Gluten-Free Gingerbread


You know what I love the most about Gingerbread, it truly smells, looks, and tastes like the holidays! They are one of the most personalized cookies out there in my opinion... You really can go all out and decorate them as you wish. Seriously, look up "Gingerbread men" on pinterest or reddit and you'll see what i'm talking about!


We never grew up making Gingerbread, but as i've gotten older I feel like we've made "new" traditions that I love so much. As much as the royal icing pains me every year or sometimes my icing lines aren't perfect (which I attribute to using a plastic ziplock vs. a true piping bag) I still absolutely love these little guys.


True gingerbread calls for black strap molasses and while this recipe doesn't use it given it's keto-friendly nature, it's still a perfect little gingerbread man and I promise it doesn't lack that authentic flavor. I've tried this recipe out about 5 times, tweaking up until the 3rd round and then I spent the last 2 rounds trying my absolute might to "ruin" them to see what could possibly go wrong and not produce the perfect gingerbread cookie.


What makes a good Gingerbread cookie?

Well, for one it's definitely the ground ginger (don't panic, put more). And you absolutely have to use brown sugar, really it's very hard to achieve the same taste by using granular sugar. Also, your gingerbread has to be both crunchy, stiff, but also soft. I know what you're thinking... Dem what did you just say? But it has to be structurally sound, it cannot fall apart. At the same time, it should be soft enough that you're not crunching through it in every bite.


Mmm.. love me some Gingerbread!


Recipe Notes:

  • Keto-friendly: this recipe is actually inherently keto-friendly, every time i've used Swerve brown sugar so it's super easy to keep it Keto-friendly. Icing = powdered Swerve and bam you're done and have 0.4 net carbs per serving if you use your 18

  • Paleo friends: You will want to swap out the butter for coconut oil, and then you should be all set!

  • Gluten-free: this recipe has been tested 4 times with almond flour and once with coconut flour, it has not been tested with any different flour/regular gluten-free flour. So, I cannot guarantee the texture/flavor if you change to: oat flour, rice flour, or gluten-free flour mix.

  • Coconut flour: do not swap this for the almond flour in the recipe, unfortunately the ratios are off and it does not work.

  • Xantham gum: this is also mandatory. I have removed it a few times and it doesn't hold together-- invest in some Xantham gum!

  • Rolling out the dough: So when you bake Gluten-Free, you don't want to be adding extra flour to the surface and then roll out your dough (like you would with gluten flour). The texture is different, and you will get a "Grainy" feeling in your cookie and no one wants that! I have found that if you roll your dough between 2 pieces of parchment, it works perfect and eliminates the need for a floured surface. Place a piece of parchment on your counter, take the dough and put it on top in a ball. Put another sheet of parchment on top of that ball and roll with a rolling pin. So your rolling pin will never touch your dough it will always be on the parchment paper. As a note, you always want to roll room temperature dough. So when you're in between batches and trying to use the left over "ends" of your dough... let it come up to room temp before you put it between the parchment and roll out again. Rolling out cold dough is not fun and causes cracks.

  • Refrigeration: This is absolutely KEY, do not skip this step at all! There are multiple places where you have to refrigerate so read the directions carefully.

And lastly, and my most important rule which I first wrote about on my Gluten-free cut out Christmas Cookies: Give every batch of cookies the same fighting chance.


This means exactly what you think it means. Each time you roll out the dough, you have to treat it the same as the first time. That means:

  1. Put it back in the fridge for the same amount of time as the first batch (I know you're rushing, I know the oven is on... I know you want to get this over with... ) but you have to give them all the same fighting chance or else our first set of cut outs will be perfect and then it will go downhill from there.

  2. Don't put cut out cookies on a warm baking sheet. When you take the sheet out of the oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack, don't put your new batch of cut cookies on that warm baking sheet. They will lose their shape and start to melt down, and again you want to treat every batch like it was your first.

  3. Once you finish cutting out the cookies in one batch and you have the "scraps" of dough left, resist the urge to immediately form into a ball, roll it out and cut it again. Let the dough come completely up to room temperature again (like the first batch was) before you roll it out again. Rolling out cold dough causes cracks in your cookies--no one wants that!) See recipe note for: rolling out dough.

Recipe:

1/4 c. salted butter, melted then cooled

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. Almond flour (not almond meal)

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tbs. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. brown sugar (again, I used Swerve)


Yields 18 regular size gingerbread men 1/4" thickness


Directions: Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl and then cool to the touch. Add butter to a standing mixer with paddle attachment, add egg and vanilla and mix for 3 minutes until combined. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, and brown sugar. I use a fork to just mix around slightly to make it all uniform before adding to your mixer. Continue to mix until uniform ~ 4 minutes, make sure to scrape down the sides-- you don't want to lose any of those warm spices!


Take the dough out of the mixer and place on parchment paper. (See recipe notes, "rolling out the dough").


Roll out to ~ 1/2 an inch. Now, this step is INCREDIBLY important so read carefully. When your dough is all rolled out, lift the top parchment paper and then take the rolled dough that is not cut out yet and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

When your dough is cooled for 30 minutes, take it out and it will be HARD, it should not fall apart if you hold it by the bottom parchment, if it does... put it back in the fridge for another 15 minutes.


Now you can cut out your shapes and place them on a silicon lined baking sheet. It really needs to be silicon and not parchment, see more about this here. After you have cut out your shapes and placed them on the silicon baking sheet, place the baking sheet BACK in the refrigerator-- YES i'm serious.


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees while you're waiting for your shapes to cool further.


After 15-20 minutes (or as long as the preheating takes), place your baking sheet from the fridge into the oven and bake for 11-13 minutes, watching for browned edges. When you take the cookies out, leave them on the sheet for another 2 minutes this will help to "Dry them" and stop the cooking process will also protecting them from cracking if they're moved when they're too hot. Transfer onto a wire rack to further cool before decorating.


*Nutrition facts created using Swerve*

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