One of the fantastic things about traveling for Christmas is that it forces you to get all of your shopping out of the way early. So here we are, not quite December yet, and I am completely finished with shopping and wrapping which leaves me free to make yummy Christmas treats like these gluten-free gingerbread cookies!!!
It took me a couple of attempts to get this recipe just right (to my preference, anyways)… they are crisp, not chewy. If you want to make a gingerbread house, I suggest doubling the recipe and halving the butter and sugar which will make a drier, tougher cookie that holds its shape in the oven. As the recipe is right now, they spread a bit, which is fine for cut-outs, but not good if you want to build an exact structure.
To ice these, I used a royal icing recipe which I have included below. You will need to adjust the icing consistency for the various techniques used –>
For flooding: Take 1/3 of the icing and slowly whisk in more egg white until it’s thin enough that when you place a drop on a piece of parchment, it doubles in size within five seconds. Using a #3 tip, or cutting a 1/8 inch tip off your icing bag, pipe a thin outline on the edge of the cookie, then thinly fill in your outline and allow it to start spreading and settling. You can use the tip (without piping more icing) or a knife to help the icing spread and fill any holes. Let these cookies sit overnight so the icing is fully dry before you pipe the details. For a more detailed explanation, there are several fabulous youtube videos on this technique; just search for ‘flooding cookies’.
For detailing: I used the tiniest icing tip I could find, which I believe is Wilton’s “#1 Round Piping Tip”. Do some practice runs on a broken or burnt cookie before moving on to your nice cookies so you can tweak the consistency of your icing. You want it wet enough that it sticks to the cookie without pulling up, but not so wet that it spreads and doesn’t hold it’s shape. It’s a processes. The best advice I can give you here is to add extra ingredients slowly; especially the egg white, as the tiniest amount changes the consistency rapidly.
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- pinch fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy.
Whisk in everything else, expect the flour, and again beat until light and fluffy.
Finally, add flour and mix until fully incorporated
The dough will be very soft. Scoop into a large piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's firm.
Flour your surface and rolling pin well. Roll to 1/8" thick. Cut into festive shapes. Bake for 13 minutes, or until the edges just start to darken.
Cool completely before decorating with royal icing
- 1.5 oz egg white (approximately one egg white)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Mix the egg white, sugar and lemon juice together until it forms a smooth, glossy, wet paste.
Add more egg white, 1/2 tsp at a time, as needed for a looser icing.