Monday, December 8, 2008

Gingerbread Boys and Girls (Gluten Free)

You're probably wondering why I haven't posted a recipe for gingerbread cookies before. You'd think I would like them for more than obvious reasons...

Well, I do! And somehow in the hustle and bustle of last year, I didn't get a chance to try them.

But this year, I received a request from one of my favorite gluten free bloggers, Tenille of Gluten Free Frugal.

Tenille needed a gluten free gingerbread cookie cut-out recipe for her daughter to take to school with her this week. I grew excited just reading her email! I recently purchased a copy of this month's Good Housekeeping, which featured a Gingerbread Boy and Girl recipe from none other than Paula Deen, the queen of southern cooking and baking.

I converted the recipe to be gluten free and casein free one evening last week and the next night I made the dough. I knew just by handling the dough that these cookies would turn out wonderful. The dough is remarkably easy to handle and roll out and the crisp ginger aroma is heavenly!

My newest trick in rolling out cookies and pie crusts is to tape down plastic wrap on my old kitchen table. Next, I lightly sprinkle sweet rice flour on the plastic wrap and then place my chilled dough on the dusted surface. Then I take one last peice of plastic wrap and place it on top of the dough before rolling it out. This works like a charm! Especially with this easy-to-handle dough!

These cookies were so easy and so delicious that I'm planning to make 5-6 batches to give as gifts this year.

We truly enjoyed these wonderful gluten free cookies! I hope you will give them a try this beautiful Christmas season!

Gingerbread Boys and Girls

*Adapted to be gluten free and casein free from Paula Deen's recipe in Good Housekeeping, Dec. 2008 pg. 208
Printer-Friendly Recipe

Dry Ingredients
1 cup brown rice flour
1 1/4 cups sorghum flour
1 1/4 cups tapioca starch/flour -or- arrowroot starch
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Crisco -or- butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses


1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. Set aside.

2. In stand mixer (or by hand) beat brown sugar and crisco together until well combined (or creamed.) This may take about 3 minutes with the stand mixer, 5-8 minutes by hand. If using stand mixer, scrap bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula.

3. Add eggs and molasses to sugar/crisco mixture. Beat until combined in mixer. With a spoon stir in flour mixture a little at a time until well blended. (I definitely recommend adding the flour by hand with a wooden spoon, you get a good "feel" for how well the mixture is combining as a dough.)

4. Divide dough into 3 balls. Flatten each ball into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refridgerate at least one hour or until firm enough to roll out. (I kept mine in the fridge for about 2 hours.)

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

6. Place two sheets of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Tape the plastic wrap to the surface so they will not move while you are rolling out the cookies. Sprinkle sweet rice flour lightly over the plastic wrap. Place the disk of dough on the lightly dusted surface and sprinkle additonal sweet rice flour over the top of the disk. Place another sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough and roll out to 1/8" thickness. Cut out 4-5" gingerbread boys and girls.

7. Place cookies 1" apart on lined cookie sheets. Bake cookies 6-8 minutes (NO LONGER!) until edges are just slightly brown. You can EASILY overbake these cookies!! Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

8. Decorate with icing: Mix together 3 cups confectioners sugar with 3-4 tablespoons milk. Add food coloring as desired. I decorate by adding icing to cheap plastic ziplock bags. Cut one corner off the plastic bag and decorate!!

Makes about 30 4-5" cookies.

(Printer-friendly version)

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