Yep, these are a mouthful-of-all-the-great-holiday-flavors packed into every bite of these chewy, moist, decadent cookies. Classic gingerbread cookies, these are not! I’ve worked very hard on this recipe to make a gluten-free, dairy-free gingerbread cookie that screams Christmas in all the right ways. I’m so excited to share it with you! I’ve decided on two similar recipe versions … both of which made my tastebuds sing, “Happy Holidays!”
If you use brewed espresso (as you’ll see in the recipe below), you’ll have a cookie that brings out all the flavors of the ingredients in a layered experience. Your tastebuds will get the zing of ginger, then the robust coffee flavor, then comes the chocolate, followed in the end by a slight sharpness from the cloves and pepper. I think this cookie is really fun!
If you use instant coffee granules (also shown below) mixed with hot water, your cookies will have a more blended and mellow gingerbread flavor. This is still not the “typical” gingerbread cookie, however.
I can’t say I like one better than the other!
With this one recipe you can also decide whether you like your cookies to be chewy, or slightly chewy, or a bit more crispy on the outside with a wonderful moist-minus-the-chew texture on the inside. The crackle texture also varies slightly depending on the baking temperature. I’m including three sets of baking temps and times, depending on the version you’re looking for.
Have fun with this recipe, now that the my measuring, calculating, experimenting, and baking enough cookies to supply the neighborhood is complete. Make these cookies in many different forms to suit your mood – or the texture and flavor profile you’re looking for if you’ll be using them in a more creative way. “What?” Yes, get creative with them. Go beyond just serving them as cookies. Use the moist-minus-the-chew textured cookies, maybe made in the mellow flavor, and crumble them up for a pie crust to liven up your holiday Mocha Valencia Pie. Break some of the chewy, zingy cookies into pieces and scatter them over creamy, vanilla ice cream (if you do dairy). Choose whatever style you like and make a marshmallow-fluff cookie sandwich. Oh, that sounds really good!
Happy Holiday Baking!
Chewy Chocolate Espresso Gingerbread Cookies
Prep time: about 15 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours
Bake time and temp: 11-13 minutes at 375ºF (a bit more crispy on the outside with a wonderful moist-minus-the-chew texture on the inside, some crackling), OR 11-13 minutes at 350ºF (slightly chewy, moist inside, great crackling), OR 15 minutes at 325ºF (less chewy inside but still moist and tender, medium amount of crackling). And, of course, oven temps vary.
Makes: about 30 cookies
2 1/2 cups (300g) gluten-free all-purpose flour – I use Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend1
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup blanched almond flour – I use Honeville Farms
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
1 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 small pinch white pepper
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 1 stick) margarine or softened butter – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – soy free2
1 1/2 teaspoons peeled, freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses3, mild flavor – I use Brer Rabbit
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons brewed espresso OR 1 teaspoon instant coffee in 1 1/2 teaspoons hot water
7 ounces chocolate chips – I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1/4 cup coarse raw sugar (Turbinado sugar), for rolling in (optional)
3.5 ounce jar sparkling sugar – I use India Tree, for rolling in (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine a-p flour, almond flour, guar gum, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cocoa powder, baking soda, and pepper. Whisk to blend well.
In a large mixing bowl, blend margarine, fresh ginger, and brown sugar until creamy. Cream in the molasses until well incorporated. Add the egg and beat until well blended. Mix in the espresso, or instant coffee mixture, on low speed.
On low speed, incorporate the flour mixture. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until well blended. On low speed, stir in the chocolate chips.
Transfer dough to bowl with tight-fitting lid and chill at least two hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to desired temp. Mix together raw sugar and sparkling sugar in a small bowl, large enough to roll the dough balls.
Using a #40 scoop, or making a dough ball about the size of a whole walnut (about 40g), form dough balls by rolling dough between palms, then roll in sugar. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, 9 per sheet. Bake according to temp directions above.
Be sure to let me know which version you like best! And if you create something fun that makes the holidays even more holiday-ish, be sure to share with me. I love hearing what you’re up to!
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
3TIP: To easily remove molasses, or other sticky ingredients such as honey, agave, corn syrup, etc. from the measuring cup, lightly spray the cup with cooking spray before measuring the sticky ingredient. The ingredient will easily pour right out.