Gluten free gingerbread cut out cookies

Gluten free gingerbread cut out cookies

Christmas has a lovely smell…

It’s a combination of evergreens and gingerbread that can still make my stomach flutter. It’s a cosy smell that carries with it a lifetime of warm memories and a touch of anticipation.

Take away the gingerbread smell and you lose the feeling. A  Christmas without snow I can handle but a Christmas without gingerbread cookies?

Because everyone has the right to a home that smells like gingerbread cakes and cookies fresh out of the oven we asked blogger and gluten-free baker Jeanine at The Baking Beauties to develop gluten-free versions of our favourite gingerbread recipes for us to share.

 

Here’s what Jeanine has to say about her gingerbread cookie creation:

“This dough makes the perfect gingerbread men. Loaded with all the right spices, these cookies, which hold their shape well during baking, are also still soft and slightly chewy. Would they work to make a gluten free gingerbread house? A small one – Maybe. But for a large house, I don’t think these cookies would hold up to the weight – they are a little too soft for that.”

Gluten free Gingerbread cut out cookies

This dough requires at least 1 hour of refrigeration time after mixing. Take that into account when planning your baking! Adapted from Crosbys.com

Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 1 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Visit The Baking Beauties blog for the full recipe, including instructions…

 

Love all sorts of Gingerbread cut out cookies? Try our chocolate gingerbread cookies or our whole wheat gingerbread cookies. Both recipes are perfect for cutting into shapes and decorating. (They’re not gluten free).

chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies

Whole wheat gingerbread cut out cookies

 

Chocolate Gingerbread Cut Out Cookies

Servings: 3 dozen serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Cooking time: 7 minutes

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These chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies have an intense chocolaty flavour but aren’t too sweet, making them perfect for decorating and sandwiching with icing.

These chocolate gingerbread cut out cookies have an intense chocolaty flavour but aren't too sweet. Perfect for decorating and sandwiching with icing.

I grew up baking cut out cookies with my mom and then we’d paint them with a simple milk and icing sugar frosting. My brothers, sisters and I would spend half a day at the kitchen table with bowls of tinted frosting, red and green sprinkles and little silver balls, decorating dozens of cookies and listening to Roger Whittaker’s Christmas album. To this day the song Darcy the Dragon takes me back to the kitchen table in the house where I grew up.

chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies

I still love painting Christmas cookies and my kids consider it a sacred Holiday tradition so there is at least one day before Christmas when we all sit down to an afternoon of painting, usually with a few friends.

My kids are masters of the one-tonne cookie, a cookie that is so loaded with icing and sprinkles that you need a spatula to lift it off the table and onto a plate to dry.

cookie painting

Whatever you bake for the Holidays, you’ll notice that it’s not so much the finished product that creates the memories, but the whole process…

For me it’s digging out the cookie cutters, and having my kids by my side at the counter as we roll, press and lift the cut-outs onto the cookie sheet.  It’s the sweet and spicy smell of the house when the cookies are in the oven and the giggles in the kitchen as we paint and sprinkle away.

chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies

This chocolate gingerbread cut out cookies recipe is a new take on gingerbread cut-out cookies. They have an intense chocolaty flavour but aren’t overly sweet, making them perfect for decorating and sandwiching. The dough is soft and barely needs flour for rolling. If you want the cookies to be harder just bake them a little longer.

chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies

 

Chocolate gingerbread cut out cookies

From Food & Wine magazine

Ingredients:

  • 3 ¼ cups flour, spooned in
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk the flour with the cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl beat the butter with the brown sugar until fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg, then molasses, then melted chocolate.
  4. Add the flour mixture in three batches, incorporating well between additions.
  5. Scrape dough from bowl and divide into three equal pieces. Pat each piece into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled.
  6. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about ¼” thick.  (You really won’t need much flour.)
  7. Place cut-out cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 F for about 7 minutes.

This lovely dough is a cinch to mix and roll:

 Chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies

Chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

Gingerbread cravings: 18 recipes for gingerbread cakes in a free e-book

Gingerbread cravings - a free e-book featuring 18 recipes for gingerbread cakes and bars

It’s gingerbread season, as good a reason as any to celebrate chilly weather.

Not that I’m celebrating…I always have trouble adjusting to the November cold.

I pull on my long down coat when it’s only -3 outside  and fear I may run away to Spain when January arrives. But then I remember, by then -3 will feel balmy…

18 recipes for gingerbread cakes

In the meantime, I fend off the chill with warm and spicy baking.

Gingerbread in all shapes and sizes is my favourite — It reminds me that there is much to love about November and the Holiday anticipation it brings.

Comforting gingerbread is a welcome treat in our house and we have more than enough recipes to fill a book. In fact, we have updated our Gingerbread e-book with a year’s worth of gingerbread recipes from our recipe blog.

This new version includes 18 recipes for gingerbread cakes and bars plus sweet toppings to dress them up.

Get all the gingerbread recipes you crave in this new, free e-book. Just click to view and download. No e-reader required.

 

Gingerbread cravings - a free e-book featuring 18 recipes for gingerbread cakes and bars

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top left hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

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Sparkly chocolate ginger cookies

Servings: 1.5 dozen cookies serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

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A nicely spiced chocolate ginger cookie that’s great for everyday but can be dressed up for the holidays. I wasn’t intending to write a post today but I can’t resist sharing this recipe that molasses fan Emily sent me yesterday.

It’s for chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies, from the Queen of Cookies herself, Martha Stewart.

I was down to the wire yesterday putting teacher gifts together when this recipe landed in my inbox. I  didn’t get a chance to mix them up until late last night so I cut some corners in the method. (Chill dough for 2 hours? Nix. Form into balls and refrigerate for 20 minutes? Nix). It was 10:00 pm when the flour hit the bowl so as soon as everything was combined they went in the oven. I even managed to stay awake long enough to dip them in melted chocolate.

Sparkly Chocolate ginger cookies

Slightly adapted from www.marthastewart.com

  • ½ cup chocolate chips (the darker the better)
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted (for dipping)

Directions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
  3. In another bowl beat butter and grated ginger.
  4. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
  5. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water.
  6. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture.
  7. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture.
  8. Mix in chocolate
  9. Chill if you have time
  10. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; roll in granulated sugar.
  11. Bake at 325 F until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes.
  12. Cool and dip in melted chocolate.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies

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Cranberry walnut brittle – the delicious & nutritious in one sweet bite

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I have never been much of a candy maker but I love the look of shiny brittle so figured that it’s worth making once a year.

And as far as homemade gifts go it’s pretty spectacular. Glossy and filled to the brim with good stuff, Cranberry Walnut Brittle lets you have the delicious and the nutritious in one sweet bite. Feel free to mix in your favourite nuts and seeds.

I found the original recipe on the food blog Adventures in Cooking. They made it with honey, which I’m sure is delicious too but there is something about molasses that smells and tasts of holiday celebrations and special times spent with family and friends.

Holiday Brittle (Cranberry walnut brittle)

Adapted from www.adventuresincooking.com

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  1. In a large pot combine the sugars, molasses, water and salt.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil over low to medium heat, stirring from time to time.
  3. Using a candy thermometer heat the mixture to 302 F. (On my stove this took close to an hour).
  4. While the sugar mixture is boiling, place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking pan.
  5. Lightly grease the parchment paper.
  6. When the sugar mixture reaches 302 F, quickly remove from heat, stir in the butter and nuts and turn out onto the prepared pan.
  7. Use a rubber spatula to spread as thinly, and evenly as possible. The mixture will start to seize up immediately so you’ll have to work fast!
  8. Cool and break into pieces.

For more Holiday gift ideas check out our Holiday Book, a free e-book full of our favourite Holiday recieps.

This candy is chock full of good stuff!

Five-spice candied nuts – quick to prepare and delicious

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Less than a week ’til Christmas. “Homemade gifts in under 20 minutes” sounds good to me…

I’m a sucker for spiced nuts. Ever since my sister started making these years ago I have been eating more than my fair share over the holidays.

They’re sweet, a little spicy and crispy with a light candy coating. They don’t stick in your teeth.

I make them to give as gifts but always make extra so there are left overs for use to nibble. They’re a practical snack to have around the house, store well and have a whiff of healthiness about them.

Better yet, they take almost no time to prepare.

Find this recipe and more in our little Holiday e-book.

Here’s a tip: If Chinese Five Spice powder isn’t your thing try chili powder or your favourite spice blend. And mix up the nuts too. Sometimes I make these just with almonds, or walnuts and sometimes I mix the two and throw in a few pecans.

Five-spice candied nuts

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 5 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups mixed nuts (raw)
  1. In a large saucepan or wok, melt butter.
  2. Add sugar, molasses, water, salt and spices. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  3. Add nuts to the mixture and cook until syrup thickly coats nuts, stirring frequently (5 minutes or so).
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 F until nuts are lightly toasted and a little crisp (10-15 minutes).

Test while baking to ensure you don’t overcook the nuts and the syrup doesn’t burn.

Nuts about nuts? Try Gingerbread spiced almonds.

What are your favourite homemade gifts to give (or receive)?

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Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe with Hazelnuts & Cranberries

Servings: 2 1/2 dozen cookies serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 5 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

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Gingerbread Biscotti are an ideal cookie to give as a gift.  
Gingerbread biscotti

Biscotti seem like the ideal cookies to give as a gift. Aside from the fact that they’re beautiful, they’re sturdy, are great for dunking (even when they have been around for a while), and they aren’t overly sweet so are satisfying in a biscuit sort of way.

Don’t let the fact that you bake them three times scare you off. The dough is quick to mix up and the baking steps are simple.

Gingerbread biscotti

I find that biscotti are especially pretty when you leave the nuts in larger pieces. The problem I have though is that they crumble on me when I slice them. That’s why I whirr the nuts into smaller pieces in the food processor. But if you’re good with a knife (and have really sharp knives) you’ll have no trouble at all slicing through the larger chunks of nuts.

Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe

Adapted from joyofbaking.com

  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped or whirred in the food processor (can also use pecans or walnuts)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 1/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Glaze:

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk or cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, whir ½ cup of the rolled oats until finely ground.
  2. In a large bowl combine the ground oats with the remaining ½ cup of rolled oats, the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
  3. In another bowl whisk the eggs, molasses, oil and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well blended.
  5. Add the hazelnuts and dried cranberries.
  6. Divide dough in half and on a lightly floured surface roll each half into a 12” log.
  7. Flatten a bit.
  8. Transfer logs to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F.
  10. Carefully move logs to a cutting board and cut into ¾ “slices on the diagonal.
  11. Place the slices back on the baking sheet, cut side down.
  12. Bake for 6-8 minutes, flip the slices and bake another 6-8 minutes.
  13. Cool and drizzle with melted white chocolate or glaze (Combine ingredients and drizzle from a spoon.)

 Whirr half of the rolled oats in the food processor until they look like this:

The dough will look very pretty, studded with chopped nuts and dried cranberries.

Roll the dough into logs and space them about this far apart. Flatten them a bit more if you want a longer biscotti.

Once they have baked the first time, slice them on the diagonal, very carefully. If you want a longer biscotti, slice them on more of an angle.

Once they’re sliced, lay them face up on the cookie sheet and bake again. Flip over and bake for the final time.

 

When cooled, drizzle with white chocolate or a simple glaze.

 

Orange Spice Molasses Cookies a homemade gift idea

Servings: 3 dozen serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

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A homemade cookie mix for a classic molasses cookie with a delightful orange twist. Cookies-in-a-jar-orange-spice-molasses-cookies-1024x886

A homemade cookie mix makes a delicious gift.

I love giving delicious gifts. And I like practical gifts too, the sort of thing that’s not going to get tucked in a closet and forgotten about. That’s where homemade edible gifts come in handy. With all of the bustling of the holidays and friends popping over, it’s great to have a sweet treat that’s easy to pull together in a snap.

I’ll fess up — I don’t have great stamina for shopping so it’s easy for me to fall back on homemade gifts. I’d much rather spend the day in the kitchen than the mall, especially when I have cookies like these in the oven. Scented with holiday spices and oprange zest, your house will smell festive and delicious when these orange spice molasses cookies are baking.

If you’re giving a jar of these cookies as a gift, don’t forget to include the full recipe with the instructions.

 

Orange Spice Molasses Cookies in a jar

These cookies would be especially good on a snowy afternoon alongside a cup of hot chocolate, or may be a cup of chai tea. Recipe adapted (ever so slightly) from www.best-cookie-jar-recipes.com

Ingredients for Jar:

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Grated zest of one orange (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions for Jar:

  1. Place brown sugar in 1-quart jar and pack down firmly and evenly.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour with baking soda, orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and allspice.
  3. Stir well to mix.
  4. Spoon flour mixture over brown sugar, pressing down with each addition.
  5. Place cranberries over flour mixture and press down to fit all in jar.
  6. Place lid on jar to close.

Ingredients for baking:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sugar for rolling (optional)*

Instructions for Baking:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Empty contents of jar into large mixing bowl.
  3. Add egg, butter, molasses and vanilla.
  4. Beat on low speed or by hand until dough is thoroughly blended.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Or form into balls and roll in sugar if you prefer more of a crackle top cookie.*
  7. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until set.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Looking for more homemade gift ideas? Try these recipes:

Gingerbread spiced nuts, molasses shortbread, festive gingerbread cut out cookies. All of these recipes are in one place in our new Holiday cookbook that you can download for free!

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

Ginger Shortbread with Molasses – A Holiday Classic with a Twist

Servings: 2 dozen serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

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Buttery and beautifully spiced, these ginger shortbread with molasses cookies add the beautify of simplicity to your holiday cookie plate.Ginger shortbread with molasses

Ever since I was a kid one of my favourite holiday treats has been my mom’s ginger shortbread squares. Soft, buttery and loaded with candied and ground ginger they are the first thing I look for on a plate of Christmas cookies at my mom’s.

I never believed that they could be improved upon until I came across this recipe for ginger shortbread with molasses. Adding a bit of molasses and a few more spices to a classic shortbread cookie makes them taste unmistakably like Christmas.

The simplicity of ginger shortbread with molasses stands out amidst all of the over-the-top cookies and squares that are often popular at cookie swaps. They may not look as snazzy as say, triple layer marshmallow snicker-doodle squares, but they are distinct in their own quiet way.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Not that a cookie can’t really teach life’s great moral lessons, but I do believe that simplicity is key to the true substance of the holidays.

Ditto for cookies.

As with any shortbread cookie, I prefer to use my hands to pull the dough together after the butter has been cut in. That way the dough doesn’t get over mixed.

Ginger Shortbread Cookies with Molasses Tips:

One reader made the following changes tot he recipe, with great success: Double the powdered ginger and add some freshly grated ginger.

Ginger shortbread with molasses

Adapted from Threadbare Bakery blog

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves (optional)
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup diced (finely) candied ginger
  • granulated sugar for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine flour, powdered sugar, and spices in a large bowl.
  2. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your fingers, until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  3. With a fork or your hands mix in the molasses and candied ginger. Knead until mixture forms a ball and divide in half.
  4. Roll ¼ to ½” thick and cut into shapes.
  5. Prick with the tines of a fork, brush with a little milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms just start to turn golden brown (be careful not to overcook)

The dough will look crumbly like this, but keep working it (I use my fingers):

Before you know it your dough will come together, like this:

You can roll it out immediately or pat it into tidy packages and refrigerate:

One more thing…
If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe

Peanut Brittle

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Peanut BrittlePeanut Brittle

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unsalted peanuts

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, Fancy Molasses, corn syrup and water in a heavy, 3-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and cook without stirring to 234°F. Add butter and continue cooking to 285°F, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Remove from heat. Add baking soda, vanilla and peanuts and mix well. Pour into two lightly buttered baking sheets spreading as thinly as possible.