Gluten Free Gingerbread is really hard to make. I’ve tried and tested a lot of different recipes over the years and had some EPIC fails. But this year was MY YEAR! I did it. I made The Best Gluten Free Gingerbread. Can you see how excited I am about this? With all those Capital letters?! I love these sweet little decorated cookies, with their spicy bite. Don’t get me started on the smell as they bake, the whole house fills with Christmas.
This year I actually used an existing recipe and replaced the flour for gluten free flour. Its from Taste, its their Gingerbread Men recipe. I’ll list it below with the gluten free inclusion but I’ll also share some tips I worked out to make this easier to do. The nature of gluten free can sometimes be difficult to deal with. It doesn’t have the elastin properties wheat flour does. But there are ways! It’s totally worth the little bit of extra work because it the best gluten free gingerbread you’ve ever had. Trust me!
Gluten Free Gingerbread
- Melted butter, to grease
- 125g butter, at room temperature
- 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
- 125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup or treacle
- 1 egg, separated
- 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain Gluten Free flour (I use white wings)
- 1 tbs ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Beat butter and sugar in bowl until creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk. When combined add dry ingredients, Gluten Free flour, ginger, mixed spice, and bicarb soda. When combined it should form a very thick and elastic dough. It doesn’t need much working just scrape it out onto clingwrap (you’ll probably need a metal knife this is a strong sticky dough). Form into a flat disk and put it in the fridge.
The key to working with this dough is COLD. Lots of fridge time. I’ve even put it in the freezer let it defrost a little and worked with it from there. Put it in the fridge until its hard, so probably an hour. Once cold I cut the disk into quarters and work with each quarter leaving the rest in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 180C. Roll the dough out between two sheet of baking paper until 3-4mm thick and about the size of your baking tray. Peel off the top baking paper only. I then use my cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the dough the distance I’d like them to be on the tray. Then carefully remove all the excess dough revealing the cookies how they’ll be cooked. Lift the baking paper sheet with the cookies (do not lift individual cookies or you’ll end up with elasto-gingerbread-man) onto the tray and place it all in the fridge for another 5-10minutes.
I use this process because the gingerbread is very stretchy and elastic, if you add more flour to dry it out it will just be a crumbly cracked mess, this makes a very delicious cookie that holds together very well and shouldn’t be dry or crumbly.
After cooling. Place the cookies in the oven for 5-10minutes. or until golden and cooked to your liking. I found 5-7 gives a softer gingerbread man, 7-8 worked perfectly in my oven and 10 produced a very crisp and very brown cookie. Just watch your first batch carefully to see how you’d like yours to turn out.
Let them cool for at least 30mins before decorating. You’ll note that I’ve used Cachous and mini MnM’s in some of my decorating. If you live in Australia they are not gluten free, but if you live in the US they are. My husband and neighbours are about to get lucky! Don’t worry, there are others I decorated purely gluten free for me to eat while I’m present wrapping! You can find lots of fun gluten free decorating shapes and 100′s and 1000′s in the baking isle at Coles. The mini heart ‘buttons’ are gluten free.
Store in an airtight container or they will go soft. They still taste good like this but you’ll end up with some amputees!
These are so good you can even pack them up and give them to all your friends, even those who dont eat gluten free! They wont be able to tell the difference!