Monday, December 12, 2011

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

*Note from Lori - This is a guest post from a professional chef.  Be sure to check out Joseph Morris' website listed at the bottom of this post!

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookies are a wonderful holiday treat that many people look forward to this time of year. Unfortunately, those with gluten intolerances don’t get to enjoy traditional baked goods. However, here is a gluten-free gingerbread recipe that anyone will love.
The hardest thing about gluten-free baking is finding good flour. I’ve found that Bob's Red Mill Hazelnut Meal Flour works well and adds a little extra flavor to the gingerbread – you can look for it at your local health food store or online.

For sugar, coconut sugar seems to work well to me. You might also try Sucanut, which is a type of whole cane sugar with a higher glycemic index.

The dough seems to work best if it is refrigerated overnight. You could make the dough on Friday night after your children are in bed and then bake them on Saturday.

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups hazelnut meal flour 
1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup softened organic butter
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 large organic egg
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the wet ingredients with an electric mixer. Then mix together the dry and wet ingredients. Separate the dough into three small balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
2. Once the dough is firm and chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay out a large piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and lightly dust it with sweet rice flour. Take once piece of dough out of the fridge and roll it out to a little less than ¼ inch thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, then peel away the dough around the shapes and put them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the dough. If you want to decorate your cookies, make sure they are completely cooled before you frost them.

Coconut Sugar Icing
1/2 cup powdered coconut sugar (The easiest way to make this is to put coconut sugar in a coffee grinder with a little bit of arrowroot)
2 to 3 teaspoons milk (or almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

To make the frosting, simply whisk together all the ingredients. You might also want to add food coloring if you like.
If you don’t want to use frosting, you can also use raisins, small nuts, organic sprinkles, or anything else you can think of to decorate your cookies. 

Joseph Morris has been a professional chef for over 20 years. He also owns the site Culinary Arts College for students interested in getting a degree in culinary arts.
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