A few of my gluten free vegan gingerbread bears!

A few of my gluten free vegan gingerbread bears!

This year my son suddenly wanted a gingerbread man. We did eggnog as kids but not gingerbread. So this post was a long time coming since I had never before attempted to make a gingerbread man with or without gluten or dairy.

I started by adapting a recipe from my old favorite The Cooky Book. I then proceeded to change everything. The first batch didn’t taste like much. You would think I would be used to the way that rice flour sucks the flavor out of things, but I still blew it. The second batch was wrong in the opposite way. You could taste the cloves without actually eating the cookies. The third time they worked out just fine. Soft enough, stable enough, and with the right amount of spices.

This cookie is soft, but also strong enough to make a house or a gingerbread boy and is reasonably spicy. The dough does need to be chilled thoroughly preferably overnight. or it is too sticky to roll out. After a night in the refrigerator it rolls out smoothly.

1/4 cup EB coconut spread or Spectrum Butter Flavor Shortening
2/3 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
1 cup dark cooking molasses (not blackstrap!)
1/2 cup cold water
4 1/2 cups Namaste Perfect Flour Blend
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp allspice 3
2 tsp ginger 3 1/2
1 1/2 tsp cloves 2
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 3

Electric Mixer
Separate bowl large enough to combine dry ingredients
Flexible (silicone or rubber) spatula
Measuring cups and spoons
Cookie sheet
Silpat sheet or parchment paper
Cookie cutters
Rolling pin

Measure and mix all dry ingredients thoroughly in separate bowl.
Mix shortening / spread, sugar and molasses thoroughly in bowl of electric mixer
Add water and combine. The shortening will separate out and float on the top of the brown liquid. Don’t worry this is not a mistake.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Mix thoroughly. You will need to scrape out the bowl and clear the beaters a few times.
Dough should now be a slightly sticky brown ball.
Refrigerate dough until firm and thoroughly chilled. Cover with plastic wrap or other covering to keep it from drying out.
When you are ready to bake do the following
Preheat oven to 350
Knead the dough to loosen it up a bit and get it ready to roll out. It will be stiff after refrigeration. If it crumbles when rolled out then it should be kneaded some more.
Roll out dough on counter lightly floured with the Perfect Flour blend. Use just enough flour to keep the gingerbread from sticking
Roll dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch
Cut dough into shapes
Put shapes on cookie sheet (I used one lined with a Silpat. I love my silpat)
Bake at 350 for 8 to 12 minutes. The cookies will puff slightly and look dry when they are ready
Remove from oven and cook for a few minutes on cookie sheet, then finish cooling on racks
Frost or decorate as desired