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Scrumptious Sunday: Gluten-free Ginger Snaps

April 4, 2010

Gluten-Free Ginger Snaps

These ginger snaps, adapted from a recipe at Veggie Revolution, have a surprisingly soft texture and great flavour. If you didn’t know they were gluten-free you’d have a hard time guessing what they are made of. Unfortunately, the picture here truly doesn’t show just how delicious these cookies are. I’ve made them several times for potlucks, bake sales, and as a house-warming gift, and people always want seconds.

When making a glutn-free flour mixture, remember that the flours you use should be as finely milled as you can find. I’ve seen granular rice and potato flours similar to a fine cornmeal. This is not what you want for your cookies since grainy flours will give the cookies a granular texture. Also, don’t use Chinese rice flour (glutenous or otherwise). The texture is too fine  and you’ll end up with a rather gummy cookie batter. Chinese rice flour is a lot more like cornstarch in texture and is usually used in fried savoury cakes and sweets that have a sticky texture not suited to cookies like this. Bob’s Red Mill, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Famous Foods and other whole food-oriented stores will carry the types of flours called for here.

To give gluten-free cookie doughs stretch, and to help them hold together better, xanthan gum is an ingredient sometimes called for in gluten-free flours. Some people seem to have trouble digesting xanthan gum, and instead of using it I’ve used guar gum with the same success. If you can’t find guar gum (Whole Foods carries it), don’t worry too much. But if you can get it, you’ll definitely get a better end-result with your cookies.

Below is a recipe for gluten-free flour, followed by the cookie recipe. If you’d like to know more about how to create a gluten-free flour, you can read about flour ratios here.

Gluten-free Flour Mixture

Ingredients

1 cup organic brown rice flour
2/3 cup organic potato flour
1/3 tapioca flour/starch
1 tsp guar gum

Directions

1. Measure out all four ingredients and combine them in a small mixing bowl, stirring thoroughly to combine. Sifting is not necessary, though it likely won’t hurt to do it either. Store mixture in a tightly sealed jar until ready to use.

Makes 2 cups of flour.

Ginger Snaps

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (see above)
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup oil (I’ve used canola, but you can use whatever you like to use)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar will also work well)
1/2 cup fancy molasses (don’t use blackstrap molasses)
1 tbsp hot water

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two cookie trays, or line them with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients and mix well until thoroughly combined.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tbsp measure, drop the cookie dough on the prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart.

6. Bake the cookies in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Although these cookies are brown to begin with, you’ll be able to see a bit of a golden look to the bottoms when they’re ready (and burnt cookies will be really obvious).

Makes about 24 cookies.

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