even with the deadline, there are cookies

ginger cookies for Christmas

(We’re thrilled that this recipe is being featured at Oprah.com’s roundup of holiday recipes for 2009. For more of our featured posts, visit Oprah.com today.)

No time to write a story. Pushing against the deadline, Christmas. Breathing. Still refusing to grow frantic. Instead, I will stay mostly silent here. I will simply say…

these are fantastic.

Read this, then start baking, right now.

, adapted from Chez Panisse

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup molasses
1 1/2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 1/2 teaspoon strong cinnamon
3 teaspoon dried ginger
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Combine all the dry ingredients together. If you have a stand mixer, use it here to mix the flours together well. Move to a separate bowl.

Put the softened butter into the mixer and whirl it around, just a bit. Add the sugar and cream the butter and sugar. Not too much, however — too much will make the cookies spread. ADd the eggs and molasses. Combine everything until has become a coherent mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix them until they are just combined, and no more. Stop the mixer.

Prepare a loaf pan by placing a piece of plastic wrap on the bottom, with at least two inches of overhang on either side. Spoon the cookie dough into the loaf pan, then smooth the surface with a spatula. Cover the top with the plastic wrap. Put the loaf pan into the freezer and freeze overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and take the log of dough out of the plastic wrap. Carefully, cut thin slices from the loaf of dough and lay them on a silpat on the baking sheet. (If you don’t have a silpat, use parchment paper.) Bake for ten to twelve minutes. The cookies will feel slightly soft to the touch, and possibly underbaked.

Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for at least ten minutes before you try to move them. Transfer them to a cooling rack. Allow them to sit there for another fifteen minutes before eating. (Really. You have to try!) At this point, you can leave the cookies this size, or you can cut them into smaller rectangles for little spicy ginger bites.

17 comments on “even with the deadline, there are cookies

  1. Callista

    YES! I was literally just putting a batch of sugar cookies in the fridge to chill overnight, and I thought, maybe Shauna posted something cookie related for the holidays while I was moving. Hm…

    And you did. I love you.

    – Calli

    PS – Write, woman! Write, because I want to wait in line at midnight to buy your book! xD

  2. SaraKa

    I have the same Christmas decorations :)…

    Merry Christmas Shauna, I don’t post lots of comments, but I love your recipies, writings, and love story 😉
    Happy holidays…


  3. astillac

    Sorry to comment a second time (I don’t know why blogger had me signed in as callista; that’s odd.), but I seem to have ran into a small snag.

    How many eggs? I’m betting two, but I want to hear it from you before I try. They’re in the directions – but not in the ingredient list.

    – Calli

  4. Shauna

    Callista (or Astillac, which I love):

    Thank you for your lovely words. I’m writing!

    Oh, and it’s two eggs. Silly me for leaving that off. Thanks for reminding me. The original recipe called for two small eggs, or one and a half large ones. But who halves eggs? I used two large, and they were great.


    The tiny bit of pepper gives it a bite. Yum!


    Thank you for commenting and reading. The decorations are actually at the Chef’s restaurant, where I take photographs sometimes. I think they’re from IKEA!

  5. infoceliaquia

    Merry Christmas from Spain !!! We have also lots of Christmas recipies in our web http://www.infoceliaquia.tk and there waiting for you too. Go to “Recetas sin gluten” and then click on “Recetas de temporada: Recetas de Navidad 06”.

    Happy holidays !!!

  6. shuna fish lydon

    And for your Northern California readers— I just saw Sorghum flour in Rainbow Grocery today.

    Have you ever used mesquite flour for anything? Very interesting stuff.

    Have great days off!

  7. Stephanie

    1. I love this site

    2. as a wheat-free person can I eat the sprouted breads like ezikle? I don’t know? there is not the gluten/wheat free lable but it says “sprouted wheat” which makes me think it is something different

    3. I live in Las Vegas Nevada do you know of any Celiac Friendly stores/anything… I feel like everything is based in the Pacific North West

  8. Richelle

    Wow. These are the best Ginger cookies I’ve ever had! And DEFINATELY the best since I’ve gone gluten-free.

    I couldn’t help experimenting a little and trying them both with sorghum and with my favorite flour blend (brown rice with tapioca). However, the sorghum was the best!!

  9. Scrumptious

    Hi Shauna!

    I love your site and your book. I’m hoping to make these cookies for Thanksgiving but I am wondering if they are hard or soft? Ideally we’d like to make the soft kind of ginger cookie.

    Thanks so much!

  10. Carol

    These taste great.

    Why did the cookies I made look so awful?! They came out very flat and soggy. And, I tried to do every thing exactly as the recipe said. I didn’t even cream the butter too much. I would love them to look like the ones in the picture!

  11. Sue

    Wow, Shauna and Danny. thank you SO much for this. The kids fell on these cookies like starving vultures!

    We were getting used to gf cookies tasting like cardboard. These are magnificent, and I will be keeping a stash of cookie dough in my freezer so I can just pull some out and look spectacular when I have friends over for coffee!!


  12. Anonymous

    Anyone know of a soft molasses cookie gluten free recipe? I want to frost them like other molasses cookies. Is this recipe soft?

    Thanks much. Dianne J.

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