Indulge in this festive-inspired gingerbread! This recipe features traditional ingredients like blackstrap molasses, butter, and ground spices for an authentic taste and texture. Plus, it's made without gluten, wheat, and eggs, catering to a range of dietary preferences.
When it comes to top-tier festive treats, gingerbread biscuits reign supreme. Synonymous with Christmas, they’re perfect for snacking, dipped into your favourite hot drink, used as a canvas for decoration, or crumbled over desserts like pudding or ice cream.
With countless recipes for traditional gingerbread online, this version veers slightly off course, being crafted without egg, gluten or wheat – yet it still captures the true essence of gingerbread.
As a Registered Nutritionist, I’m mindful that some folk need to steer clear of certain ingredients due to allergies, intolerances, or personal preference. While that might mean the classic biscuits are off the table, these are a perfect substitute during the festive season (or anytime a gingerbread craving strikes).
Gluten-free flour. Opt for a quality gluten-free plain flour blend (Kiwi’s, I use Edmonds). Skip the self-raising – we’re adding the raising agents ourselves.
Almond meal. For a tender moist texture and nutrient boost. Once you start including ground almonds in your gluten-free baking, you’ll never go back.
Spices. It wouldn’t be gingerbread without the spice factor. We’re using ground ginger and cinnamon here.
Xanthan gum. Commonly used in gf baking to mimic the properties of gluten. I get mine from the baking section of my local supermarket.
Blackstrap molasses. A traditional gingerbread ingredient that brings robust flavour and a glorious deep colour. Fun fact: blackstrap molasses is rich in essential minerals, like iron and magnesium.
White chocolate. To dunk and decorate our gingerbread – it makes them look like they’re wearing little white pants *swoon*.
You’ll also need the basics: baking powder and baking soda for spread and rise; vanilla for flavour and aroma; butter for structure and moisture; maple syrup to sweeten the deal; and a pinch of salt to balance it all.
Step-by-Step: Gingerbread Cookies
Measure flour accurately. Use a spoon to scoop flour into measuring cups, gently levelling off with a knife. Never ever drag a cup up the side of the flour bag – this packs it in, and is a one-way ticket to dry, dense gingerbread.
Chill the dough. As the butter gets cold, the dough will firm, making it easier to work with. An hour in the fridge will do the trick.
Roll your dough thicker. If too thin, the cookies may become overly crisp and crunchy when baked – like ginger snaps. I aim for around ½ centimetre thick pre-baking to ensure a soft and tender texture in the middle once done.
Bake lower. A lower oven temperature (160 degrees celsius) will help the biscuits rise and set properly without drying out or getting crispy.
Leave to cool for five minutes. Once out of the oven, leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes where they’ll firm up, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, then decorate.
Serving & Storage
Enjoy once baked or store in an airtight container for up to a week. If stacking the biscuits, place a sheet of baking or parchment paper between layers to prevent the chocolate from sticking together.
Depending on your local temperature, the white chocolate coating may soften at room temperature – in this case, store in the fridge.
What are the nutritional benefits of using almond meal in baking? Almond meal, aka finely ground almonds, is a wonderful way to boost the nutrition of your baked goods. It is:
Naturally gluten-free. This makes it a suitable standard flour sub-in for those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Nutrient-rich. It’s a good source of essential nutrients, including healthy fats, protein, and minerals like magnesium.
Better for blood sugar regulation. The combination of healthy fats, protein, and fibre in almond meal may support better blood sugar regulation when subbed for standard flour.
1 ¼cupgluten-free plain flour,plus a sprinkle more for dusting
2 ½tspground ginger
¼cuppure maple syrup
Garnish – optional
Sift the plain gluten-free flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix.
Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl and mix until black and glossy.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Use a wooden spoon to mix into a dough, switching with your hands to bring it all together once nearly a ball.
Cover the bowl or put the dough in an airtight container. Chill for an hour in the fridge.
When you've got 10 minutes left of chilling time preheat the oven to bake 160 degree Celsius.
Flour a clean surface. Place the dough overtop and roll with a rolling pin until around ½ centimetre thick. Punch out shapes with a cookie cutter. Carefully place on a lined baking tray (you'll need to do a few rounds, but don't worry they cook quick!). I got 20 biscuits from the dough.
Bake at 160 degrees for approximately 12 minutes, or until the edges are set but the centres are still slightly soft.
Remove from oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes on the tray – they will continue to firm up as they cool. Gently transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once completely cooled, melt white chocolate until smooth.
Dunk each gingerbread in the white chocolate a little less than half-way up their body. As you go, place back on the lined baking tray. I tend to dunk just the front side, so they'll sit flat on the tray.
Place the trays in the fridge for the chocolate to harden.