Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Tasty little gingerbread cookies.

Tasty little gingerbread cookies.

In my mind there’s just something about Christmas and gingerbread. They go together. My mother-in-law is always on the lookout for new recipes for us to try and she found this one in Candadian Living (an old 2008 magazine). We found some great cookie cutters for Christmas so we decided to give this gingerbread cookie recipe a try. This is the first time I’ve used cookie cutters for something other than playdough since we went gluten-free. It was a lot of fun and the cookies turned out great.

1/2 coup shortening, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup fancy molasses
1/4 cup cooking or blackstrap molasses
3 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, beat shortening with sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and molasses. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon; stir into molasses mixture in 2 additions, mixing well and blending with hands if necessary.
Divide dough in half; shape into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Between waxed paper, roll out each half of dough to 1/4″ thickness. Peel of top paper. Using 3″ cookie cutters, cut into shapes. Slide dough and paper onto rimless baking sheets; freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
Transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in 325 oven until firm to the tough, 18-20 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool.

This recipe is a bit more work than your regular gingerbread cookie but the results are definitely worth it. They are crunchy and tasty. I love that they use half the sugar of my Grandmother’s traditional recipe but still have all the taste.
I only had fancy molasses on hand so I used it for both molasses amounts and they tasted fine. I’m sure the cooking molasses would give them a stronger taste but if you like your gingerbread a bit milder just use fancy molasses.
When I made these I found it actually worked better to roll out the dough and then chill it for 15 minutes so that it was easier to work with. As soon as this dough warms up it is hard to get the cookies separated from the extra dough. You still need to chill the cookies a second time so you can remove them from the waxed paper and put them on the parchment paper to bake. I found they didn’t take 18 minutes to cook but my oven seems to be cooking a bit hot right now.

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