Gingerbread for Cookies & Houses (GFCF)
This is a sturdy, versatile dough that is just right for gingerbread cookies — either crispy or chewy — and for the walls and roof of your allergen-free, gluten-free, casein-free gingerbread house. The cookies are not super-sweet, so they work well for icing. (I used royal icing for the gingerbread house; many recipes can be found online.)
Unless you’re making a gingerbread cottage, you’ll need at least half of the dough to make a house. Use the rest to make an assortment of rolled out, decorated cookies. (I used Bob Vila’s Colonial House template and instructions, and it took just over half of the dough. Well, technically, since I doubled the below recipe, and the house took just over one quarter of the dough.)
If the recipe looks slightly familiar, that is because I altered it from another recipe I posted on this blog, the always-popular Big Batch Gluten-Free Christmas/Sugar Cookies.
This recipe does freeze very well. Thaw in the fridge, then bring to room temp before rolling.
Click here for pics of the house my kids and I made with this recipe.
(12/13/09 Note: It’s getting harder to find amaranth flour. Today, I made the cookies, substituting ½ cup quinoa flour and ½ cup millet flour for the amaranth, and they turned out great. I also altered the amounts of sweet rice flour and brown rice flour. ALSO — Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice flour seems to be milled more finely than Arrowhead Mill’s. If you use Arrowhead Mill’s, expect your cookies to be a tad grittier.)
GFCF Gingerbread Cookies
Makes about 8 dozen medium-sized cutout cookies
- 1 cup amaranth flour
- 2 cups potato starch
- 3 cups sweet rice flour
- 3 cups brown rice flour
- 2 Tbsp xanthan gum
- 3 Tbsp baking powder
- 3 Tbsp potato flour (optional)
- 2 Tbsp ground ginger (or more, if you like ‘em really gingery)
- 1 Tbsp ground allspice
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 cups shortening
- 1 cup eggs (depending on size, 4-5 eggs. Measure into a glass measuring cup.)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp dark molasses (OR 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses)
- 1 Tbsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, with a whisk, mix together the flours, starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and spices until well-combined. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, cream together the powdered and brown sugars, shortening, eggs, molasses and salt.
- To the sugar mixture, add flour mixture, about 2 cups at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. Once the flour mixture is mostly incorporated, knead the dough in the bowl, slowly punching the dough down in the middle and folding the sides of the dough into the middle. Or, put the dough on a non-stick surface (like a silicone mat or a marble slab), and knead it on there. Incorporate all the flour mixture until you have a stiff dough.
- If the dough is too dry, and will not hold all of the flour, add a Tbsp of water at a time until it will gather into a ball. Resist adding water if at all possible. The dough works best if it is not very moist.
- If you refrigerate or freeze the dough, bring to room temp before rolling. For the most uniform cookies, and definitely for the large sections required for gingerbread houses, roll the dough right onto a large piece of foil or parchment, then pick up the sheet and transfer to the cookie sheet. Working with about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll the dough 1/4″ thick. (Bob Vila’s gingerbread site had a great suggestion: Use 1/4″ round dowels as a guide for uniform thickness, as illustrated on the right.) From this dough, either cut sections for your gingerbread house from a template, or use cookie cutters.
- Greasing the pan is not necessary, but I favor using nonstick foil. For best results, use insulated pans. (Hint: for your own insulated pans, take two regular jelly roll pans, and between them, add a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil that has been wrinkled, then partially smoothed out. This will create an air gap between the two pans.)
- If you roll your cookies to 1/4″ thickness and bake on insulated pans as suggested, baking time is 19 minutes. If your cookies are thinner, and/or you’re using thinner pans, bake time will be shorter. When done, the corners of your cookies will just start to brown, and the middles will no longer feel spongy. Also, you can bake for 16-17 minutes to produce a softer, chewier cookie (this is not recommended for gingerbread houses, though).
Posted on December 3, 2007, in Celiac Disease, Christmas, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Dairy-free, GF Recipes, GFCF, GFCF Recipes, gluten-free, Gluten-Free and Food Allergy Resources, Holidays. Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.