The holiday season isn’t complete without a batch (or two or three) of gingerbread cookies. This recipes skimps not on the spices or molasses, and as such would have been completely snubbed by the younger clove/nutmeg/ginger-only-enjoyed-in-moderation me. Now that I can actually catch a whiff of molasses straight from the bottle without grimacing, I prefer to use one of the most flavorful, non-blackstrap molasses available — Brer Rabbit Full Flavor. (B&G Foods makes both Brer Rabbit and Grandma’s molasses — two of the most common brands at grocery or big box stores — for a discussion of the various strength levels please see the third and fourth Q&As here.) Anyway, the resulting cookies are nice and crisp — perfect for gingerbread people, festive shapes and houses alike!
How do you like your gingerbread cookies? Crispy, chewy or very soft? Spicy or mild? Full of molasses flavor or just a hint? Iced or dipped in chocolate or bare? (My preferences — in recent years — are bolded.)
Spicy Gingerbread Cookies
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours
Baking Time: 10 – 11 minutes
Makes: About 22 medium-size cookies
- 57 grams (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melt and cool slightly (15 – 30 minutes)
- 84 grams (1/4 cup) molasses (not blackstrap, I prefer Brer Rabbit full flavor)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 45 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) millet flour, plus more for rolling
- 45 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) garbanzo fava flour
- 24 grams (2 tablespoons) potato starch
- 16 grams (2 tablespoons) arrowroot starch
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Make and chill dough:
Combine melted and cooled butter, molasses and vanilla extract in whatever vessel you used to melt the butter (saucepan, measuring cup); set aside. Whisk together millet flour through ground nutmeg in a small (2-quart) bowl. Pour melted butter mixture into dry ingredients and stir by hand until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly millet-floured sheet of plastic wrap, pat into about a 3/4″ thick disk, wrap tightly and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (dough won’t be rock hard, just firmed slightly).
Roll dough and cut out cookies:
Line a small, rimmed sheet pan or freezer-safe platter with a silicone baking mat or a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it’s smooth, no wrinkles); set aside.
Sprinkle rolling surface with millet flour, turn chilled dough out and roll out until about 1/8″ thick. Cut out desired shape(s) and transfer to the prepared sheet pan using a small or large offset spatula (you really need a very thin tool to get under the cookies). No need to leave any space in between cookies, we’re not baking them yet.
Knead together scraps and re-roll/cut until it’s all shaped. If you run out of space on your baking sheet, lay down another sheet of plastic wrap over top (though the stacked cookies, even with plastic in between, are a bit difficult to separate once frozen they will). Transfer baking sheet(s) to the freezer and chill for 1 hour.
Bake and cool cookies:
While cookies chill, arrange oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
Once cookies have chilled for an hour, arrange half on one of the prepared sheet pans — they hardly spread, so about 1/2″ of space between each is enough. Return other half of cookies to the freezer. Bake until cookies are golden, edges are firm but middle is still a little soft, about 10 – 11 minutes (I baked mine for 11). Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Repeat with the second prepared cookie sheet and other half of the cookies from the freezer. (Please note: it’s really important that you don’t use the cookie sheet that just came out of the oven, it will cause the cookies to warm, spread and generally not come out as well. If you only have one sheet pan or baking mat that’s ok — just let it cool to room temperature before using it.)