Gingersnap cutout cookies are the quintessential holiday treat. Between baking, decorating, and of course eating your beautiful creations, there’s just something so fun about them! Plus the warm, spiced flavors are so comforting and perfectly embody the holiday spirit. This recipe comes from Jeffrey Larsen’s cookbook Gluten-Free Baking At Home: 102 Foolproof Recipes for Delicious Breads, Cakes, Cookies, and More.
Jeffrey is a baking instructor and pastry chef, so these recipes have been tested to ensure you’ll get great results every time! The icing on the gluten-free cookie? This cookbook won the James Beard Award and the I.A.C.P. award in the same year! That’s how you know this cookbook is the read deal. Jeffrey also hosts online allergen-free baking classes, so be sure to check those out.
Back to the recipe! These cookies are the perfect ending to a holiday meal, and a fun winter activity with the kids. The recipe makes 37 three-inch cookies.
During the holidays it is essential for me to have a gingerbread recipe. I use the cutouts for decorations on the tree as well as for dessert. You can also use this recipe for building a gingerbread house. I bake the pieces for the house according to the timings in this cookie recipe. You will need to keep your eye on them, as larger pieces will take longer to bake. My secret is to bake all the shapes again at 200°F for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. You want to crisp them until they are really firm and then build your gingerbread house.
- 150 grams (1¼ cups) sorghum flour, plus more as needed
- 95 grams (1⁄2 cup) firmly packed brown sugar
- 72 grams (1⁄2 cup) potato starch
- 52 grams (1⁄2 cup) tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1⁄4 cup molasses
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon melted and slightly cooled clarified butter or coconut oil, plus more as needed
- Teff or sorghum flour, for dusting and rolling (it will disappear as the cookies bake)
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, brown sugar, potato starch, tapioca starch, ginger, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and salt.
2. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the molasses, egg, egg yolk, and clarified butter.
3. Add the molasses mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula. You will have a crumbly dough at first, but it will come together. Keep stirring until the dough begins to form a ball. If it seems dry, add 1 teaspoon melted clarified butter. If the dough is too wet, add 1 Tablespoon sorghum flour. Add one or the other of these ingredients incrementally until you achieve the desired consistency. The dough should be the consistency of Play-Doh. Knead the dough until it is smooth, pliable, and even in color.
4. Divide the dough into three even portions, shape into disks, wrap each disk separately with plastic wrap, and place all three disks in a resealable bag. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of a silicone baking mat (this keeps the parchment from moving around when you are rolling the dough out). Lightly flour the parchment paper with teff flour and place one of the portions of dough on the parchment paper. Keeping both sides of the dough floured, roll the dough to a 1⁄4-inch thickness.
7. Cut the dough with your favorite 3-inch cookie cutters. With a small offset spatula, gently peel up each cookie and place on the prepared baking sheet. If you are going to use the cookies as ornaments, use a small drinking straw to cut a small hole in the top of each cookie. I also like to freeze the full baking sheet of cookies for about 10 minutes before baking.
8. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes. If the cookies are larger than 3 inches, bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer them with a metal spatula to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cookies are cool, you can decorate them with royal icing and sprinkle with decorative sugars or candy.
Note: If you like crunchier gingerbread cookies, place them side by side on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes to dry them out.
Variation: This dough lends itself well to making gingerbread houses. You can also use a clean rubber stamp to decorate the dough. Press the stamp lightly into the top of the dough. If you place the tray of cookies in the freezer for about 10 minutes before baking, the impressions will remain through baking.