Gluten-free Christmas gingerbread cookies (Lebkuchen)
I made these delicious gingerbread cookies for a Xmas party and they disappeared fast!!! The dough for these needs to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. I made the dough on day one, baked it on day two and the cookies were perfection still on day three and four.
Makes around 40
210g plain gluten-free (GF) flour blend (I use equal parts of oat, millet and sorghum flour but any good, unrefined, gluten-free blend works).
140g ground almonds
1 rounded tsp GF baking powder
1 level tsp of bicarbonate of soda (bread soda)
1 level tsp ground allspice
1 rounded + 1 level tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
1 rounded tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp mixed spice
1 orange (fine zest only, organic if possible)
80g butter (if dairy sensitive, use clarified butter)
1 tbs lemon juice
150g 85% cocoa dark chocolate (or minimum 70%)
1.In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix together the flour, almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate, spices and fine zest of 1 orange.
2.Weigh the honey and butter into a small saucepan and set over a gentle heat, stirring until the butter and honey have just melted.
3.Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and the lemon juice and mix until thoroughly blended and even.
4.Set aside to cool, folding occasionally with a wooden spoon.
5.Once cold, tip the dough into an airtight container and cover tightly with a lid (a bowl and clingfilm will do too). Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
6.Prepare a couple of large baking trays by lining with greaseproof/silicon baking paper (batch-bake if needed).
7.Once the dough is firm, pull off small pieces and roll into balls the size of a walnut. 8.Place on the baking trays with room to spread between each ball. Place back in the fridge to keep them firm until ready to bake.
9.Heat oven to 160C and bake until just starting to darken in colour. The original recipe says 13-15 minutes but in my oven this took 10 minutes for a perfect texture. 10. Allow to cool completely on the baking trays.
11. Break the chocolate into squares and melt in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Make sure the water does NOT touch the base of the bowl or the chocolate can turn gritty. Once chocolate is melted, turn off the heat.
12.Dip each biscuit in melted chocolate until its half coated and allow to set on trays lined with greaseproof/silicon baking paper.
Why these are better for you:
The absence of refined sugar and (if you use wholemeal gluten free flours) refined grains in these mean they don’t produce the immune-suppression and inflammation caused by standard cookies. The almonds contain protein which means these don’t upset your blood sugar (and your weight, mood and immunity). The absence of gluten also means that your small intestine is not damaged by eating these. HOWEVER, it’s a good idea to remember though that eating a lot of honey and grains is not as healthy as living mostly off quality protein and vegetables. So these are treats, not everyday staples.