Monday, December 19, 2011

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

When my mom heard we were baking gingerbread cookies recently she requested I send some back with my Grandma when she returned home.  The problem for my mom in that is she suffers from Celiac Disease.  After years of health struggles, she was finally diagnosed.

The Celiac Disease Foundation states:

The cause of Celiac Disease (CD), also known as celiac sprue or gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE), is still a mystery. One out of 133 people in the United States is affected with celiac disease. CD occurs in 5-15% of the offspring and siblings of a person with celiac disease. In 70% of identical twin pairs, both twins have the disease. It is strongly suggested that family members be tested, even if asymptomatic. Family members who have an autoimmune disease are at a 25% increased risk of having celiac disease. Celiac Disease is not a food allergy - it is an autoimmune disease. Food allergies, including wheat allergy, are conditions that people can sometimes grow out of. This is not the case with Celiac Disease.

There's a minimal chance I could one day be diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I limit my intake, not so much in concern with having Celiac, but because I hang out with a paleo-ish crowd.  More and more people seem to be limiting gluten, wheat and rice intake.  I've seen this especially prevalent in the CrossFit world.  Limiting processed foods and eating REAL food is definitely beneficial to the body.  Although this is a bit of a contradiction to the yummy desserts and foods I've been posting lately, we do primarily eat paleo-ish.

Thinking of my mom and her desire to have gingerbread cookies, I wanted to find a recipe for cookies she could enjoy that wouldn't cause her issues.

I found a recipe on that fit the bill.  Granted, many of their recipes have ingredients I do not readily have on hand and I do not want to go out and spend $50 on ingredients to make one batch of cookies.  Consequently, I used what I had and I think the cookies turned out GREAT!  They are soft and chewy and have just a hint of ginger and molasses.  I may increase the ginger a bit next time, but they taste great the way they are.  Appearance wise, they're a bit on the wrinkly side, but I'm a bit on the wrinkly side so, so they pass the test.  

Despite the appearance they are chewy soft goodness!

Nourishing meals recommended using hazelnut flour and provided a link to buy some on Amazon.  I don't have the desire or the inkling to order flour on Amazon so I just used ground almond meal flour found in the grocery store bulk section (Sprouts carries it).  

Also, they recommended using coconut sugar.  I purchased some in the Whole Foods bulk section when I was originally going to make these cookies, but used it for something else.  I ended up using raw turbinado sugar from Whole Foods 365 brand. It's a finer sugar than other raw sugar brands.  I would steer away from using a raw sugar that has granules as large as something like Sugar in the Raw.  The granules don't really break down well in the cookie dough.

I know my mom isn't as crazy about the frosting, so we didn't frost these cookies much.  Unlike my sweetheart and kiddies, I prefer to have cookies unfrosted also. They're much too sweet with the extra sweetness lathered on top.  

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Dry Ingredients
2 cups ground almond meal flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Wet Ingredients
1 cup coconut sugar (or raw turbinado sugar- fine granules)
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well.  

In an electric mixer combine wet ingredients.  Mix well.

Add dry ingredients.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for a couple hours.

Roll dough out to 1/4" thickness on surface sprinkled with sweet rice flour.  Using cookie cutters carefully cut out shapes and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet or on Silpat baking mat.  If you don't have a Silpat, add it to your Christmas list.  My mother-in-law gave me one for Christmas a couple years back and I LOVE IT!  Thank you MIL!

Bake 12-15 minutes.  If you bake them closer to the 12 minutes they with be soft and chewy.  If baked closer to the 15 minutes they will be crisper.

Ready for the oven

Our Peeps

Best Dressed!

Glamour Shot

This is a GREAT treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee, or perhaps the Christmas eggnog latte!

Mom, watch your mailbox...we're sending some friends your way!  Merry Christmas!

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