… These Gingerbread Men Build Houses Well!
What do I mean by “these gingerbread men build houses well”? When I use a gingerbread man cookie recipe, I expect the dough to roll out and work for any shape or design I want to create. You too, right? It just makes sense.
But for some reason, so many of the gingerbread cookie recipes, gluten-free or otherwise, don’t produce gingerbread houses of the same caliber. What gives?
I honestly haven’t figured out the science behind this dilemma (if there is science), but I have done something better. I’ve created, for you, gluten-free, dairy-free gingerbread cookie dough that will produce perfectly flavor-balanced, delicious, gingery, molasses-y, crunchy, drool-worthy cookies in any shape you desire. Even walls, a roof, and base form, or a geodesic dome igloo for any cold gingerbread Eskimo.
And this recipe can be made with or without egg, is definitely soy-free, and requires no gums or binders (xanthan, guar, or psyllium husk).
And I almost forgot to tell you the best part … after a few days, if your cookies begin to diminish in their crispness factor just a bit, fear not (and definitely don’t get rid of them) … these cookies return to the fully crisp texture that you loved when they were first baked, simply by dunking them in a glass of your favorite non-dairy milk. I know, I know, cookies usually get dunked to soften them up. It’s that science behind the magic thing again. Can’t explain it but gotta love it!
Happy gingerbread cutout cookie … or any shape … baking!
P.S. Here’s a frosting recipe, in case you want to decorate your gingerbread creations.
Perfect Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
- 1 Tablespoon warm water
- 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal
- OR 1 egg if not using egg substitute of flaxseed meal and water
- 3 cups (360g) gluten-free, all-purpose flour - I use Authentic Foods Bette's Gourmet Four Flour Blend
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh if possible
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 cup non-dairy "butter" or margarine substitute - I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread - soy free
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses - I use
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine warm water and flaxseed meal, if using, in small bowl. Set aside to gel.
- Place flour in a medium bowl. Sift in baking soda and baking powder. Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Whisk to thoroughly blend. Set aside.
- Blend butter substitute and sugar on medium speed in a stand mixer, or with hand mixer, until blended and sugar dissolves.
- Add flax gel (OR 1 large egg) to wet mixture and blend until mixture begins to slightly fluff up. Add molasses and continue blending until well combined.
- With mixer on low, gradually add flour into mixture and mix until all flour is completely incorporated. Blend on medium-high about 15 seconds, or until dough begins to form a ball.
- Remove dough from mixing bowl, divide in half, gently form into 2 balls, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least one hour; two hours is better.
- One at a time (keeping the second ball chilled while working with the first one), roll dough out between two pieces of parchment paper (no flour required to keep from sticking to paper) to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, or a sharp knife and a gingerbread template, cut out shapes. When peeling excess dough away from cutout shapes, check to see if it will peel away easily. If not, leave the excess dough around shapes and slide the sheet of parchment (with dough still on it) onto a cookie sheet and place in freezer for 3-4 minutes, until dough can be peeled away easily. Remove from freezer, peel excess dough and place in a ball to re-roll. If cutout shapes are closer than 1-inch apart from each other, use spatula to lift and relocate them onto the parchment paper.
- Slide cutout-filled parchment paper onto baking sheet and bake at 350ºF on center oven rack for 12-14 minutes for crispy cookies, or 9-11 minutes for softer cookies.
- Remove from oven, transfer parchment paper with cookies onto a cooling rack. Cool 2 minutes, then transfer cookies off of parchment and directly onto cooling rack to finish cooling completely before frosting or building houses.
- Store cookies in a wax-paper-lined cookie tin, or in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 7 days. To re-crisp, dunk in a glass of cold non-dairy milk, or place on baking sheet and re-heat in 350ºF oven for 2 minutes. Then cool as before. Can be frozen for longer storage.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™