Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies

One of my favorite books when I was a young child was a holiday themed “scratch and sniff” book, The Sweet Smell of Christmas.  I remember vividly my sisters and I huddled together on the couch, toasty warm in our Lanz of Salzburg flannel nightgowns (a la Big Love–sure do miss that show!). Passing the book back and forth between the three of us, we would scratch the candy cane picture and inhale deeply to enjoy the invigorating peppermint scent. Then there was the fragrant orange, so powerful it would make my mouth water.  A whiff of the hot chocolate mug would send me running to the kitchen for my own warm treat. Each of us had a favorite scent and mine was the gingerbread man. Sweet cinnamon, ginger and cloves dazzled my little olfactory bulb to no end.  To this day, that gingerbread aroma promises all that is wonderful about the holidays–reuniting with loved ones, delicious feasts, the joy of giving.  Baking these gingersnap cookies will infuse your home with the same glorious scent and you will, no doubt, be intoxicated with cheerful enthusiasm for the coming season.  Just try it–you’ll see!

This recipe is adapted from two gingersnap recipes in David Lebovitz’ Ready for Dessert-My Best Recipes.  Crispy around the edges with a slight chew in the center, these are best eaten just after they’re cool enough to handle.  My favorite way to store these is to freeze in an airtight container and remove from freezer as needed.  These spread a bit when cooking, so this is not the ideal recipe for making gingerbread men.  However, I do think these would be great as a base for a gingersnap cookie pie crust (say, for a pumpkin pie, perhaps??).   Another yummy way to enjoy these would be to make them into ice cream sandwiches.  OH MY…I feel a sugar rush coming on!  Now, let’s get baking:

Recipe for Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies:

yields:  approx. 36 cookies

1 1⁄2 C. Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. xanthan gum

1 1/2 t. cinnamon

1 t. ground ginger

1/4 t. ground cloves

1/2 C + 3 T. Spectrum Organic Shortening

1/2 C. + 2 T.  light brown sugar

1/2 t. vanilla extract

2 T. molasses

1 large egg

1/4 C. minced candied ginger

approx. 1/2 C. cane sugar for coating cookies


Preheat oven to 350.  Combine flour, xanthan gum, spices and salt in a bowl.  Whisk well.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the shortening with the sugar.  Add egg.  Mix well.  Add vanilla and molasses.  On low speed, spoon in the flour mixture.  Add the minced candied ginger.  Place cookie dough in a bowl and cover.  Refrigerate for several hours or until firm.  Roll into 1 1/4″ balls and then roll into sugar to coat.  Place cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they have spread into flat round sparkly little disks of heaven.  You do not want to overcook–they will be extra snappy.  And I’m the only one allowed to be extra snappy.  Place on a rack to cool.  Happy Holidays!


4 comments on “Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies

  1. Yummy, these cookies sound delicious! If you love dessert, and prefer baking with alternative flours you should check out Kim Boyce’s book… Good to the Grain. She is an excellent pastry chef with an eye for a slightly healthier goody! Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to possibly testing it out around the holidays!!

  2. Amy Anderson says:

    Jennifer, we are making these again today. They are so yummy and we love the way they make the house smell so snappy! 🙂 Happy Holidays!

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