‘Tis the season for baking cookies! These soft ginger cookies are warm, fragrant and just a little bit spicy. Perfect for eating or gifting.
Gluten-free cookies are, like all cookies, an essential part of the holiday season. There are cookies to bake for Santa, cookies to gift to friends in person, cookies to mail (pack them well!) and cookies to eat hot out of the oven. One of the most common (and most important!) questions I receive from readers this time of year is which of my gluten-free cookie recipes freeze well. Well, these fragrant, lightly spicy, soft ginger cookies freeze really beautifully.
A word to the wise, though: If you’re looking to mail them to loved ones this holiday season, try making them a little bit smaller and baking them another minute or two so they are a little less soft. They’ll be more stable that way and will make it to their destination safe and sound.
Gluten-free soft ginger cookies recipe
Yields 2 dozen cookies
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (use your favorite blend, or my go-to blend: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine brown or white rice flour plus 9 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch plus 5 tablespoons potato starch)
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted and cooled (I use Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening)
- 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg at room temperature, beaten
- Coarse sugar (like Sugar in the Raw) for coating
- In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, salt, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground pepper, baking soda, baking powder and sugar. Whisk to combine well. Add the butter, shortening, molasses, vanilla and egg, mixing to combine after each addition. The dough will come together and will be very soft.
- Transfer the cookie dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap or unbleached parchment paper, shape it into a cylinder about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, and wrap it tightly. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside. You will need enough baking sheets to place 2 dozen balls of dough 2-1/2 inches apart to bake.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Slice it, by cross-section, into 24 pieces of roughly equal size. Press both sides of each piece of cookie dough into the coarse sugar, pressing firmly enough for the sugar to adhere to the dough. Place on the prepared baking sheets, at least 2-1/2 inches apart from one another. They will spread to roughly twice their current size during baking.
- Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies have spread to about double their size and are lightly golden brown all over and set all the way to the center of each cookie.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes or until firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.