Gingerbread isn’t just for Christmas. Some evenings after school, I used to swing by the local bakers before getting the train to grab a gingerbread biscuit for the journey home. I haven’t yet found a bakers that has gluten free ones, so thought I’d give baking them a go.
I read a quote recently that summed up baking and cooking perfectly:
“When baking, follow instructions; when cooking go by your own taste.” – Laiko Bahrs
This couldn’t be more true. As much as you want to mix up a recipe, it’s often a bit touch and go if you’re baking, but always interesting to experiment. I hate following instructions, so the amount of times I’ve totally messed up a perfectly good bake because I’ve wanted to do things differently is more frequent than I’d like. But I guess we never learn unless we experiment.
I found a recipe for gingerbread in a gluten free Christmas recipe book, but didn’t have some of the ingredients, so thought I’d change it up a bit. Crossing my fingers and toes, it actually came out surprising well! Instead of ground ginger, I used fresh ginger, giving the biscuits a really nice kick, which really shines through when you bake them for a little longer. Likewise, I added golden syrup instead of corn syrup and maple syrup rather than molasses.
Gluten free gingerbread biscuits, adapted from Hannah Miles’ ‘Gluten Free Christmas.’
What you need
250g gluten free plain flour
100g ground almonds
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2cm fresh ginger finely chopped
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg + 1 egg white
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan). Mix together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger in a mix well.
- Next add the syrups, butter and vanilla extract and whisk in the egg. (Save the separate egg white for later.)
- Whisk together until you have a soft dough. Bring together with your hands and roll out using a rolling pin to roughly 5mm thick with plenty of gluten free flour on the surface.
- Use cookie cutters of your choices, and places the gingerbread shapes on a baking tray with a layer baking paper as a base.
- Whisk the egg white and use a pastry brush to paint over the cookies, to help give them a shine. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
I quite like these without lots of icing, and actually without added decoration, you can really taste the fresh ginger. This batch made roughly 18 cookies, but it all depends on the size of your cutters. What’s great about them, is that you can stick them in an air tight container, and pop back every time you fancy a biscuit. Excuse the difference in colour – this was due to be coated in different amounts of egg whites!
Now I just need to make some bunny friendly cookies for the girls and I’ll be a proper crazy bunny lady!