookies to create the look of a tree. Tiny star cookies finish the look. This set of six stars would give you lots of options. Wrapped in clear cellophane with a festive ribbon this makes a beautiful gift for anyone.
And when you’ve had enough fun rolling out cookies here’s what I do with the last of the cookie dough. Roll the dough into a uniform shape and use cookie cutters to make cut outs as you like. Use your imagination!
Get The Tools
Many of my pans are ten and twenty years old. It takes time to collect good quality pans but is worth the effort in the long run. Many items do double duty in the kitchen so pay attention to the pans and sizes that you like and work well for you. Work toward something like this to cover all your baking.
- two cookie sheets (no edges)
- two jellyroll pans, also know as baking sheets, with ¼-inch sides all around (used more for cooking but helpful for a cookie baking spree)
- two 8-inch square baking pans for brownies and cakes
- two 8-inch round baking pans if you like round cakes
- muffin tins ; 6 or 12 cups per tin
- mini muffin tins; 12 or 24 cups per tin
- metal scoops in various sizes for muffins, cookies, meatballs and more
Let me know in the comments below if this gingerbread recipe worked for you.
More Holiday Baking
|4½ cups GF cookie flour mix* (612 g)|
|1 Tbsp cocoa|
|1 Tbsp ground ginger|
|2 tsp cloves|
|2 tsp cinnamon|
|¾ tsp baking soda|
|¼ tsp salt|
|¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature|
|1 cup sugar|
|½ cup molasses|
|2 Tbsp cream|
|DUSTING FLOUR - sweet rice flour or tapioca starch for dusting|
|*GF COOKIE FLOUR MIX (makes ~5 cups) - Combine 2⅔ cups brown rice flour, 1 cup almond flour, ¾ cup potato starch sifted, ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp tapioca starch and 1 tsp xanthan gum. Mix all ingredients with a whisk. Measure or weigh according to the recipe.|
- Whisk dry ingredients together, set aside.
- In an electric stand mixer cream butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Turn down speed and add egg. Beat until mixed.
- With machine running pour in molasses and cream, mix to combine.
- Reduce speed, slowly add dry ingredients beating until dough is formed.
- Divide the dough directly onto 3-6 pieces of wax paper. Flatten into disks, lightly dusting both sides with flour if needed. Fold paper to cover, refrigerate 2 hours.**
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Working with one piece at a time, lightly dust dough with flour rolling to ¼ or 3/8-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters returning dough to fridge at any point during rolling and cutting if it is too soft. Cookies should hold their shape when being transferred to baking sheet.
- Bake cookies on middle rack of 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes. Thinner cookies will cook more quickly. Thicker cookies are best for ornaments and gingerbread houses.
- Set baking sheet on cooling rack for 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies to racks to cool completely.
- If storing cookies for more than 2 days double wrap and freeze for maximum freshness.
- **Wrap in plastic if storing overnight. Will keep in fridge up to a week, freezes well.