I put out a little “SOS” of sorts on Facebook last week asking you guys what type of baked treats you’d like to see on the blog before Christmas. Though I got a lot of replies the most common theme was gingerbread, and specifically to make it gluten-free and vegan. When you talk, I listen! I got to work that same day and perfected a recipe by morning. Friends, I present to you both gluten-free AND vegan gingerbread men!
This batter is seriously decadent looking, no? But it’s deceptive as it actually has plenty of wholesome gluten-free grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and oat flour. It also includes one flax egg and a healthy heaping of molasses, which we all know is good for the soul. A few other basic ingredients and we have 1-bowl magic on our hands. Next? Chill, roll, and stamp – my favorite part.
These little guys take a little tender care in the stamping process but once you get them on the tray you’re home free. And the good news is, if you’d rather not mess with cutting them into shapes, you can just roll them into little balls and bake them into some of the BEST, crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-insider ginger cookies I’ve ever had. No joke!
Look at that stack of gingerbread goodness. These guys are:
Crispy on the edges
Tender and slightly chewy in the center
Packed with ginger, cinnamon and molasses flavor
& Begging to be frosted.
I can fix that…
For my frosting I went with a simple mix of powdered sugar, melted vegan butter, and a dash of almond milk. This is the perfect and most simple frosting for these little dudes.
OK, I lied. Stamping them out is my SECOND favorite step. Icing them is my first.
I hope you enjoy these cookies! Make them for friends, for yourself, or with the little kiddos in your life. They will have a ball dotting on buttons and faces and tiny gingerbread man shoes. Maybe more fun than you (but I doubt it).
Once they’re all dressed, package them up and send them to far away friends or ones just across the street. These would also be adorable individually wrapped in cellophane and tied onto presents. Just sayin’. Your family would be seriously impressed.
And before I go, can I just say that making them into little rounds is my preferred way to go because although they aren’t as adorable, they taste like gingerbread MAGIC IN THE MOUTH. Get you some. Happy holidays, friends!
Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men
In a large mixing bowl, prepare flax egg by mixing flax and water and letting rest for 5 minutes.
Add softened butter, molasses, almond butter, brown sugar, salt, spices, baking soda and beat on low with a mixer, or vigorously whisk.
Add gluten free flour to the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir until well combined. Your dough should hold its shape when pressed, but not feel dry. I found that 1.5 cups (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) was about the perfect amount, but this will depend on your blend.
Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (preferably overnight).
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees (176 C). Carefully roll out dough to a little thicker than 1/8 inch between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment/wax paper, generously sprinkling the bottom layer and the top of the dough with white or brown rice flour before rolling. You don't want it too thin or they'll be too crisp.
Remove top sheet and, working quickly, dip your cookie cutters in rice flour and cut out shapes. Next, lift the plastic wrap (with all of the dough) and place it on a baking sheet or large plate and freeze for 5 minutes to let them firm up. This will make them easier to transfer to your baking sheet for baking.
Next, use a lightly floured spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a baking sheet, working quickly. Leave 2 inches for spreading.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they appear only slightly browned on the edges. They'll continue firming up as they sit on the pan. Let rest on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Once cooled, decorate with frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar. I think a perfect, simple frosting option is piping on a mix of 2 cups icing sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter, and 1-2 Tbsp almond milk (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Just make sure it's on the thicker side so it doesn't run.
Store covered at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer term storage. The batch should make between 25-35 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter / or if you decide not to cut them and roll them into balls.
*If you don't want to cut them out into shapes (as it is a bit onerous with the dough being so tender), after chilling, simply roll 1 Tbsp amounts of dough into balls, freeze for 5 minutes, then bake for 10-12 minutes.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 1/4 cups GF Pancake Mix, without frosting, and for a batch that makes 30 cookies.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 30 cookies)
- Calories: 69
- Fat: 2.9g
- Sodium: 112.7mg
- Potassium: 68.6mg
- Carbohydrates: 10.1g
- Fiber: 0.6g
- Sugar: 5.4g
- Protein: 1g
- Calcium: 2%
- Iron: 2%