As far as I’m concerned, the best part of making rolled gingerbread cookies (besides eating them) is letting your children decorate them. If the thought of the mess scares you, you can flat ice them with royal icing first, let it dry until it is completely set and then give the kids edible food markers and let them have at it.
If you love gingerbread and gingersnaps, this recipe is for you. I am a fan of both, so as far as gingerbread recipes go, the flavor of this one is very much on the gingersnap side. If you like a milder flavor, cut back on the ginger and the clove a little, and you will still have a delicious, sturdy cookie. This recipe makes cookies that are sturdy enough to stand up to decorating or being made into a house and being packaged for gifts, but not so hard that it will break your teeth.
As with all of my recipes, this recipe will work with most 1:1 gluten-free flour blends available in the store or with either of my copycat 1:1 flour blends.
If you are interested in the history of gingerbread check out this quick read from The Smithsonian.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
- 690 grams 1:1 gluten-free flour blend
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ginger, ground
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ½ teaspoon cloves, ground
- 168 grams unsalted butter, soft soft
- 140 grams shortening (can use all butter
- 200 grams light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs (100g out of shell)
- 308 grams molasses
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, slowly add the eggs and molasses, and beat until well combined.
On low speed, add in the flour mixture, and mix until a soft dough is formed.
Divide the dough into two roughly equal pieces. Flatten into disks. Wrap tightly, and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours or until firm enough to roll.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
On a lightly floured surface, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out half of the dough to ¼-inch thickness (keep the other half of the dough refrigerated until you are ready to roll).
Dip your cookie cutters in flour, and cut out as many cookies as possible.*
Place cookies 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheets, and bake 10-12 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown.
Leave cookies to cool on the pans for about five minutes, and then move to cooling racks until cool enough to frost.
Frost as desired with royal icing.
This is a soft dough, so keep unused dough portions in the refrigerator when you are not working with them.
*If you are having trouble retaining shapes when transferring your cookies to the cookie sheets, roll and cut your cookies on a silicone baking mat. When done cutting, remove excess dough around your cookies, and place the entire silicone baking mat in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes. Your cookies will now be easy to lift with a spatula and transfer without loosing shape.
This is the only royal icing recipe that I use for cookies, gingerbread houses and fondant cake detail work. It’s easy to work with, sets quickly and doesn’t use raw egg whites. Best of all, it dries just hard enough to paint on and package, but not so hard that it will break a tooth.
In a large bowl using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat confectioners' sugar, meringue powder, water and extract (if using) together on medium speed for five minutes. Start the mixer on low to avoid being covered in confectioners' sugar.
I start with six tablespoons of water, but you may need to add more if you live somewhere that is dry, or you like a looser icing for flooding cookies.
When lifting the paddle up, the icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 10-15 seconds. If it's too thick, add more water. If it's too thin, add more sifted confectioners' sugar.
*If you prefer not to use meringue powder, you can omit the meringue powder and the water by replacing them with a total of three pasteurized egg whites (90 grams).
**If you need to make this egg free/vegan, you can omit the meringue powder and water, replacing them with a total of 90 grams aquafaba (six tablespoons).