Thursday, November 06, 2014

Holiday baking begins! Gluten-free gingerbread cut-out cookies

Last night the house smelled so festive!  It was a cold evening, so baking cookies was the perfect after dinner project to warm up the house.  We made our first batch of gingerbread cookies and I tried a gluten-free recipe from this book called The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook..  The authors (a wife & husband team) also have a great website called Nourishing Meals: Healthy Meals for a Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, which includes recipes and advice for eating a whole foods gluten-free organic healing diet.  Great suggestions for lacto-fermented vegetables, detoxification eating, and more.  I absolutely love both their cookbooks which have taken a prime spot on the main cookbook shelf in our kitchen!  They have a version of gingerbread cut-out cookies on their blog which looks delicious but is not actually the one from the cookbook - this version has hazelnut flour and an egg, whereas the book recipe I used had brown rice flour and ground flax seed (no egg, no nuts).

This gingerbread is so delicious - it is very likely the BEST gingerbread cookie recipe I have ever tasted.  The dough does get sticky, so chilling it is very important.  They advise rolling the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, and I don't think you could roll it out any other way without a lot of sticking.  Also the cookies definitely needed to be cooled before removing from the pan, as they were a little breakable when warm.  It was a fun project do with my 6 year old daughter, who loved helping mix the dough (especially shaking in ALL the spices we added).  We made a 4 x batch so it was a huge amount of cookies, many to give away to friends, and some of which my daughter hopes to sell at her own little booth during our Handmade Holiday sale on Nov 29.  Making them gluten-free and vegan should assure that almost everyone in the room can eat them.  The icing (still to come) is a cashew butter-coconut oil based mix, which pipes well out of an icing bag after it has chilled.  So not only do these cookies taste amazing, they were beautiful to roll out and cut into shapes (we used "woodland themed" cookie cutters - fir trees, gnomes, stars, reindeer, owl), but they are nutritious and healthful too.

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