Nothing says Christmas to me like the smell of gingerbread cookies. NOTHING. Ok, maybe the smell of Christmas trees but nothing else!
These paleo and gluten-free gingerbread cookies are pretty simple to make and use pretty much the same ingredients that you’d expect in classic gingerbread cookies except, of course, they use almond flour instead of wheat flour. Actually, the cookies are vegan-friendly too. Not the icing though — there are eggs whites in the icing.
I actually struggled to find a paleo-friendly royal icing or paleo sugar cookie frosting option that actually performed like a true royal icing (smooth and silky texture, dries firm). For example: Coconut sugar tasted absolutely divine but wouldn’t dry. I chose to make my own all-natural, organic powdered sugar using organic evaporated cane juice and tapioca starch ground together. If you’re looking for something a little easier, I’m sure you can find an all-natural alternative for powdered sugar at your local health food store or co-op. Also, if your heart isn’t set on having a firm frosting at the end, I do recommend the flavor of the coconut sugar alternative. Incredible.
I’d love to know if you try these cookies with icing, without icing, or have other variations that you love for the holidays.
Paleo Gingerbread Cookies
Prep time: 20 mins Total time: 30 mins Yield: about 12 (2″ cookie cutters)
1 1/2 cup almond flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch/flour (or arrowroot)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together wet ingredients, set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Combine wet & dry ingredients and knead a bit with your hands until a firm cookie dough ball forms.
2. Roll out cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper. If dough is sticky, you can chill it in the fridge for a few minutes. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and carefully place onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Keep rolling out the dough scraps til you’ve used it all up (or have minimal waste.) I was able to get about 12-13 cookies using ~2 inch cookie cutters. The dough is raw so if you feel so inclined, you can just munch on the dough scraps, heh heh.
3. Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes or until slightly puffy and browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Decorate if desired or just start gobbling them down!
All-Natural Royal Icing
Prep time: 5 mins Total time: 10 mins Yield: about 1 cup of icing
3/4 cup organic cane sugar or evaporated cane juice
1 Tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot starch
1 egg white (medium egg)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (can sub almond extract or other flavors as desired)
1. In a microwave safe bowl, beat egg white and vanilla extract until fluffy peaks form.
2. Add 1 cup powdered sugar (grind together 3/4 cups organic cane sugar + 1 Tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot starch) and gently mix together with a rubber spatula till smooth and creamy.
3. Place bowl in microwave and heat in 3x 10-second intervals, stirring in between each interval. This helps heat-treat the eggs and better dissolve the sugars.
4. Allow to cool before pouring into a piping bag (or plastic baggy with the corner cut off).
5. Decorate cookies as desired. Allow icing to set at room temperature for about 30 minutes (or until firm to the touch) before stacking.
Tips: Add water to thin or add more powdered sugar to thicken as desired. If using pasteurized eggs, you can skip the microwave step. If you don’t like to microwave things, you can heat-treat using a double-boiler method on low heat.
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