These soft gluten-free gingerbread cookies were such a huge hit with my kids – and my husband. We made the dough a few days ago and put it in the refrigerator to chill. When we suddenly had a snow day yesterday, the dough was ready to roll out, bake, and decorate.
Before I get to the recipe details, I’ve got a cookie tip for you … If you ever see a fish spatula, buy it. It’s a long, thin metal spatula that is designed to gently lift fish from your pan, but really, it should be called a cookie spatula. This thing is amazing. Have you ever carefully cut out beautiful cookie shapes, only to try to transfer them from your floured surface to the pan and have them become horribly disfigured. Ugh. This spatula is amazing. It’s so thin, it gently gets under the dough – even if that dough is a little bit stuck to your surface, and carefully removes your perfect cookie shapes.
Back to this amazing soft gluten-free gingerbread dough! There are many things to love about this dough … first of all, you mix it all in one bowl. Second, it makes a ton of cookies! I also love that gingerbread cookies are an opportunity to use local molasses. I could eat local molasses by the spoonful! Such a deep, rich flavor!
I am not a fan of hard cookies. My goal in life is to only make soft cookies. Once in awhile, I have a craving for a slightly crispy cookie, but usually, I lean toward soft. My middle child does not even like cooked cookies. Weird, I know. She is just obsessed with cookie dough. However, for these soft gingerbread cookies, she made an exception, and even came back looking for a second one.
These cookies are perfect just the way they are OR you can make up a small batch of royal icing and have your children – or you – decorate them. And, when your daddy is a bone doctor, you really need to make him some gingerbread skeletons. Julia made a couple of adorable gingerbread cookie skeletons. How cute are they!? Now she wants to make an entire batch of these for his office next week.
You can tint your royal icing different colors or you can just leave it white. I am a fan of white. Don’t make this any harder than it has to be. I posted the recipe I used to make the royal icing for these cookies – scroll to the bottom to see it.
So … before the molasses and the holidays are gone, get your kids in the kitchen and make these cookies!
Soft Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Soft Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
These soft gluten-free gingerbread cookies are perfect for the holidays!
- 1 c butter softened
- 1 c sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 c molasses
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 5 c gluten-free flour King Arthur
- 1 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 t ground ginger
- 2 t ground cinnamon
- 1 t pumpkin pie spice
Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. 2 to 3 minutes.
Add egg, molasses, and vinegar. Beat again.
Add flour, baking soda, salt, and spices to the wet ingredients. Mix on low to combine.
Remove from the bowl and split the dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it's about 1/2 inch thick.
Cut into shapes. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner.
Cook for 9-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
When the cookies are completely cooled, you can decorate them with royal icing.
Simple Royal Icing For Soft Gingerbread Cookies
This simple royal icing recipe was perfect for decorating our gingerbread men. I didn’t get into tinting the icing any fancy colors – we stuck with basic white and it looked great! To make royal icing, you really need meringue powder. I buy mine at Michael’s in the cake decorating section. After watching weeks of holiday cookie decorating contests on the Food Network with my kids, I decided to use some corn syrup in my royal icing this time and I loved it! I think it made it a little bit shinier and gave the icing a crisp finish when it dried.
Recipe for White Royal Icing …
1 1/2 T meringue powder
3 T warm water
1/2 T light corn syrup
2 C powdered sugar
Water – as needed
Combine meringue powder and warm water until dissolved. Beat for about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and corn syrup. Mix at medium speed for about five minutes. Remove a small amount of royal icing to a small bowl and add a little bit of water – drop by drop – until it’s the consistency you want. If you are planning on piping some designs on your gingerbread men, you will want your royal icing to be a little bit thick. After you pipe your designs, you can thin out your royal icing a little bit more so you can flood your designs to fill in the empty spaces. It’s up to you! We mainly just piped designs on our gingerbread men and did very little flooding. Make sure that any royal icing that you are not using stays covered! It will dry out quickly!