I love gingerbread men. These iconic holiday treats are cute, crispy, and oh so delicious. And, allowing great latitude for creativity and gluttony, you can decorate them however you wish (i.e. lots of icing and jujubes).
Since finding out a few years ago that I have a gluten intolerance (grrmph!), finding gluten-free gingies has been close to impossible – that is, until last December when I joyously came upon gluten-free gingerbread men and sugar cookies at The Sweet Escape in Toronto’s Distillery District. Sweet Escape’s cookies are tasty and are sweetly decorated. No complaints here!
If you would like to create your own gingerbread creatures at home, Canadian Living has crafted a great recipe for us gluten-free goddesses.
Recipe from Canadian Living (makes about 32 cookies):
½ cup (125 mL) shortening, softened
½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) fancy molasses
¼ cup (50 mL) cooking molasses or blackstrap molasses
3-1/4 cups (800 mL) gluten-free all-purpose baking flour, (such as Bob
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) ground clovecloves
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1 batch decorator icing
In large bowl, beat shortening with sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and fancy molasses and cooking molasses. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon; stir into molasses mixture in two additions, mixing well and blending with hands if necessary.
Divide dough in half; shape into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up 24 hours.)
Between waxed paper, roll out each half of dough to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Peel off top paper. Using 3-inch (8 cm) cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Slide dough and paper onto rimless baking sheets; freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
Transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven until firm to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool. Decorate with Decorator Icing. (Make-ahead: Store layered between waxed paper in airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
1 tbsp meringue powder (15 mL)
1-1/4 cups icing sugar (300 mL)
In bowl, beat meringue powder with 1/4 cup (50 mL) water until foamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in icing sugar until stiff, about 4 minutes. Cover with damp cloth to prevent drying out. Makes about 1/2 cup (125 mL).
If this is far too time-consuming for you (as it is for me), you can always opt for a gluten-free gingerbread mix like this one. Or, you can just support your local bakery (like The Sweet Escape) and skip the baking process altogether. *crunch*