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 cookie baking and I love it.
You can read my tips and techniques for rolling cookie dough in this post on sugar cookies.
Gluten Free Cookie Flour Mix
This year 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. So I tweaked my old favourite recipe with all the tips I have learned and this is it. A large recipe calling for a total of four cups of flour so there will be lots to eat, give away in packages and serve where ever you go.
If you are adapting a different recipe, or this one, I recommend this flour combination that can be used in any cookie recipe.
- ⅔ cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 3 Tbsp potato starch, sifted
- 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp tapioca starch
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
Makes 1 cup.
Organize for Success – Saving Recipes
Do you have a file of favourite Christmas recipes? I think it’s a good idea for anyone but if you cook gluten free it can be invaluable. Create a simple system to save your personal and family favourite holiday recipes. Add the new gluten free recipes that work well for you. Then each year you just need to decide which ones you want to bake. Add new ones and replace old to continuously improve. This recipe for gingerbread cookies is in my collection of holiday favourites.
Gingerbread Cookie Christmas Tree
I made the gingerbread cookie Christmas tree with sixteen star shaped cookies a set of four star shaped cookie cutters. The cookies are stacked on some craft store dowling to create the look of a tree. I have a tiny star cookie cutter that I use for the top but if you have no cookie cutters this set of six stars would give you lots of options. Wrap your tree in clear cellophane with a festive ribbon and you will have a beautiful gift for giving.
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 pans 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*|
|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|
- Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. 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 in.
- With machine running pour in molasses and cream.
- Reduce speed and slowly add dry ingredients beating until well combined.
- Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Place each piece of dough onto wax or parchment paper. Lightly dust all sides of the dough with sweet rice flour. Pat the dough into a disc and fold the paper over it. Repeat with all the cookie dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.*
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Working with one piece at a time, lightly dusting with extra flour, roll the dough to ¼ or 3/8-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
- If the dough is too soft put it back in the fridge while working with a second piece. You should be able to cut the shape with a floured cookie cutter and transfer it to the baking sheet without changing the shape.
- Bake cookies on middle rack of 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes. Thinner cookies will cook more quickly.
- Set baking sheet on cooling rack for 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.
- If storing cookies for more than 2 days double wrap and freeze for maximum freshness.
- GINGERBREAD COOKIE CHRISTMAS TREE
- Using a set of star cookie cutters in 4 different sizes cut out 4 of each size. Using a small drinking straw make a hole in the center of each cookie before it is baked.
- Make 2 smaller star cookies for the top of the cookie Christmas tree. Bake as above.
- SUPPLIES: You will need a 3-4 inch square base (wood or foam) and a ⅛-inch round piece of dowling 10-12 inches long.
- To assemble the tree stack all 16 stars from large to small onto the dowling.
- Cut the dowling just slightly above the top cookie, the final 2 small stars will hide the dowling.
- Dab icing on both sides of each small star and push together around the dowling. Allow the icing to harden.
- Rotate each star slightly until you have a Christmas tree look. Dust with icing sugar if desired. Wrap with clear cellophane and a colourful ribbon.
- *GF COOKIE FLOUR MIX - 2⅔ cups brown rice flour, 1 cup almond flour, ¾ cup potato starch, sifted
- ¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp tapioca starch, 1 tsp xanthan gum