One very cold Christmas Eve, three years ago, I was pulling my last batch of cookies out of the oven when I spoke with my sister on the phone. She informed me that my brother in law was on the way to pick me up, as it had started snowing and was really starting to stack up. Life was going wonderfully – I had more time due to a part time job, and was loving my time at home cooking, and the opportunity to spend time with my sister and brother in law, and especially my nieces. But because I was reliant on others for a ride (I sold my car a month earlier, one week after quitting my corporate job of nearly 11 years) which meant I was reliant on others for transportation. My brother in law would be at my door in just five minutes, and I had yet to gather the gifts and my overnight bag!
As the cool air started turning the rain into ice, I experimented that evening making a ginger cookie to take to my sister’s house as a contribution. It was my first foray into an attempt at these cookies, and I modified a wheat recipe to moderate success with gluten-free flours: oat, tapioca, and coconut. I felt pretty good about the batch, despite how much they flattened out and spread on the baking sheet, and thought my family might even approve the flavor as not tasting gluten-free!
To my delight, the cookies were well-received, and I had the pleasure of giggling until I cried tears of joyous laughter, staying up until the wee hours of the morning wrapping gifts with my sister while the others slept, preparing for Christmas morning.
In years since, I have attempted the cookies a couple times, but failed to come close to my first result. The most famous example was the time I created a thin, crisp, flat (yet delicious) shell that was only good for making an edible ice-cream bowl. (Truly, not a bad thing, yet not the intended outcome).
This year, I was determined to make these ginger-y, almost-snap cookies, and to have them look like “normal” wheat cookies when unsuspecting cookie eaters have their eyes on them. To my delight (after multiple tries, and after having eaten WAAAAAY too many of these ginger cookies for weeks on end), I have done it! I made good-looking (and tasty) cookies!
I mean, look at the crackle on top!
These are perfect for an easy bake cookie for the holiday, if you want something tasty (and don’t feel like making a ton of effort because, lets be honest, no one’s coming over to celebrate this year). This recipe makes A LOT of cookies, and I think I’m going to have to freeze half of them to keep myself from over eating cookie-based meals for the next week…
Making the cookies
The recipe has a lot of ingredients, but don’t worry, it comes together quickly and easily. I do not have a standing mixer, and used an older hand mixer (which, I might add, is starting to make odd wheezing noises…), which means if you do have a stand mixer, the mixing will probably take you far less time!
Without further ado, here is the recipe:
Holiday Ginger Cookies
- 3/4 cup Butter (I use salted & organic)
- 3/4 cup Sugar (plus additional 1/2 cup for rolling)
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar – packed
- 1/2 cup Molasses
- 2 Eggs
- 3 cups Oat Flour – gluten free
- 1 cup Tapioca Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Psyllium Husk Powder (can sub xanthan gum)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp Cloves
- 1/4 cup Chopped Candied Ginger
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses and combine until very smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add the flours, soda, salt, psyllium husk powder, and spices. Mix until well combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, in four portions, mixing well after each addition.
- Chop candied ginger into small pieces. Stir into cookie batter.
- Cover bowl and chill for 1-3 hours until the dough is firm.
- Once the dough is cold and ready, scoop a heaping teaspoon of dough, and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll them in the sugar the sugar and set on a lined baking sheet (I used a reusable silicone liner. You can use parchment as well). Space the dough balls 3 inches apart on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350°F.
- Remove cookies from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Keep batter chilled between rounds of baking.
- This recipe makes about 3.5 dozen cookies.
- I use psyllium husk powder rather than xanthan gum because I prefer it, but you could use xanthan gum if you have it on hand.
I hope this season finds you well.
And I hope this gluten-free recipe will bring some joy to the “pandemic holiday at home” we’re all enduring this year.
Please let me know in the comments below what you think of the recipe if you do try it, I’d be delighted to hear how they turn out for you!
(and if you post a pic on Instagram, I’d love if you tag me @alainamaeve)