Gingerbread Cookies: Reader’s Recipe Makeover #2

I love old cookie cutters!   This one was my Mom’s that we used when I was a little girl.  What a cute little gingerbread man!

 An old friend recently sent me an email asking for help making one of her family’s traditional holiday cookies gluten free.  The recipe came from an 1950’s cookbook and the recipe is called Wagon Wheels.   They taste very similar to the Gingerbread Cookies I grew up with so for the sake of the recipe title, I will call them Gingerbread cookies.  My friend’s Mom always doubled the recipe and made the cookies before Thanksgiving.  She cut half of them into turkeys for Thanksgiving and the other half she used Christmas cut outs.  Talk about one wise lady!  Baking cookies for Thanksgiving knowing that half of them will be ready for Christmas.  That is so smart and efficient!  So that is exactly what I did, half of them I made into little turkeys and the other half became little gingerbread men.  I’m going to freeze the gingerbread men and pull them back out for goodies in December.  And to decorate the little turkey’s you could use little candy corns for tail feathers (if you are not allergic to egg) and a red hot for the turkey’s eye.  Press them in gently when the cookies come out of the oven.

 The recipe was actually quite simple to convert.  Since the original recipe did not use egg, all I needed to do was substitute the flour.  You need to let the dough refrigerate for 4 hours or more, so plan accordingly.  I made my dough one evening and then rolled them out the next morning.
1/2 c shortening (I used the Spectrum brand)
1 c sugar
1 c molasses (I prefer the mild flavored molasses)
1/2 c water
4 c Natalie’s Gluten Free Flour Mix (you will need to add xanthan gum if your mix doesn’t already contain it)
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
sugar to sprinkle
1.  In a medium bowl, combine shortening and sugar.  Mix well.
2.  Stir in the molasses and water.  Set aside.
3.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.  Whisk together.  Then, add the sugar and molasses mixture.  Stir well.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 4 hours or more to chill the dough.
4.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
5.  To keep the dough from sticking, I like to lay out a sheet of saran wrap or wax paper, sprinkle it with GF flour, place the dough shaped into a round disc on the flour, then top with sprinkled flour.  Then, cover with another sheet of saran wrap or wax paper to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin.  Roll out cookie dough, remove covering saran wrap or wax paper.  Cut out cookies with your favorite cookie cutters.  Transfer cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle cookies with sugar.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to finish cooling.  Make about 4 dozen cookies.


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  1. 2

    Thank you.
    These turned out great. I used butter and had to substitute some of the molasses (I use blackstrap) with maple syrup because I didn't have enough.
    It makes a wet dough, but the cookies are not spoiled by all the flour needed to roll out, knead the scraps and roll out again. Refrigerating is an absolute must of course, as it is with other rolled cookie doughs.
    I made a lemon glaze that really sets off the flavor of the cookie.

    Do you have trouble with your baked boys breaking? Perhaps I rolled my dough to thickly but the flowers I cut are fine. My boys break in half, lose their heads and appendages… They are starting to look like gingerbread zombies.

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