Hear ye, hear ye, grain-free and low-carb folks -- your search for the perfect holiday gingerbread cookie is OVER. I sound pretty confident about that, don’t I? Well after you try this recipe for yourself, you’ll understand why. These cookies are super moist, can be made either chewy or crispy, and they’re easy to whip up. You don’t have to chill the dough beforehand, plus rolling and cutting out shapes is a cinch, as it's not as sticky as traditional wheat flour dough. So, in no time, your house will be filled with the festive aroma of fresh-baked gingerbread -- and at around 1 to 2 net carbs and less than a gram of sugar per cookie, there will be plenty of cause for celebration.
Things You'll Need
2 cups blanched almond flour
⅛ - ¼ cup coconut flour (see recipe for adjustment instructions)
½ cup sweetener (I prefer Swerve brand erythritol blend)
1 ½ tablespoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons no-carb baking powder
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup butter, melted
1 ½ tablespoons molasses
1 pound powdered sweetener (optional, for icing)
3 tablespoons meringue powder (optional, for icing)
Food coloring (optional, for icing)
Step 1: Combine Dry Ingredients
Preheat your oven to 275° Fahrenheit. Combine almond flour, coconut flour (see tip below), sweetener, spices, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Adjust amount of coconut flour, between ⅛ - ¼ cup, depending on how soft or firm you like your gingerbread cookies to be. Bear in mind that coconut flour sucks up a lot of moisture, which may result in dry cookies if too much is used. Also keep in mind that you might want to use some coconut flour to dust your rolling pin later, so you may consider using less in your dough if you plan to dust.
Step 2: Add Wet Ingredients to Form a Dough
Add eggs, melted butter, and molasses to the dry ingredients, then mix thoroughly with your hands to form a dough.
Due to the fat content, the dough shouldn’t be very sticky once you’ve thoroughly incorporated all of the ingredients, making it easy to handle.
Step 3: Roll Dough
Separate the dough into two equal parts, setting one half aside. On a piece of parchment paper, roll out one part of the dough to about ⅙ to ¼ of an inch thickness. The thicker the cookie, the softer it will be. If the dough sticks to the pin, dust it with a little bit of coconut flour. You should only need a little, as the dough shouldn’t be very sticky. Take care, as adding too much coconut flour will dry out your dough. Alternatively, you can lay another piece of parchment paper over the dough, and roll on top of the paper to avoid using additional coconut flour.
Step 4: Cut Out Festive Shapes
Now grab your holiday cookie cutters and cut out your desired shapes. (The gingerbread men cutters I used are 3 ½ x 3 inches.)
Take the excess dough and roll out again to cut out more shapes. Since there's no gluten in this dough, you don't have to worry about "overworking" it, so roll out and cut as often as needed until you've used it all up. (No waste!)
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the second half of the dough that you had set aside.
Step 5: Transfer to Cookie Sheet
Transfer your unbaked gingerbread to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. You can use a cookie lifter or spatula if desired, but I find that, because of the non-stickiness and firmness of the dough, the unbaked cutouts are easily lifted by hand without losing their shape.
Step 6: Bake Your Cookies
Bake the cookies at 275° F for 18 to 20 minutes (depending on how thin you cut your cookies). Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack. They’re terrific with or without icing. However, even if I’m icing them, I always sneak a few while they’re warm from the oven (you should, too!). This recipe yields about three and a half dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cutters.
Decorate With Low-Carb Icing (Optional)
If you want super low-key cookies, serve them as is or with a dusting of powdered sweetener. But if you’ve got your heart set on decorating your cookies in the traditional fashion, you can do so and keep them low-carb by whipping up some low-carb royal icing.
Simply mix 1 pound of confectioner’s sweetener (I prefer Swerve), 3 rounded tablespoons of meringue powder, and 6 to 8 tablespoons of warm water. Leave your icing white, or add drops of food coloring until you get your desired color. Pipe the icing onto your cookies any which way you please.
Know someone new to low-carb eating who’s struggling to make it through the holiday season? These would make the perfect gift for them!