Gluten-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies
Soft, chewy, moist, and full of flavor. These festive cookies will infuse your holidays (or any day) with cozy sugar and spice.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 24 thick and chewy 2" cookies.
- 1 cup GF oat flour (such as Bob's Red Mill), (4 1/2 ounces)
- 3/4 cup sweet rice flour (such as Koda Farms Mochiko), (4 ounces)
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour (such as Bob's Red Mill), (1 ounce)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and kept warm, (4 ounces)
- 1/3 cup molasses (I use dark unsulphured), (3 1/2 ounces)
- 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar, (2 1/4 ounces)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (preferably organic cane sugar), plus another 1/3 cup for rolling the cookies, (2 1/4 ounces)
- 1 large egg , (2 ounces out of shell)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, sift together the oat, sweet rice, and tapioca flours with the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, and salt.
In a large bowl, stir together the butter, molasses, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture with a sturdy wooden spoon. Once the flour is incorporated, stir vigorously for 40 strokes - this activates the stickiness of the flours and makes for chewy cookies.
Cover the dough and chill until firm, 1-2 hours or preferably 1-2 days.
When you're ready to bake, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line 2 rimless cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place the remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.
Scoop the cookies into 1" balls (a spring-loaded #40 ice cream scoop works wonders) and roll each ball in the sugar. Place the balls at least 2" apart on the cookie sheet.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until they are puffed and cracked, and the dough between the cracks looks underbaked, 7-10 minutes, rotating the pan after 5 minutes to ensure even baking. Repeat with the second sheet.
Let the cookies cool slightly on the sheet (or if they've been overcooked, whisk the parchment and cookies straight off the sheet and onto a cooling rack), then use a thin, metal spatula to remove the cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely (the cookies will still be baking from residual heat), then store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Update 12/2017: My original recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, but I've tested them without and didn't detect a difference, so I've removed it from the ingredients.
If you can, start these cookies a day (or even two) ahead; the dough benefits from a day of chilling, resulting in thicker, chewier, smoother cookies. If you must have cookies straight away, go ahead and bake some off; they will spread more, and will have a thinner and more brittle texture, but they will still be good.
Err on the side of underbaking, removing the cookies when they are puffed and cracked, with the dough between the cracks looks underbaked. For the craggiest cookies, bake the trays one at a time in the upper third of the oven.
I recommend weighing the ingredients for these (and all) cookies as slight variations in amounts can cause the cookies to spread too much or not enough. (Besides, measuring molasses into a cup and then trying to get it back out again is no fun).
I use a dark, unsulphured molasses here, but I'm guessing that blackstrap or light molasses will work, too, though blackstrap will have a more assertive molasses flavor, whereas the light stuff will yield a more mild, kid-friendly cookie.
Sweet rice flour is stickier than regular white rice flour and can be found with other gluten-free flours at health food stores, or at Asian grocers.
Nutritional values are based on one of twenty four cookies.
Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.6mg