Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gluten Free Vegan Gingerbread

I've always sympathized with the gluten free folks.  Like me, they are limited at restaurants and parties.  My sister called me last week asking if I knew how to make gluten free gingerbread for one of her friends.   Making something without gluten is a fun challenge just like veganizing a recipe.  A success would work out conveniently, because my stepsister has Celiac and I had an invite to a family party later in the week.  Fortunately she likes gingerbread.

My sister stopped by and I started with a vegan recipe that I know and love: Bryanna's Low-Fat Vegan Gingerbread People.

We mixed it up using Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour.  The dough was stickier than I remembered and I knew some doctoring was necessary.  I took a quick taste and noticed that it had a very beany flavor.  I decided on some brown rice flour to counter the bean based red mill and thicken up the dough.    In addition, I added some instant coffee to cover it up and make for a richer taste.  As I added more flour and the dough continued to be sticky, I got worried that it wouldn't hold together well so I added some xantham gum.

In the end, these turned out perfectly and everyone enjoyed them including the folks that didn't have vegan or gluten free requirements.

Here's my best attempt at documenting the recipe!

Gluten Free Vegan Gingerbread Recipe
*Based on Bryanna Clark Grogran's Gingerbread People Recipe

1/4 cup of Earth Balance
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp of xantham gum
1 T of maple syrup
1 T of warm water mixed with 1.5 tsp of instant coffee
1/3 apple juice
1/2 tsp of each: ginger, allspice, and cinnamon
1/2 cup + 1 T of molasses
3 1/4 cup of Bob's Red Mill gluten free mix
1/4-1/2 cup of brown rice flour

In a large bowl mix together: sugar, Earth Balance, baking soda, baking powder, salt, xantham gum, and spices until creamy. Add the juice, syrup, coffee, and molasses and thoroughly mix.  Slowly add Red Mill and 1/4 cup of rice flour and mix until it forms into a dough.  Add more brown rice flour as necessary.  This dough will be a little sticky until chilled.

Chill 2 hours or up to 4 days.  The longer it chills, the better these cookies taste.  The first batch was good, but the second batch made two days later was really incredible.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out dough to 1/4 inch think and cut out cookies.  Don't be shy with the flour, this dough is stickier than standard wheat flour based dough.  I used rice flour for rolling.   Bake until lightly browned for 10-15 minutes.   Let cool 5-10 minutes on sheets and then move to a rack.