This season for the second year in a row, I drove to a little town near the foothills to choose my holiday tree, cut up near Red Feather Lakes, thinning the forest there to help keep the trees healthy. Last year my tree was so happy it greened up over the weeks standing in its place of honor in my home, even sprouting bunches of new needles at the end of many many branches. Covered with pine cones, this years lodge pole pine is a joy, too.
And with the spicy fragrance of gingerbread cookies baking yesterday morning with the tree all aglow, it filled my heart with joy. I was pulling them out of the oven just before my adult son arrived to spend the day – bringing back so many sweet memories of Christmases past – as we made some new ones too. He cooked up a delicious Mexican feast for us, with recipes from an old cookbook he’d given me, Southwest Cuisines by Jim Martin, long time chef at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center near Cortez in south western Colorado. He had bought the book for me in 5th grade while on a field trip there, and last made the recipes we ate yesterday in 1995. 🙂
So I’m thrilled to share this traditional recipe for gingerbread cookies now converted to an excellent gluten free version. The dough performs beautifully, rolled and re-rolled, and bakes perfectly too! I know you will love them.
Baked up into the sweetest chubby cookies! Before baking I adjusted a few of the little arms to look like they were waving. 🙂
Spicy Gingerbread Cookies
Gluten free of course. I have been loving the baking results using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour blend. This recipe from just about my oldest cookbook – the Doubleday Cookbook – has not been made since before my gluten free days, close to 17 years ago. And I was thrilled with the cookies. Especially because I could use the gingerbread boy cookie cutter I’d had since my son was small, and other vintage cutters too. In gratitude for holding onto precious things.
Makes about 2 dozen gingerbread boys, or various count using other cookie cutters
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend – Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour highly recommended
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1/2 c. organic cane sugar
- 1/4 c. blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 c. boiling water
Stir flour, salt and spices together and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter, then remove from heat and whisk in sugar, molasses and honey. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Add dry ingredients to molasses mixture alternately with soda-water, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Chill dough 2-3 hours or overnight.
Pull dough from refrigerator and allow to soften until pliable. Cut into 3-4 pieces. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough a portion at a time between sheets of parchment paper to about 1/8 inch thick for crisper cookies, 1/4 inch thick for chubbier gingerbread boys. Lift and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes on middle rack – please check starting about 8 minutes, watching the delicate browning of edges closely. Cookies will puff slightly. Pull from oven and let cool a minute or two on your baking sheet, then cool thoroughly on racks. Repeat rolling dough and baking cookies, reusing scraps by gathering them into a ball and re-rolling. The dough is wonderful, pliable and forgiving! Frost as desired. For softer cookies, store in airtight container. To help cookies stay crisp, simply cover with parchment or plastic wrap.
Added to an assortment of holiday sweets, these gingerbread cookies will be treasured. Wishing you all a loving, peaceful, and delicious holiday season. Blessings to you!