Often I’m an “all-or-nothing” kinda gal. This month, however, has been a revelation. When I was first embarking on the Gold Star Experiment, I planned to include a host of other must-do activities, including making Green Juice daily and avoiding holiday treats. But then I realized that likely I was taking on too much, and my ambition would set me up for inevitable failure. So, instead, I’ve decided to take baby steps. It’s the holidays after all, and I want to take part in the festivities, which includes savoring occasional treats. For those of us with food sensitivities, however, this can sometimes be a challenge. So, I’ve created a delicious gingerbread recipe that can be enjoyed by those who do not eat gluten, dairy, or eggs. Happy holidays!
Note: This recipe contains almonds. Not suitable for those with tree nut allergies.
Makes 2 or more dozen (depending on thickness and size)
1¼ cup almond meal
1 cup brown rice flour
½ cup coconut flour
¼ cup sweet rice flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ cup coconut sugar
¾ cup all vegetable shortening (such as Spectrum Organic)
¾ cup molasses
¼ cup almond milk
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the almond meal, brown rice flour, coconut flour, and sweet rice flour until fully combined. Sprinkle in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and mix again. Add the coconut sugar and mix until fully incorporated. Pour the molasses and almond milk into the bowl and process until dough is formed. This dough will be quite wet; however, this is necessary because coconut flour is very absorbent. Otherwise, the cookies would be too dry. Divide the dough in two and as best you can, knead each half between your palms. Form a flat disc with each half and wrap them with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight (or even longer if you can). It will be too sticky to work with otherwise.
For thick and chewy cookies, roll the dough between wax paper to approximately ¼ inch thick (though I like to go just a bit thicker than that). Use your favorite cookie cutters to make shapes and use a thin, wide spatula to transfer them to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 350ºF for approximately 8-15 minutes. Remove when the centers are set and your finger only makes a slight impression. The thick and chewy cookies may crack a bit in the oven, but hopefully you’ll agree that this adds to their charm. Cool the cookies on a rack.
For thin and crisp, follow the directions above; however, roll the dough to approximately 1/8 inch thick and bake at 325ºF for 15-20 minutes. Remove when the centers are firm.
Once the cookies are completely cool, frost with your favorite icing.