These are delicious, whether you make them gluten free or not. A lot of my recipes were initially created with whole spelt flour, but I eventually switched to gluten free flour for my son. So, feel free to sub in whole spelt flour or your preferred flour. I also used to use evaporated cane juice for the sweetener as it contains molasses and works really well in this recipe. However, I’ve since been using coconut palm sugar because I’ve heard conflicting reports about evaporated cane juice and whether or not it is refined. But I’m ok with occasional use, it’s just not a staple in my house anymore.
I prefer to make the dough a day ahead as I find once the dough is refrigerated, it does not stick much at all when rolling it out (with floured work surfaces). I also like to use silicone cookie liners on the baking pans.
I try to keep it healthy with the decorating – I use currants, dried fruit sweetened cranberries, goji berries (glued on with chocolate otherwise they’ll lose their colour when baked), green pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts (slivered or chunks) and natural melted chocolate.
gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, nut free
375º, 9-10 minutes; made approx 9 large gingerbread people & 18 small
• 3 cups Bob Red Mill All Purpose gluten free flour
• 3/4 c coconut palm sugar
• 1/2 cup molasses (pour into the same measuring cup used for oil or grease 1/2 cup so molasses slides out)
• 6 tbsp sunflower oil (or coconut oil – beware, it will harden in the fridge so will need room temp time prior to rolling, or no fridge at all)
• 1 large egg
• 1 tbsp ground ginger
• 1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 1 tsp lemon zest (or more, I went a bit crazy and zested almost an entire lemon and my kids loved it; you could also omit)
• 3/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp ground cloves
• 1/4 tsp salt
COMBINE WITH WIRE WHISK IN MEDIUM BOWL
• flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, ground cloves, & salt
BEAT IN LARGE BOWL
• oil, coconut palm sugar & egg
ADD & BEAT
• molasses, vanilla & lemon zest
POUR DRY INTO WET BOWL & MIX
(I prefer to use a danish whisk because dough can’t get stuck inside – Lee Valley and most kitchen stores sell them)
Once combined, separate into two sections and wrap tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. (If you’ve used coconut oil you may want to skip the fridge part or just enough to chill the dough as the coconut oil will make your dough rock hard if you leave it in long enough.)
You’ll want to flour the rolling pin and work surface before rolling it out. I prefer a thinner cookie, so approx .25″.
Allow enough space around the cookies as they will puff up slightly when baking.
I give one cookie pan to each child to decorate with seeds and dried fruit. Be sure to make holes at the top with a tooth pick if you want to hang them on your Christmas tree. (Once you take them out of the oven I always go over the holes again to be sure they didn’t close up.)
Bake the cookies at 375º for 9-10 minutes (if you want to use convection, 9 minutes is good).
Allow the cookies to cool before decorating with melted dark 85% (our fav – less sugar) natural chocolate. We also break out the green & black white chocolate, even though it’s dairy and way more sugar, because white icing is just pretty and my kids love it at Christmas. Allow to dry overnight if you can. Thread with string and hang or just eat.