Gingerbread cookies were always my family’s favorite growing up. My mom would make them from scratch every year and use red hots for their eyes and buttons.
When I moved away from home, I took mom’s recipe with me. This year, with my chronic illness flaring, I wanted to have the magic of making homemade cookies, but didn’t want to feel ill. Thankfully it’s 2019 and with a few tweaks I was able to make them!
Now, just a few quick NOTES before we get started!:
Note 1, on flour: There are different kinds of gluten-free flour. I used a 1:1 variety by Bob’s red mill (I got mine on Amazon via Whole Foods) so that I could avoid having to add any Xantham gum or other ingredients. Make sure whatever flour you use is 1:1 OR that you have whatever additives you need to replicate ‘real’ flour consistency.
Note 2, on shortening/ butter: There are so many different shortenings and butter substitutes. I recommend finding one made of ingredients you are comfortable with (eg. some have soy, others don’t). I used this one by earth balance, soy-free. (again, from Amazon via whole foods because I got my groceries delivered #spooniewin)
Note 3, on molasses: This recipe calls for light molasses. I did some research, and it seems as though any brand of light or normal molasses should do. I recommend the Grandma’s brand, unfortunately not at whole foods, surprise! hehe. Any light or normal molasses should do, DO NOT use black strap molasses as it’s far more bitter. My whole foods only had black strap so I bought this separately.
Note 4, on spices: I always throw in a pinch more ginger and cinnamon than called for, because I LOVE spices! But rest assured if you use the measurements below you’ll be plenty flavorful!
Homemade Spicy Gingerbread Men Cookies
Yield 24 cookies
5-10 min prep time, 1 hour refrigeration time, 20-30 min cutting/ baking time.
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening or butter substitute
1/2 cup light molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl measure all ingredients. Beat ingredients with mixer at medium speed until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin (note: my gluten free flour didn’t stick super well so you may have to kinda wing this part), roll chilled dough 1/8 in thick. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- With cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Reroll trimmings and cut again. With spatula, place 1/2 in apart on cookie sheets.
- On each cut out, use sprinkles, cinnamon red hots, or desired decor to embellish cookies. Or omit and use frosting to decorate after (frosting not included in recipe)
- Bake 8 minutes or until browned, then with spatula remove cookies to cooling rack.