Gingerbread Cookies – Made with Whatever Cookie Cutter Shapes You Like
Just recently (November 2017) Monash University announced that they had tested molasses and approved it in small amounts. We were so excited that I ran right into the FODMAP Everyday® Test Kitchen to whip up these Gingerbread Cookies.
The recipe is based on an old one of mine from my A Baker’s Field Guide to Christmas Cookies, which is one of my best-selling books. It is literally like a field guide where each cookie gets its own page with a picture of the cookie, “field notes”, historic and cultural information, and of course the recipe. There are even helpful hints on which cookies mail well, are easy to make, and/or fun to make with kids.
I actually have more than one gingerbread cookie in my Field Guide. There is another one that is richer, featuring more butter, which results in a slightly softer texture and is a bit more traditional, especially for “gingerbread people”. I chose to go with this cookie to keep it a bit leaner. And you can achieve a soft, chewy texture with this recipe if you remove the cookies from the oven when they are still a bit soft.
How Much Molasses?
Okay, back to the molasses. We said molasses was approved – and it was – in very small amounts: 1 teaspoon to be exact. We weren’t surprised that it was approved since brown sugar, which contains molasses, had been approved quite a while ago. And while we would have liked to see a larger amount approved, we are happy to take what we can!
Red Lights – Take a Closer Look
Another thing we are excited about is that the inclusion of molasses allows us to present a teaching moment. On the Monash University Smart Phone App Molasses is right next to a Red Light. Many people (maybe you?) see that red light and just stop dead in their tracks. Don’t be deterred! We encourage you to click through to view the entire entry on molasses. That is how you will learn that there is the 1 teaspoon Green Light amount.
Keep ‘Em Small
This Gingerbread Cookies recipe is for rolled cookies and whenever you make rolled cookies of any sort you can pick and choose your cookie cutters. Be smart. Choose ones that are around 2 inches (5 cm) in size. Don’t use huge ones or your serving sizes of 1 cookie will be skewed.
If you would like to decorate them as they are presented in our images you can use the Royal Icing (from our Decorated Sugar Cookie recipe) in a Medium and/or Thick texture and pipe eyes and details after the cookies have cooled. We like to use a pastry bag with a #2 decorating tip. If you want to affix the red-hot candies, simply press them into the icing when it is still soft.
The gold “painted” cookies are super easy! You will have to buy gold luster dust. This powdered, edible metallic color can be dissolved with a little bit of vodka, just until it develops a paint consistency. Then you paint with a small artist paintbrush! The alcohol evaporates and you are left with the very pretty embellishment as you see here.
If you like a more pronounced spicy flavor, feel free to increase the cinnamon and ginger to 2 teaspoons each.
Looking for other holiday cookies? Check out our Mocha Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies and our Double Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies. GREAT to make with the kids and to give teachers as gifts! Bake sale potential, too.
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I love Gingerbread Cookies made in people shapes - but you can use whatever shaped cutter that you like.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 65, 2-inch (5 cm) cookies; serving size 1 cookie
- 3 1/4 cups (471 g) gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour (plus extra for rolling out dough)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- 3/4 cup (160 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap)
Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl to aerate and combine; set aside.
Place butter in bowl of mixer and beat with flat paddle on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in cinnamon, ginger and cloves, then beat in egg and molasses until well blended.
Add about one-third of the flour mixture, then turn machine onto low-speed. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended. Scrape dough onto large piece of plastic wrap. Use wrap to help shape a large, flat disc then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to develop. (You may freeze dough up to 1-month double wrapped in plastic wrap; defrost in refrigerator overnight before proceeding).
Position racks in upper and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment paper.
Using one-third of dough at a time, roll out to a scant 1/4 inch (6 mm) thickness on lightly floured surface; you may need to flour your rolling pin too.
Cut out cookies with shapes of choice and place on prepared cookie sheet 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until dry and light golden brown around the edges. If you want chewy cookies, remove from oven while the cookies are still soft. If you want crisper cookies, bake for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. Cool cookies on sheets placed on racks. Cool pans between batches. Gingerbread cookies are ready to eat or decorate, as described in the headnote. Cookies may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.