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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Gingerbread Cookies (Gluten-Free)

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    1-¾ cups gluten-free flour mix**
    ½ to ¾ teaspoon ginger
    ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ cup butter or margarine (cold)
    1-½ teaspoon xanthan gum
    ½ cup brown sugar
    1/8 teaspoon cloves
    1 egg (cold)
    ¼ to 3/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    ½ cup gluten-free molasses

    Combine the rice flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, xanthan gum, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Mix well. Cut in the butter or margarine until the mixture is in crumbs the size of peas.

    In a small bowl beat the sugar, egg, and molasses together. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides. Form the dough into a flat ball shape and refrigerate for one hour.

    Dust some freezer paper (not wax paper) with gluten-free flour or confectioners sugar. Put the dough on the freezer paper and sprinkle with flour or confectioners sugar. Roll the dough to ¼ inch thick and cut out shapes as desired. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 20 cookies.

    ** gluten-free flour mix:
    6 cups white rice flour
    2 cups potato starch (NOT the same as potato flour)
    1 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)

    This recipe comes from Vicki Lyles. She adapted it (in desperation) from the Rolled Sugar Cookies recipe (see below), when she learned that our 5-year-old celiacs kindergarten class was going to be making gingerbread man cookies. The resulting cookies were quite good.

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    Added extra flour like previous comments said to do. Also to roll out you need a bunch of flour to keep it from sticking. Otherwise they turned out fine. A little too much molasses flavor than I would have liked however. I would cut that down to 1/4 cup.

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    I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty these turned out, especially since a lot of people had warned about the stickiness. To combat it, I took the molasses down to 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup and then I upped the flour to 2 cups instead of 1 3/4 cup. I also added a little bit of confectioner's sugar (probably less than a tablespoon). After the hour in the fridge, they rolled out fantastically and weren't too sticky at all, but also weren't too dry - just perfect!

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    Be warned!


    I have been making Gluten Free/Casein Free cookies for years, and tried this recipe because my daughter's kindergarten class was making gingerbread cookies and I wanted to bring in a Gluten Free version.


    The cut out dough was impossible to work with, sticking to everything. There appears to either not be enough margarine and/or flour. I mashed the dough into semblances of gingerbread men, and it took over an hour. Once cooked, they were hard and smooth on the outside and soft and grainy on the inside, not tasting terrible, but definitely not worth the effort. Very disappointed.


    Also, as an aside, there is no need to get as exact as 3/8 teaspoon. I doubt anyone could taste the difference between 3/8 and 4/8 or 1/2.

    I had no trouble rolling out the dough, and they taste fantastic. We've been munching on them all afternoon and I have the pieces to make a gingerbread house ready to go. Did you use enough xanthan gum or did you use a substitute? When I'm trying to roll out dough I've found that you need all the xanthan gum the recipe calls for, and guar gum does not work. I couldn't tell the difference between these and "regular" cookies.

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    I was cautious after reading all the reviews and was prepared for sticky dough... but not prepared enough! Even after adding an extra half cup flour, and a ton of powdered sugar, I gave up. I was able to roll the dough and cut shapes, but it was if the dough had melted to my rolling surface. There was absolutely no way to transfer it, it was SO STICKY. I ended up just dropping spoons of dough (even this was a trial) and making a drop cookie/ gingersnap. I cooked for 9 minutes/ sheet and they are fine. A little grainy, but a nice flavor and a beautiful color.


    I didn't have freezer paper, so I used wax paper and I used Bob's all purpose flour. Those were the only two things that I did differently from the recipe. I'm new to gluten-free cooking, so I don't know if that could have caused all my problems or not?

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    This is the first successful gluten-free cookie cutter experience I've had in 4 years, since I and my two children were diagnosed with celiac. I also can't eat eggs so I substituted 1/4 cup water and 2 extra teaspoons of molasses and these cookies are not falling apart like all the other ones I've tried! I am so excited, we're going to make a gingerbread house this year!

    If you can't use eggs, you might try replacing 1 egg with 2 tablespoons Agar + 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 2 tablespoons water.

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  • About Me

    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease  in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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