About one or two weeks ago, I was honoured to be asked to bake gingersnaps for my boyfriend’s sister’s engagement party on Labour Day weekend, in two weeks. She, along with my boyfriend and their mother, has a wheat allergy. She tried my gluten-free gingersnaps when she was in town this past spring and loved them enough to want them at her engagement celebration! How about that! Her request made my day.
That said, the gingersnaps she tried when she was in Vancouver were a bit of a baking mess on my part. My xanthan gum ratio and baking time were all off, and they ended up with the same shape and texture as ugly pancakes. Thankfully the flavour was still there, but I wasn’t too proud of them. This request has forced me to find a fabulous gluten-free adaptation of my grandmother and mother’s favourite ginger cookie recipe. (I will keep calling them gingersnaps by habit, but they are actually quite soft and don’t have a huge spice “bite” – they are almost closer to molasses cookies than gingersnaps – just an FYI)
(PS – this is my mom’s recipe – and also my mom’s mom’s recipe – so they’re not yo momma’s recipe! Ahahah sometimes I am just so funny….) (It’s a wonder people take me out in public…)
So today, two weeks in advance, I made a few tweaks and tried out this recipe – and it worked! FIRST TRY! WINNING! I’m so happy.
The only alteration I may make before I do all 5-6 dozen (~2 batches) for the party is too give it a bit more of a spice “kick” – I think adding 1/2tsp of ginger should accomplish this. I think I may add an extra 1/4tsp of cinnamon as well. Just a bit more flavour, I think.
Following are photos of my baking adventures, followed by the type-up of the finished altered recipe.
These got an AMAZING reaction from my girl-friend when she stopped by as I pulled them out of the oven. I believe her exact quote was “Holy F—ing S—, these are awesome!”. Enjoy!
A look at the process and the results…
Preparing the dough out of the fridge and rolling it in sugar!
Round cookies! About to be smushed.
Cookies flattened and ready to put in the oven.
My first batch looked amazing!
I overcrowded my third batch a bit… noted for future!
Not so shabby for a test run!
Not Yo Momma’s Ginger Cookies!
Ingredients are bulleted – read the entire recipe before starting as it has to chill before baking and some ingredients only come in at the end.
- 1 1/4 c Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
- 1 c white rice flour
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt (I used ground sea salt)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Place the above ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Sift if anything is chunky (baking soda tends to chunk sometimes). Mix well with a wire whisk. Set aside. (If you don’t mix this step well, the xanthan gum won’t combine properly with the flour and your rising will be affected! It’s not possible to overmix at this step – err on the side of caution.)
- 3/4 c butter (room temperature is ideal but fridge temperature will suffice – you’ll just need to put in a bit more elbow grease!)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c molasses
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and extract, then gradually add brown sugar. Mix until well combined – will kind of look caramel-coloured and you shouldn’t see any yellow chunks of butter. I use the wooden spoon to “smush” the mixture against the wall of the mixing bowl.
Add the eggs and molasses, and combine well. Should be very liquidy.
Gradually add the dry ingredients in the first step into the liquid ingredients, beating by hand to combine.
Chill several hours. (I often put the dough into a tupperware and leave it overnight, or do the dough in the morning and let it chill until after dinner. This step is only to make it easier to roll into balls, and doesn’t affect the chemistry. Technically you could skip it and still have a good result, but the dough will be super messy to roll.)
- About 1 c white sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
Roll the dough into small 1″ balls. Roll those balls in a bowl of white sugar until coated. Place on a tray about 2-3″ apart.
Use a spatula or other flat object to gently press down on the cookies, making the balls look a bit more like hockey pucks. This prevents them from rolling around the tray like ball bearings and helps them to cook more evenly (as they’re all the same thickness).
Bake at 375 for 7.5 minutes. This may change depending on your oven (mine is old and tempermental and small).
Let cool on the tray, on wire racks, for 5 minutes. Then remove from tray and let cool completely directly on the wire rack.
This made 46.5 cookies for me.