gluten-free gingerbread men

gingerbread men I

“Hey sweetie, do you want to read books?”

Lu bounces across the room, almost skipping. Her eyes grow wide and she shouts, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

We go over to the mound of books that are always spilling from the blue and red tubs in the corner of the room. The bookshelf in her room is bulging with books (and only neat and tidy, without books on the floor, on an occasional basis), so we had to make reading areas all around the house.

Our daughter moves. In fact, she almost never stops moving. She dances at 10 seconds of music coming through the radio. She wiggles and squirms, climbs and jumps. She taught herself how to dribble a soccer ball the first time she saw one. These days, she stands on the chair we keep at the kitchen counter for her, turns around backwards, puts her hands on the counter and hoists herself up only on the strength of her arms.

She is clearly her daddy’s daughter.

However, in several long stretches of the day, she says, “Sit a mama?” She clambers into my lap and we grab books on either side of us and start reading. The list of bedtime books has grown epic. Not only do we need Cowboy Smalland Papa Small, but we need The Little Familytoo. And that’s just from the Lois Lenski collection.

This girl loves her books, devours them, remembers them, talks about them, wants to read them again, reads out words on the page to amaze me, and says, over and over: “Please again?”

She is clearly her mama’s daughter.

One of her absolute favorite books is Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. Lu turns the pages, excited to see what will happen every time. That darned gingerbread baby jumps out of the oven and into the world, shouting, “Catch me if you can!” I have the whole thing memorized by now. Lu almost does too. But I love most the fact that when she sees the first image — of the warm spacious kitchen, the mother stirring batter in a bowl, the little boy reaching for a cookbook on the shelf — she always says tenderly, “Bake with mama from the cookbook!”

(These days, when I have to go make an appearance and will be away from her for a few hours, she says,” Mama give a talk about the cookbook?”)

And so, this holiday season, I had to figure out how to make gluten-free gingerbread babies for Lu.

Sadly, I am about the least crafty person around, so the decoration here is pretty shabby. In fact, when Danny saw the photo on top, he immediately started laughing and said, “That one on the left looks like your dad.” He’s right. Oh man, that wasn’t my intention.
Luckily, Lu doesn’t care. When I first handed her one of these, she said, “Gingerbread baby!” And then she licked off the frosting buttons and ate the cookie. “Hmmmm…tastes delicious!”

Next batch I just slathered the cookies in royal icing. Okay, so it looks like they fell face forward into a snowdrift. What can I say? I’m so not crafty.

However, now I can make gingerbread babies for our daughter.

Today’s Giveaway

We’re giving away a copy of our cookbook today. If you are gluten-free, you will want to start baking with your kids. Once you have made our crusty bread, our multi-grain waffles, and the peanut butter brownies, you will feel comfortable in the kitchen with those flours.

We’re also giving away a copy of Gingerbread Baby to one lucky little family.

Just leave a comment, telling us a story about baking with family during the holidays. Or your favorite book to read with children. Or, tell me how un-crafty you are!

Along with this, the lovely Kim Maes of Cook It Allergy Free is having a gingerbread house contest. And she’s giving away an iPod touch! If I can’t decorate these gingerbread babies without them looking smeary, you know I’m not making a gingerbread house. But you could! This recipe is perfect for gingerbread houses, if you cut the baking soda in half and let the pieces sit for a day or two before you work with them. Don’t wait. Start baking!

gingerbread men II


GLUTEN-FREE GINGERBREAD PEOPLE, adapted from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About the Food You Love

For years I have been searching for a gingerbread men recipe that made me want to eat more. True gingerbread tastes dark with spices, mingling in the mouth and surprising us with each bite. So many gingerbread men — including the ones with gluten that I ate before I had let it go — failed to intrigue me. The standard stuff has become pale brown, overly sweet, and usually under-baked. No thanks.

Melissa Clark came to the rescue around here again. Her gingerbread cookie recipe, which she normally bakes up as frogs, is resplendent with spices: cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, as well as cinnamon and ginger. Better yet? The fresh orange zest and grated gingerroot. Oh my. This one made my mouth happy.

Even if the decorations were atrocious, Lu still loved these. It’s the cookie that matters, in the end.

560 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour mix 
40 grams almond flour
1 teaspoon psyllium husk
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
230 grams (2 US sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh gingerroot

Combining the dry ingredients. Combine the flour, almond flour, psyllium husk, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, baking soda, kosher salt, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper in a large bowl. Whisk them all together to combine and aerate.

Combining the wet ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer (if you have one), mix the butter and sugar together until they are well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the molasses, egg, vanilla, orange zest, and fresh ginger. Run the mixer on low speed until everything is combined thoroughly, about 2 minutes.

Finishing the dough. With the stand mixer running on low, add the dry ingredients, about ¼ of it at a time, mixing in between until the flour has disappeared entirely into the dough. Continue this until all the dry ingredients have been added. The dough will be a little sticky to the touch. Don’t worry.

Refrigerating the dough. Divide the dough into four pieces. Wrap each in plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator. Chill the discs in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Baking the cookies. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Put one of the discs of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Roll out the dough, through the parchment paper, to about 1/4-inch thick. (I like the cookies a bit thicker, so I made them about ½-inch thick. It’s your preference that matters.) Cut out the cookies using your favorite gingerbread man cookie cutter. Gather up all the scraps into a ball and roll the dough out one more time. (After that, toss the scraps. Or, if you’re like me, throw the random shapes onto the baking sheet and eat them later.)

Bake the cookies until the centers are firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

We found that the cookies taste even better the next day, so save at least some of them for frosting the day after you bake them. A couple of them, however, you’re going to want to eat right away.

Makes about 72 cookies.


200 comments on “gluten-free gingerbread men

  1. zonecoach

    I am with you. I like my Gingerbread Spicy and tasty. This recipe looks awesome and I can't wait to bake away.

  2. Melissa

    Link is broken for the cook it allergy free blog!

    I wish you hadn't switched to flour blends 🙁 I dislike having special flour blends for everyone's recipes.

  3. Candy

    You had me at "crusty bread." I have now purchased most of the flours and am waiting impatiently for Santa to bring me a nifty scale to start whipping some up. Meanwhile, I deglutinized the kitchen.

  4. lynette

    Ohhhh yumm!! I can't wait to make these! Thank you for creating your beautiful cookbook — you really have changed the lives of people with gluten sensitivities/allergies. I want to give one to all my girlfriends for Christmas, especially my bff who's little girl, my goddaughter, has to eat gluten-free cookies. Peace and love.

  5. Dee

    Wonderful Shauna!
    I love all of your tips! you are really making a difference in my GF cooking!
    I attempted to adapt a Ginger Cookie recipe of my Mom's yesterday and didn't realize how important letting the batter sit is! It really makes a difference! I made the dough & baked a few trays, then I had to stop and make dinner, so I put aside the dough to finish after dinner. The after dinner cookies turned out so much better!

    I appreciate you so much, and Thank you for sharing your "you-ness" with us!
    And your ginger bread men totally rock by the way – "snowdrifts" and all! 😀

  6. figandfennel

    that was a beautiful post. I know those deep feelings of satisfaction and peace with my little girls on my lap for books. Bedtime is the one hour of the day that never gets rushed. It's just too valuable and if they want one more book, then yes, there always seems to be time for it. I also know the deep feelings of joy and family that come from craziness in the kitchen with little baking helpers. Highlight of my life. Recipe looks delicious we will DEFINITELY be giving it a try!

  7. April Fiet

    Those are too cute! 🙂 Thanks for sharing and for all you do to help us GF folks enjoy the kitchen once again!

  8. Lyndsey

    How do I enter for your cookbook Giveaway!? I checked it out from the library (made 'em order it) and LOVE it.

    Also, the recipe today makes 72 cookies? That's alot of gingerbread men! ;0)

  9. Tristina

    Oh yay! I recently had to give up gluten because it gives me searing migraines so I'm definitely looking for ways to bake and still enjoy holiday cookies!

    These look perfect and your cookbook would be so WONDERFUL!

  10. Jessica

    Ooo these look so good! I'm so excited to be home with my family for the holidays and to bake and cook!

  11. Abby

    We love the Gingerbread Baby book! Really, we love all of Jan Brett's books. 🙂

    I know you said you aren't crafty, but Jan Brett has some fun activities to go along with her books at her website. Like placemats that you can print & Lu could color. Here's the link:

    I would love to win a copy of your cookbook! I put it on my wish list as soon as I viewed the pizza crust video. Your other recipes sound yummy too.

  12. celiacinthecity

    Sweet story of you and Lu reading, baking, loving life. One lucky little girl!

    Love, love, love cooking and baking with my nephews. And our piles of books seem to keep growing each year too.

    My nephew, who is four, continues to tell his Mama that he wants to help, he wants to be the "lion" chef. (when he comes to help in our kitchen we call them the sous and line chefs) So sweet. So innocent. They would love this book. And their mom is gluten free too, she has your book on her Christmas list!

  13. Dee

    PS – when I baked my GF cookies yesterday – my 4 year old son was my helper & I bet he would LOVE that Gingerbread Baby book! 😉

  14. Evelyn

    I love baking with my family. From the time my kids were small, I have had them in the kitchen baking. I bought mini aprons for them, scarves to keep their hair back, and little "decorative" rolling pins and cookie cutters that worked just fine for their small hands. There were plenty of messes, and a memorable burn or two, but overall, so much fun and happiness. Of course, decorating was always the highlight! Popsicle sticks were perfect for their small hands to spread frosting. Artistic ability does not seem to run in our family, but love is the filter that allows us to see masterpieces in the sloppiest of cookies. I am now looking forward (someday)to having grandchildren, and sharing that baking time with them.

  15. Kitchen Witch of the West

    My holiday goal this year is to convert my Grandma's holiday recipes to gluten & dairy free. Applesauce bread with penuche icing. Baking with her made it the holidays, and started me on my kitchen life.

  16. SLColman

    I love the story 🙂 Lu is so precious! Those cookies sound amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  17. Amber

    Those look so tasty! I am still new to gluten-free cooking/baking, but I did make some gingerbread cookies with niece and nephew on Saturday. It was a different experience, but they still enjoyed them. And the time spent together was the best part. 🙂

  18. Starlight

    How do I participate in your Giveaway? I would love to have your book, it's on my list, but sadly I can't purchase it in Slovenia and it's quite expensive ordering it via Amazon.

    I discovered this blog just recently and I can't wait to find some time to try out your recipes! It all seems so tasty!

  19. Allison

    I LOVE baking with my boys. It's become a tradition for me to "accidentally" lift the mixer too far above the bowl so flour goes flying in the air. At 8 and 6 this, of course, is a crack up. I wonder when I'll stop being funny…

  20. Heather España

    Yay! I grew up with my mama teaching me how to bake bread and pies. I am just a wee eight days into being gluten free, and I'm looking forward to learning how to re-create her recipes in ways that make them edible for me now :).

  21. Angela G. Willis

    Shauna, this is so sweet. I love hear that Lu is growing up so beautifully! She will have wonderful memories as you gets older!

    I absolutely ADORE every book of Jan Brett's and her illustrations are incredible!

    When I was little my mother use to make soft gingerbread cake…. oohhh, I LOVED that with applesauce! It reminds me a lot of Christmas time! When we did make gingerbread men, we just decorated with small currents for the buttons, and the face, I bet you could do that (if they were GF)! It looks just like all you needed was icing in a baggie with a tiny hole cut in the corner to make things a little neater!

    Oh, and I have to tell you about the time that I made pregnant gingerbread women for my OBGYN and staff when I was pregnant with my first son, he was born on Christmas Eve!


  22. Sahnya

    Yumm …. my GF five year old LOVES to bake. Some of his most favorite gifts in the past have been cookbooks (not GF since he wasn't GF then) and a spritz cookie press. He and I would love to get on our holiday aprons and bake up some new holiday traditions to support our GF eating!

  23. Raewyn

    I think we can have gingerbread cookies in our house – even if we haven't got a toddler around!! Someone else will have to like the icing off the cookies!! My big kids' favourite baking activity is cupcakes with 'fancy' icing. I made the jam drops yesterday and they were delicious – thank you!!

  24. Kimberly - Student of good food

    Thank you for that recipe! Your recipes are slowly saving the holidays, one cookie at a time 🙂

  25. Alicia

    This recipe looks yummy, I would have never thought to use orange zest!

    My favorite book to read my daughter is an old golden book one called "The Fourteen Bears in Summer and Winter" It's kind of hard to find, but each page has so much to look at. We like "10 minutes to bedtime" too.

    Thanks for your blog!

  26. Jennifer Jo

    This year our family Christmas present (for Jesus, not ourselves, since it's not OUR birthday, after all) is to make hundreds of cookies and hand them out at a local food pantry. The kids will help cut out and decorate, so it will be quite messy and I will have to exercise MUCH patience (not my strongest trait).

  27. kirstenslife

    Oh I hope I have time to use this recipe for my GF girl in my Girl Guide (Girl Scout) unit. Wouldn't she be thrilled to have a REAL gingerbread house! Thanks Shauna.

  28. Christi

    I had to go gluten free this last spring, and one of the saddest thoughts for me was that I might not be able to bake cut-out cookies with my daughter (and eat some of the dough during the process, of course). I have such fond childhood holiday memories of baking sugar cookies with my mom… all of the whimsical cutters, the yummy dough, and the smell of sweetness sweeping through the house.

    My daughter is two-years-old this year, and I cannot wait to try out your gingerbread recipe with her. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Heather @ chiknpastry

    so cute! the ones at the bottom totally look like something that would come outta my kitchen. i like them because they have plenty of icing!

    as for family baking, we don't do much of it bc i'm the only cook in my family, but my sis-in-law always makes plenty of buckeyes, and i usually make biscotti for them ;).

  30. kmdegroot

    yay! gf cut out cookies! my daughter will be thrilled! i'm super crafty, but plan to just slather them with icing:) yum. thank you for these. really.

  31. The Chatty Housewife

    I would love to win a copy of your cookbook!

    When I was growing up, my mom spent days in the kitchen stirring sweet concoctions in pots on the stove. She always had fudge, almond roca, these caramel and rice krispie covered marshmallows covered in chocolate, whipped shortbread cookies…. man the list goes on and on! Awesome memories.

  32. J Mo

    I loved the Berenstain Bears books when I was little. I always had my mom read "Get the Gimmies" book to me. One time she made up voices for everyone, and from that time on I always requested her to read with the voices!

    So glad that you and your daughter read together!!

    Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  33. Creative Mom

    Gingerbread cookies yay! I would love to win the Gingerbread Baby book for my daughter. We are big readers here and your bookshelf description sounds remarkably familiar to both my kids. My daughter's favorite books right now are Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie and any animal books.

  34. Catie

    My favorite books to read to children are those written by Robert Munsch – I have many favorites, including Mortimer, the Paper Bag Princess, Pigs, Angela's Airplane and Something Good. I really get into reading them out loud and do funny voices and everything.

  35. hangupyourcoat

    you have no idea how excited i am that you posted this. gingerbread cookies are my absolute holiday favorite and i literally started crying last christmas (darned pregnancy hormones) when i thought i could never make gingerbread men with our (now) six month old daughter. thank you sooooo much!!!

  36. Pamela

    My daughter's first birthday is approaching, and my goal is to make her birthday cake myself. I can manage tasty gf cake. I can manage frosting. What I can't seem to manage is combining them in any sort of aesthetically pleasing way.

    My hope is that the fact that it tastes good will outweigh the fact that it looks like it was iced by a monkey with poor coordination.

  37. bountifulblessings

    Woo hoo! Gluten free gingerbread men!! I've been challenged to find gluten-free recipes for my children who are extrememly allergic and I make everything from scratch around here, so we're ecstatic to see this…on to baking!! 🙂

  38. Catherine

    ok, those cookies were really cute! It reminds me of making those with my children. Sometimes we used raisins for eyes & buttons. 🙂

  39. Toucan Scraps

    my kids love to make peanut butter cookies with daddy, they are made from beans instead of flour and are delicious. The kids press the dough into the moulds.

  40. Katherine Turner

    did the gingerbread people go to the spa for an icing treatment? a sugar wrap? a frosting body glow?

  41. Elizabeth Shepherd Dean

    I am so excited for the GF gingerbread babies!!! Can't wait to make them~

    My daughter and I have had a tradition for the holidays for years….making cookies, and I was just thinking the other day how I was going to keep up the cookie tradition since we just became a GF house this year when I logged on and saw the schedule!! 🙂

    Thank you! Thank you!

  42. Kati Especial

    Can't wait to try these!
    I don't have kids yet, but I have wonderful memories of cooking with my mom! I now work as a Speech-Language Pathologist in a school for kids with special needs and we bake with them by adapting the equipment to be used with switches.
    You should see their surprise when they see the beaters on the mixer spinning wildly when they press the big red button! It is truly a joy to see their excitement!
    The interactions during cooking activities are wonderful and full of moments to teach language and communication! We often recommend cooking as a great tool to facilitate communication and language development in children. Thank you for all your stories and recipes that have made my 3 years of GF living actually enjoyable and delicious!

  43. The Golden Papaya

    Not too crafty here. Haven't done too much baking with the kids recently, either. (Hopefully that will change once I get a copy of your book!)
    But I can tell you what our favorite kids' books are these days: The Magic Treehouse series, Amelia Bedelia, and anything with animals (for the 1 and a half-year old).

  44. Robin

    We've got my little bean, Ellie, whom we're trying to find a diagnosis for currently. Not celiac, but seems sensitive to wheat. I am so excited to see that I can make fun cookies for her during the holidays for the reason that she doesn't get to miss out on all the fun. Thank you so much, and I'm bringing home my scale from my ceramics studio because I just don't want to wait for the internet mailman to send me a new one.

  45. Robin

    My lil' 2 year old, Ellie, has been having some troubles with wheat over the past month or more. We can't get a diagnosis yet… not celiac, and possibly not an allergy… tests are awaiting scrutiny. However, in this time of uncertainty, I can appreciate that I can be a good mama and give her fun little cookies for Christmastime so that she doesn't miss out on all the fun stuff. Thank you so very much.

  46. Sirena Shamounki

    OK, so I didn't think your first effort at decorating the little cookies was all that bad, but when I saw the all-out icing smear, I knew we probably had a lot more in common in that department than I previously thought! I am so hopeless at crafting stuff that my husband is usually tasked with putting the finishing items on plated food and all dishes in our house 🙂 Ah well, as long as it tastes good! Would love to win your cookbook :-)))))) to help us provide more meals in our home that everyone can share in safely 🙂

  47. Mrs. Mix-it

    I have recently had to go gluten free for my daughter. I would love to win this book for her. I have recently started to bake and everything has this aftertaste? Please help by letting me win this book so I too can make tasty treats for my family….

  48. Brie

    The GF babies sound incredible, I can't wait to try them! They remind me of the gingerbread men and gingerbread houses I'd make with the kids I babysat when I was younger!

  49. Molly

    I have been gluten-free for close to two years now, and baking is the only thing in the kitchen that intimidates me (I wasn't much of a baker before I went GF). Luckily, I was blessed with a bit of the crafty gene. I will try to make these cookies and decorate them too! Thanks for the recipe!

  50. Elizabeth Clayton Smith

    My mom is NOT an avid baker. She sought out to be a mother-baker but us kids were more prone to fruit. So, she always had a fresh bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter. However, during the Christmas season each year we would make shepherd's bread (fruitcake) and give it to our loved ones. This made me happy.

  51. Maria

    So excited about the cookbook giveaway! I used all of your recipes for my Thanksgiving meal and it was better than previous gluten-filled holidays. I have been experimenting with gluten free flour and look forward to trying out these ginger bread people! Thank you for empowering me to be gluten free!

  52. Charlotte

    Oh my goodness, I didn't realize your cookbook has a recipe for "crusty bread"!! I have been gluten free for several months now, and while I've gotten by just fine using veggies in place of pasta in things like lasagna, and by finding gluten free cakes on blogs like yours, I haven't found a recipe for good crusty bread!

    Sadly, I don't have a good baking-with-my-family story to share. My family has never been great in the kitchen. My mom's best baked good was a wine cake made with store bought yellow-cake mix (which, as it turns out, is not nearly as bad as it sounds!) but I can't eat that since giving up wheat. It's only since discovering I have a gluten-sensitivity that I've gotten my hands dirty in the kitchen.

    In any case, I would love to have a copy of your book – I might be able to start a new baking-with-my-family tradition with it!

  53. mnmmom2k

    I would love a copy of your cookbook! My daughter (10) loves to cook. My husband is in charge of baking and plays his music VERY loud – he has taught my daughter that singing and dancing are the magic ingredients to baked goods.

    Even though both of my kids (13 & 10) are excellent readers – I still read to them every night – it is our family tradition.

  54. aliette-rowan

    Oooo, books to read with children. Very timely as I've got a brand new week old niece.

    Peepo, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
    The Stinky Cheeseman and other fairly stupid tales, by Jon Scieszka (which has a lovely absurd take on the gingerbread man story).

    I'll stop there, before I write you a novel.

  55. Jane

    Great gingy people! Your cookbook is on my list! I remember making cookies with my Grandma and everything she made was wonderful. Thanks for all the inspiration for all of us that are dealing with gluten free, wheat free, or somewhere in the middle trying to figure out the true story. Have a great day!

  56. Michelle

    My first year away from home, I desperately wanted to make spritz cookies but couldn't bring myself to spend the money for a cookie press that I'd use maybe once a year. So I bravely bought my first piping bag and piped my first on-my-own spritz. Except for the last batch, they were ridiculously ugly, but that certainly didn't stop them from being devoured.

  57. Amy

    I plan to chill the other 3/4 of the dough. The rest of it, however, I just had to scoop out with my cookie scoop and flatten with a fork to 1/2"-ish. Well, except for the dough I couldn't stop EATING … :O

  58. Courage Cooks

    These look scrumptious! Unfortunately I can't eat almonds, but maybe I will have an un-crafty adapting adventure.

    As a kid, I love(d) making holiday cookies, baking little men and stars and trees and decorating them. One year, we went over to a neighbors to decorate cookies. This lovely, tall, Norwegian woman had a plethora of decorations, including little silver-colored balls almost the size of sprinkles. I went wild (in a very methodical way) in making my cookies beautiful. Later that evening, I ate one of the cookies that had the little orbs on then. Only afterwords did I consider the possibility that those weren't meant to be eaten.

    To this day, I don't know if those decorations were edible. They wouldn't make non-edible cookie decorations, right? Right?

    How I would love your cookbook!

  59. Vincci

    I am the same way when it comes to decorating cookies, or any other baked goods for that matter! The first time I made gingerbread cookies with my sister, she did a far better job than I did decorating them – and she's 10 years younger than me! Later I found out that I'd made the icing a little too runny, but still…

  60. christine

    I'm incredibly close to getting over the mental hurdle associated with living GF. Sometimes I just want bread! And pizza! And chocolate croissants! Checking out the recipes here on your blog has helped with that so much. Your GF stuffing was a huge hit at Thanksgiving. These gingerbread people will likely find their way into my holiday celebrating at some point, as well. Thanks for rockin' it, and keeping we gluten-intolerant souls well fed.

  61. janaya

    We love books in our house! A. recently brought "Gingerbread Baby" home from the school library and the librarian later told me that he'd pestered her for weeks for it until she held it aside to present it to him. 😀 Favorites change often. We love Dr. Seuss stories and David Shannon books a whole lot right now.

  62. Amy

    Okay, the only thing better than the dough is the FINISHED COOKIES!!!! I used palm shortening because we're GF, it worked just PERFECTLY! THANK YOU! <3

  63. Alexis

    I've been searching for the perfect gingerbread cookie recipe for months now, so I can't wait to try this at our annual family cookie-baking day next week. The women in my family have been getting together to bake holiday cookies for over 30 years! Now that I'm gluten-free, I'm bringing my own recipes to make along with the traditional cookies.

  64. Angi, Kyle, Deakon, and Nixon

    I am a huge book lover. I remember year after year just waiting to see what new books I would get Christmas morning. One year I got a cookbook calendar. A new cookie for every month. I was so excited, but I remember the gingerbread recipe was not good. I can't wait to make these! I love holiday baking. The night we would put up our tree my mom would be busy in the kitchen creating delicious treats for us to eat when we finished. Thank you so much for your recipes!

  65. Katharine Eliska Kimbriel

    Got to try these — but I am chicken about that much black pepper, and will probably halve it. I adore chai tea, but there's always too much pepper in the teabags. A local Indiana restaurant has lovely chai Darjeeling tea, and told me how to make it. Now, if I can just get back black tea into my diet!

    Dreaming about the crusty bread — I put a Dutch Oven on my wish list! Now if I can just find that Arrowroot powder tomorrow….

  66. Amy Gudgeon

    Baking and reading are two of my mostfavoirte things to do inlife and with my kids they make the perfevt trifecta. We love the book Richard Scary's Biggest word book ever. He even has a kitchen page in which the kids get to eat the batter off the spoon. Check it out! thanks for your great blog.

  67. goshendirector

    I needed a gingerbread cookie recipe for this weekend. Have you ever tried making a house with this recipe? I haven't been here before but I will be back!

  68. goshendirector

    I have never been to your site before but desparately needed a gluten free gingerbred cookie recipe for the weekend. Have you ever made a house with this?

  69. Kerin

    I have been baking with my mom and my nana for as long as I can remember. As my nana got too old to be living by herself I took over the baking for the family. The Christmas season is hands down my favorite part of the year and all our classic baked goods are probably my favorite part!

    I just found out I have celiac and I am actually looking forward to making all of our recipes gluten free for the holiday season! I think I'm going to be adding these to the annual list of goodies =)

  70. Jenna

    I'd love a copy of your cookbook!

    Christmas, to me, is baking. Russian tea cakes, gingerbread, fudge, shortbread, sugar cookies…some of my favorite moments spent with my mother happened in the holiday kitchen, elbows-deep in powdered sugar and smears of colored icing.

  71. Our Family

    Our Holiday Traditions:

    My husband and I cuddle on the sofa with our children every Christmas Eve with a book called "The First Noel: A Christmas Carousel" by Jan Pienkowski. This book folds out into a very beautiful star and can be displayed throughout the holiday season. Our children can't wait for us to tell them the story of Christmas! Now we have a new addition to our family and soon he will get to share in this tradition.
    I'm not very crafty but one thing we learned how to do this year was to make salt dough ornaments using salt, water and cornstarch. We mixed the dough up, rolled it out, used cookie cutters, stuck a stretched out paperclip in them for a hook and put the cutouts onto a cookie sheet to dry in a low oven overnight. The next day we took our cooled ornaments and painted them with acrylic paint and then sprinkled them with sparkles! They look unique and we can't wait to decorate the tree with them once the clear coat of poly dries that I sprayed them with. This too will be a new yearly tradition. The kids each made one for their grandparents and teacher. It's a very low cost craft to do! We crank up the holiday tunes while we are painting.
    Tonight I baked GFCF pumpkin cinnamon rolls with the children, after they came out of the oven they got to drizzle on their own icing, they were delicious and might have to become another tradition LOL…so many things to do for the holidays and so little time but we love every second of it!
    We are planning to make the jam thumbprint cookies you posted, those look divine!

  72. Jackie

    I've yet to try a GF gingerbread cookie recipe in part because I have never been intrigued by the ones I've seen. This one, however, has sparked my imagination, and I look forward to testing them! Thanks so much for sharing!

  73. Mandi

    Every year growing up, my mother always headed up a gingerbread cookie escapade some time after Thanksgiving. Growing up with Celiac back then meant making eveything from scratch so in addition to the gingerbread reindeer with red hot candy noses and the gingerbread men, the dough also went towards a grand gingerbread house. Later I would go on to study architecture and it might just be because of those early gingerbread houses. Every year I got to design the house, make paper stencils, cut out the dough, hope it didn't shift around too much while baking, and then carefully put it all together with our carmelized sugar "glue." The baking adventure was always a test of patience as well since we weren't allowed to nibble at the houses until Christmas Eve.

  74. Ellen

    My mom was always too busy with work to spend much time baking cookies with me as a kid, so a lot of my holiday cooking memories are actually from my best friends family. Her mom used to hold a "high tea party" around Christmas, and we'd help her prepare little cookies, tea sandwiches, wassail and more. We'd put on our nice dresses and use little Demitasse cups to sip on wassail. It was so much fun!

  75. N2QMT

    Hey Shauna! It's John from GCT. You have quite the knack of timing. Today, I picked up my son at his friend's house where the mom had baked a "gingerbread men army". Naturally, she offered them to everyone and my son had to say no. As we left, he told me he wanted to have gingerbread cookies again. I told him I would find a GF recipe and your blog was the first place I went! One stop shopping!! LOL. I will bake these as a surprise in the next couple of days. Thanks for sharing!

  76. Jess

    I'm just wondering if there's another sugar amount missing? The recipe says to cream the butter and sugar and then add the brown sugar and molasses, but I only see a brown sugar amount, not another sugar to be combined with the butter in the first step… If that makes sense?

  77. Nikki V.

    These look delicious and I cannot wait to try!!!! I LOVE gingerbread and am so glad that being gluten free doesnt means I have to skip out on one of my favorite holiday treats! Thank you!!

  78. rbeveridge

    I just stumbled across your blog when on Facebook and I am totally inspired to make some gingerbread men. I've been a coeliac for a year now but being a student means I'm never that interested in doing any gluten free baking so I just buy gluten free muffins out of Asda. However I am currently snowed in and really want to start baking, I have the ingredients, I have your recipe now so all I need to do is start 🙂 thank you for this!
    Rachel xx

  79. zebe912

    I love anything Jan Brett. Just today I bought a treasury of her winter stories. What a wonderful thing to combine the story & your baking. So great.

    My sisters & I are all grown, but for the past few years we've gathered a couple of days before Christmas to bake & make candy together for an entire afternoon. Mom puts soup in the crock pot for when we have our hands free at dinner, and often we're still pulling things out of the oven at 10 or 11. But it is one of the few times all 4 of us girls get to all be in the kitchen together sharing secrets. The hardest part is that I have to make GF stuff in one corner while they make all of the other stuff everywhere else.

  80. Diana

    I bought your cookbook! It is wrapped and under the tree for my 28 year old daughter who this last year found out she is gluten intolerant. In support of her, I also went gluten free since last February. Since that time I have been baking up a storm and this fall I am showcasing my gluten free products in a winter market. I hope to open a gluten free bakery some day and would LOVE a copy of your cookbook on my bookshelf in my bakery!!

  81. eli

    Hi Shauna!

    I've been following your blog for about two years, and so I figured it was time to leave a comment, especially under such beautiful gingerbread men. They're definitely a lot prettier than my attempt last year…I've been gluten free since I was 12 (about 6 years), but my mom is totally grain free, so last holiday season, I tried to get a little creative with the baking flours. I should point out that I'm a little challenged in terms of baking grain-free (mmm smoky, burnt, sandy cookies, anyone?), so my mom (the pastry chef) and I made a date to bake huge batches of holiday cookies before Christmas.

    So there I was, Christmas Eve, staring at all of the almond and coconut flours, deciding which recipes to use, when my mom walks in and tells me that we're going to midnight mass with some friends, so the cookie baking is off. (I should point out that we're Jewish.) I decided to stay and make the cookies anyway, and I finally settled on gingerbread men, almond crisps, and chocolate cookies.

    I end up with enough dough to make well over 200 cookies, and every surface is covered in flour and sugar. (I should ALSO point out that my parents live on a boat. Yeah, a boat. In the water.) My hands are covered in cookie dough, my hair is smeared in chocolate, and I'm sneezing baking soda EVERYWHERE. And then the phone rings. I sit down, answer it, forget about the cookies until the smoke alarm goes off, and the Coast Guard guy who lives two boats down comes over to see what's wrong.

    By the time I rescue the cookies from the oven, my parents are back, along with 10 people from the marina who are also expecting cookies (keep in mind its 130am), and I'm just sitting in the kitchen, in a confused torpor, mindlessly eating the heads off of the gingerbread men. They were a little crispy in the end, but they tasted okay dipped in hot chocolate.

    And it wasn't all bad…the Coast Guard guy was pretty cute!

    Happy Holidays!


  82. Kari

    My favorite baking memory isn't with ma family per-se but with someone who I consider family after only 6 months. When I met my boyfriend he wasn't gluten free and struggled with feeling good all the time, after he met me he went gluten-free and hasn't gone back. One of my favorite memories is making gluten free chocolate chip cookies that turned out horrible, they were flat and didn't cook evenly, but he ate every single one, with the biggest smile I've ever seen. Baking with him is always an adventure, and I would LOVE to make crusty bread and homemade pasta (for his italian mom) because I know even if it turns out horrible, he will still eat it and tell me it's the best he's ever had! YES

  83. Chelsy Ethridge

    Every Christmas all the grandkids, young and old, gather at my grandma's house for a night of baking holiday christmas cookies. It is great, we all get to have some fun and catch up, looking forward to the new year with one another. Also, just thought I might say that my fave book to read around the holidays is the nutcracker, it is a great story and the pictures are soooo magical!

  84. Joy

    My son is 20 months old so the real fun of baking/cooking together in the kitchen has begun.

    This year we started off the holiday season by baking gingerbread ornaments together for the tree. I treasure the memory of him helping to press the cookie cutters into the dough and then try to sneak a bite before they made it to the pan.

    Thanks Lu for inspiring this recipe. I'm sure my little guy will have a ball with these too!

  85. erica

    I baked my Aunt Bette's sugar cookies (changed the recipe to g-f) this weekend and it brought back such happy memories of her. I miss her so much, but I'm so happy that I can still make her cookies.

  86. tiff

    Have you read "Wild About Books" by Judy Sierra? The text is written a la Dr. Suess (in honor of him) and it's illustrated by Marc Brown (of the Arthur (on PBS) fame). The pics are charming, the text is clever and always fun to read (even on the 6000th time) and I love the encouragement it gives to kids to WRITE. It makes writing the next natural step after reading. Which I appreciate in a nation where actual writing (not texting or tweeting) is falling by the wayside.

    And my favorite Christmas treat–making biscotti with my family, since my husband lived in Italy several years and likes to remember…..

  87. Susan

    That recipe sounds unbelievable good! I love ginger-anything and can't wait to try it! I miss my grandmother most at this season of the year when I remember baking and decorating cut-out cookies, including gingerbread men, with her…

  88. alisa

    before i was born, when my brother was just a baby, my mom found a set of nativity cookie cutters at a yard sale. ever since i was a little girl i remember using those cookie cutter to make almond sugar cookies (using a dutch recipe). we would then "paint" them with an egg wash. mary would get blue robes, baby jesus would be in yellow hay, the donkey got a black mane… i think i'm going to see if i can try making them again this year, though gluten-free, of course!

  89. Tina

    Treasure these moments of reading with your little one. At this very moment my son is off reading his Hanukkah book by himself… and I treasure that, too. So many books to love together! Off the top of my head I remember reading "The Lion and the Little Red Bird" by Elisa Kleven every single night for a while… a magical book and memory.
    Happy Reading and Baking!

  90. Kari

    I remember rolling out sugar cookie dough with my grandmother and my mom's sisters. I was always too impatient to wait until the dough was rolled out to cut shapes, so I made my very own Christmas snakes 🙂

  91. Elizabeth Y.

    About three years ago in the middle of my degree and living away from home I found out I had many allergies, gluten included. Since then it has been a constant adventure trying to make foods work for me, an adventure I have been luck enough to have my family help me with. The first Christmas after this happened I basically didn't get to have any Christmas baking. Each year since then we have gotten better and better with our trial and errors. Reading your blogs and other I have found out in cyberspace have really helped me figure out this gluten free world until I can sometimes make food that no one knows is 'hippy food' as my family calls it. I would love your cookbook, if it is anything like your blog it would be a pleasure to read; I devour books and cookbooks alike!

    Speaking of books, a Christmas book that has become a Christmas tradition to read out every Christmas Eve in my family is,
    "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson. it isn't necessarily your normal Christmas story, but it really gets the feeling of the season.

  92. sheila d

    Every holiday season since 2006 when we went GF, I have attempted gingerbread men with results ranging from comical to tragic! There was one year where they worked – but I don't know why. I made a big batch of your Flour Blend on the weekend and will give it one more go – hopeful that weighing the flours and finally owning a stand mixer are the keys to well behaved gingerbread people. I've used crystalized ginger and dried fruit for decorations in past years. I'll see if I can pull off icing this year:)

  93. Sara Bell

    I would love to win your cookbook which I have been just DYING for but haven't been able to afford yet! I am a newlywed and my husband has Celiac Disease so I have adapted my diet to be completely gluten-free to avoid cross contamination and keep him healthier… but I also cook quite often for my little sister with Down Syndrome so I have to thank you for these Gingerbread Baby cookies! I'll be trying to make them just as soon as I can get all of the ingredients!!! =D

  94. marcella

    When my nephew was little he was like your daughter and loved books – still does. One evening I was baby sitting and he asked me to read him The Cat in the Hat, and so I did. The next night I got a phone call from my upset sister asking me about the book I had read her son. Turns out he had asked her to read that book and as she did her usual, read some – skip some, he stopped her and said that when his Auntie read it there were words on every page 🙂 She was so irritated with me because that is a rather long bedtime book!

  95. TaraChristiane

    This will be our first holiday adding gluten free baked goods to the mix, so I'm up for any kind of cookie recipe I can get. In the past most items have been loaded with gluten, except for one: my mom's German chocolate almond cookies. She wouldn't give me the recipe until just a few years ago (I'm 43). They have few ingredients but are quite fiddly to make; you have to mix some dough, bake one, adjust, repeat, until they are just right. So worth it though. As kids, my brother and I divided the cookies evenly to make sure everything was fair. These days, I try to bake him a batch each holiday, for old times sake.

  96. Wendy Lou

    I love baking with my son. He pulls his chair up to the counter, nearly drives me nuts getting into the sugars and batters! But alas, the time together is priceless.

  97. Paige

    I recently found out that I'm sensitive to gluten and it's been a fantastic & interesting couple of months as I watch my body adjust to a gluten-free life. The new level of energy is wonderful! Many of my favorite memories in the kitchen are cooking experiments with my younger brother. He and I both love food and cooking– so we'll watch a show on the food network (likely an alton brown show) and choose a recipe to duplicate. Great times 🙂

  98. jenskitchen

    Thank you for this recipe… I call my baby boy my little sous chef because any time I'm in the kitchen he's right there beside me helping stir, measure, etc… Like you & Lu, Mi and I are always reading & cooking together. Can't wait to make a gingerbread house with him this year!

  99. Stephanie

    My family did a lot of baking cookies together. I especially loved decorating them with my siblings! I am not crafty at all, but something about getting sticky with all that frosting and candy was soooo fun! I love that gingerbread book! I'd love a copy of your cookbook as well!

  100. Redbirdie

    I used to be crafty but have so little time I gave most of it up! Thanks for all the great info and I would love a copy of your cookbook.

  101. Mburger718

    I love how "real" your gingerbread people look!

    I love to read to my kids! Anything really! My son's favorite books now are his guide of catfish breeds and the Warriors cats books! My younger son loves any of the Bearenstain Bears books! I would love to win your cookbook! 🙂

  102. Kate

    I've only been diagnosed with celiac for about 3 weeks. I am diving in with all my heart to the G free lifestyle, but I have to admit it sucks! I am really struggling to find food that is tolerable, much less enjoyable. I am so glad I found your website and I look forward to baking again one day with passion and confidence.

  103. vjd

    To Mrs. Mix-it…if you have an aftertaste from gluten-free cooking, I would suspect you are using something that contains fava bean flour. After dumping numerous items in the trash, we have banished fava bean from our repertoire of gluten-free flours.

    That being said, my mom just today said "We need to start baking Christmas cookies this week." I replied "The Gluten-Free Girl blog is doing a series of cookie recipes." Her eyes lit up and she was so excited. She got more excited than ME and *I'm* the one who eats gluten-free (along with my niece).

    Thanks for sharing your recipes with all of us. Your book is on the top (literally) of my Christmas list. I even went to the local independent bookstore with my mom and pointed it out to her, then followed her all around the store reading titles of recipes.

  104. Michelle

    We had a combo cook & craft day here recently when we made our own GF play dough. Lots of gingerbread play dough men followed. Now we're going to have to add the Gingerbread Baby story to our next play dough adventure. Heck, now we're going to have to make gingerbread men COOKIES. Thanks for the story suggestion & the recipe!


    I just found your blog. I have been posting a few gluten-free recipes. My daughter recently found out that she is a Celiac so I am slowly working through my recipes and converting them to GF. In addition, my husband recently found out that he has a blood sugar problem….so, I am also trying to figure out low carbs as well. It is a real challenge for me but I am enjoying making food tasty for them. I hope to win your cookbook and I am hoping this is where I make my entry.

  106. Locana

    Wow, I just finished reading the same book to my two children – 2 and 7 years old. The 7 year old makes a gingerbread house every year (though not gf – from the kits – as he is not GF). The 2 year old had her first experience tonight and she was beside herself that she created something so great and then saw it in a book! So Shauna, we are in sink. I will now make GF gingerbread cookies so that Papa can eat them too! In gratitude… Seneca (New Planet GF Beer)

  107. gfpumpkins

    My mom is the one who makes pumpkin bread for holiday gatherings, and it is a recipe I miss. I've yet to try to convert it. But on the flip side, I've been busy(ier) trying other recipes that I might not have tried otherwise. I'll get around to it one day.

  108. Heather Moll

    Thank you! Thank you! for sharing the recipe. 🙂 This sounds yummy! Both of my kids love Gingerbread Baby too.

    Since becoming GF, I hardly ever bake or get to eat baking at Christmas time. However last year I tried Kate's Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies and I've been craving them ever since – they are SOOOO good. I really want to try making gingerbread with my kids this year so I'm so grateful you shared this recipe.

  109. Betsy

    For the past few years I've been making my mom's famous sticky buns with her when I'm home for the holidays. Now that I'm not eating gluten, I'll have to learn how to adapt the recipe!

    Love your blog, thanks for the give-aways. So generous of you!

  110. Shannon

    For Thanksgiving I made a g-free pumpkin pie. I used a different brand of pumpkin and therefore the recipe was a little different. It did not call for sugar. I double and triple checked but nope, no sugar. So in the oven it went. When it was time to eat I cut a big slice (hey, it is Thanksgiving after all) Yuck…I had used the wrong kind of milk (whichever is the opposite of what is in Libby's recipe). The milk wasn't sweet enough and with no sugar…not good. The crust was amazing though!

  111. Stargirl

    I can't wait to try these out. I always used to make a gingerbread house, but haven't since I have been gluten free. I can't wait to get back into it and decorate one again!

    Thank you for this. I honestly can't tell you enough how much this has made my holidays brighter. I can finally get back a Holiday tradition that was very important to me 🙂

  112. tara

    I love reading aloud to children, and as a children's author, I often get to read to full classrooms. However, reading one-on-one to a child who knows the story, who sings along with you, you reacts with joy to the pictures as you turn the page–that's the best! My latest favorite (and I say latest, because I'm always discovering new favorites) is the Skippy Jon Jones series by Judy Schachner. You don't read these books, you sing them! The rhythms and rhymes are so much fun to chant and sing, and the stories are hilarious. If you don't already have these books, do treat Lu to these sweet adventures about a silly Siamese cat who thinks he's a Chihuahua and goes on adventures in his closet.

  113. sat kaur

    I'm so excited to make these cookies with my little gal! And she and I would love a copy of your book. We love to bake in our house but are still a little intimidated by the whole gf thing (well, at least I am).

    One thing we are not intimidated by however is reading books. We have several favorite picture books including Gingerbread Baby. My personal favorite is called All The World by Liz Garton Scanlon. In a word, it is lovely. The illustrations are lovely. The rhythm of the text is lovely. The story is lovely. And my daughter loves it. I bet Lu would love it too.

  114. Laura

    My favorite book as a small child was "Go, Dog, Go" so I always purchase it for the little ones in my family. I can't wait to try these gingerbread cookies!

  115. Amy

    My 3 yr old son is always fascinated when he sees me cook or bake. I always let him help out in the kitchen whenever possible. One time, I let him add eggs into the stand mixer while we were making cookies. Unfortunately, he slipped the plastic bowl in the mixer as well along with the eggs. Yeah, the whisk was kind of ruined but we still laugh about that now.

  116. Ellen

    I love to bake with my 4 year old, Everett. He loves to sift the flours, knows I am "gluten free" and is fun to teach. As we adopted him at birth, I don't know if he has my "baking gene" but I am darned sure going to teach him all of the domestic arts, regardless. As for reading, he devours books like he devours my GF cookies!!

  117. jld

    Recently our littlest one wants to read any of the Sandra Boynton books. "Read it," she says. And then "Again!" If she wasn't 19 months old her insistence might come across as rude, but at this stage it's just adorable.

  118. The InTolerant Chef

    I suppose I could use treacle instead of molassas? I loved the Berenstein Bear books when I was little.

  119. Diane

    I've always been a baker. I'd throw together cookies and bread on a whim and it was nothing! Now that I'm GF I feel like I'm a child learning to cook all over again.

  120. Laura

    Sometimes I listen to all my crafty friends chat and while I admire their prowess, I can never add to the conversation. When Lu is ready for simple Chapter books, read Ursula LeGuin's little books Cat Wings, I think there are 3 in the series. They are splendid, like perfect gingerbread.

  121. Liz

    I love ginger, molasses, nutmeg, and all that kind of thing, but my kids don't share that passion, so this is a good holiday cookie for me to make gluten-free. I don't often thrust my gluten-free cooking on them, although they do like my banana bread!
    As far as craftiness, decorating gingerbread men is about as crafty as I ever get. I enjoy using different colored icing, and those little cinnamon "red hots" or raisins for eyes or buttons. It's certaining nothing professional, but it's fun. One year it devolved into some anatomically correct men and women, and another year we had men wearing goofy ties.

  122. Corrick family

    Can't wait to make these this weekend! The book we're reading now the most is The Lorax. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  123. Shawna

    Baking for the holidays means my husband and I get to spend some time in the kitchen together. He likes to follow my lead, though. 🙂

  124. Lisa R.

    When my 13 yo Celiac son wandered through the room and saw me reading your post, he started asking, "Mom, when are we gonna make Christmas cookies? You know, the ones we frost with all kinds of crazy colors…"
    Soon, baby, soon!
    Also, my absolute favorite book to read with kids is the Velveteen Rabbit. I just love it!

  125. Bear and Bones Mama

    Oh, gingerbread cookies! My kids would love to make thos GF! Let's see, story about baking with my kids. Well, I can't do anything without one or both of them (4 & 6yo boys) sitting on the counter with me. I've tought them to measure and add the items to the mixer. They like to turn the stand mixer on. They like to scoop the cookies. They LOVE to eat the dough and like the bowl, which is why I think they like baking so much. Last night we made GF green chile apple pie. Oh yes, so delicious. sweet and spicey. add a little vanilla ice cream and it's pure heaven, just ask my spice loving 4 year old!

  126. Bielicki Family

    Wow, there are a lot of comments here! I love your recipes and your blog site. We have been fans of gingerbread for years. My daughter even made gingerbread cookies for her birthday and decorated each one as members of her school class (5th graders loved it). We have experimented with houses and cakes, but always returned to our favorite recipe in "Joy of Cooking." Going gluten free meant no more of that, but last year we tried a recipe shared by a friend. Although a little dry (we like our gingerbread chewy) we were still happy with the results. The best thing about gingerbread – the combination of sweet and spicy, chewy cookie with crunchy edges covered in a mildly sweet frosting that just fills the senses with holiday-winter magic! And although we have made gingerbread at other times of the year (once covering them in blue frosting and calling them "blue man group") the most perfect time of the year is Christmas!

  127. Barb

    Can't wait to try this recipe. I just love all of your recipes which I use regularly to avoid gluten in my diet. Although not diagnosed, I react quite strongly to glutenous, grainy foods.

  128. Green Key

    My fondest memory of gingerbread people is from a friend's mom. She had a lovely old Victorian house, so cozy. At Christmas time she would bake gingerbread people with a hole for hanging, and she'd hang them in the windows by shiny red ribbons. She had many children visiting, and when one wanted a cookie they would choose one from the window. I don't know if they got stale – they probably didn't hang there very long!

  129. Emilie

    I am a horrible decorator as well-I recently made GF cake balls by adapting bakerella's recipe and they tasted great but the faces on them left alot to be desired 🙂

  130. Megan

    I am so psyched to find this recipe! For my sister-in-laws baby shower next week we are making gingerbread men with icing diapers on them. Now I can enjoy them too.

  131. Mama Wong

    We are squeezing in the holiday baking despite the demands of a sweet newborn baby & all of the seasonal rush. I have to admit I think I might have skipped it and missed the joys of baking with my two big girls if they didn't need GF cookies. We are having our own family cookie swap! Thank you for the creativity and inventiveness in your recipes and for the inspiration we always get from reading this site. Oh – our favorite bedtime book is "Time for Bed" by Mem Fox and illustrated by Jane Dyer.

  132. Heidi K.

    The book I always give as a gift is Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It delights me for reasons I can't fully explain.

  133. Boulder Locavore

    I love this post (especially the photo of the 'white out' gingerbread people)! We are a gluten free family (Mom and 2 kids are; Dad is flexible at home to support). We have ambled through cookbooks and flour blends, learning as we go and always open to new recipes. It's been alot of experimentation, much of which has fallen short.

    Our children love to cook and bake making this time of year festive and sometimes challenging to convert old favorites to successful gluten free treats. I found you while looking for a great gingerbread cookie recipe to make with eggnog ice cream as part of our countdown to Christmas.

    We'd love a copy of your cookbook to explore your world of gluten free! My biggest challenge when baking with the kids is finding recipes that actually turn out as they promise I've found. I think all gluten free recipes are not created equal and love the idea of cooking from a collection 'mom tested'. To encourage our kids' love for the kitchen, success is a powerful elixir! They need to learn not all recipes turn out well but starting with a high chance of success goes a long way to stoke the passions of little people!

    Thank you for this beautiful, well-timed post with your warm words and photos of your imperfect ginger tribe! It was like visiting your home; real.

  134. Clea Danaan

    This is my first year baking with *two* small ones. My one-year-old likes to shake the colored sugar on the cut-out cookies while my five-year-old scoots back and forth on her stool between cutting out and decorating. Decorations get everywhere! And we too read all the time – my one-year-old saw a picture of a gingerbread cookie and signed "eat"!

    I haven't been able to find a good gluten free gingerbread men recipe – thank you thank you! Looking forward to more recipes throughout the month.

  135. Brenda

    These look ideal for my Christmas Cookie exchange at work–a lot of us cannot eat gluten. Thank you!

  136. Desiree

    We love reading your stories as they're always interesting. Haven't had one bad recipe yet. Thank YOU for all you do for those of us in the Gluten Free world.

  137. joeandcarli

    I would love love LOVE a cookbook!! Every year since I was little, my mother and I have made christmas cookies together, and this is my first christmas as a married lady so I'll be making them on my own this year.

  138. joeandcarli

    I would love love LOVE a cookbook!! Every year since I was little, my mother and I have made christmas cookies together, and this is my first christmas as a married lady so I'll be making them on my own this year.

  139. Becky

    I recently found your blog as it looks like I'm headed down the GF road. The cookbook would come in handy.

  140. Rachel

    My great grandfather was Danish and a baker. My grandmother, his daughter, made incredible kringle. My grandmother passed when I was in college and I still miss her. Her kringle was so good that no one else in my family has ever attempted to make it, despite the fact that we all seem to have inherited her and her father's baking skills.

  141. driftwood

    oh they are so cute. I love Christmas baking, and mince pies will forever be called "star cakes" after my daughter re-named them.

  142. Amy Jane (Untangling Tales)

    This is our family's first GF Christmas. I would love to win your cookbook, and I want my GB babies to fall in the snowbank!

    My kids cheered when I shouted what I saw posted today. They've been wanting to do GB houses and I've been dragging my feet.

    I think we've found this week's family project. {gringringrin!}

  143. Lauren

    This is the first year that I have begun to sink in the gluten free baking world with fist full of gluten free flour. Although I was diagnosed with Celiac disease over two years ago, I am only now learning and allowing myself to bake with wild abandon and love. I can't wait to share some of my desserts at the Christmas table. Thank you, Shauna for providing a warm and encouraging space to share our thoughts.

  144. Stephanie

    Our holiday cooking is tonight–latkes. Bound with brown rice flour. Eaten in enormous quantity, followed by a "latke recovery salad" of romaine, celery and granny smith apples.

    I would love your book!

  145. Rachel

    What a wonderful blog! I am now on my second day of a gluten free life …. after being incredibly ill for several years and resisting doing the GF thing, I am doing it. It isn't easy considering that it's silly season and there are so many treats I'm going to want to have that I can't, but a recipe like this helps some.

    My favourite memory/book is more of a Christmas tradition. I may be 22 years old, but every night on Christmas Eve my Mum comes in and reads 'The Night Before Christmas' with my younger brother and me. I always attempt to be home on Christmas Eve, but on the times I have been unable to, we have got on the phone and read it that way. There's nothing more special than a tradition that brings your family together, and I intend to do this for many more years to come, and then to repeat the tradition with my own family in the future.

    It's always been my tradition to bake gingerbread at Christmas, and I was even emailing last night about making gingerbread, without thinking of the fact that the recipe I have is for wheat flour! *Smacks head.* But this blog has saved the day. I look forward to reading your blog, both its previous and future posts! Rachel xx

  146. Sandra

    I love the Fancy Nancy books! My first niece was born two weeks ago and I bought all of the FN books for her "Welcome to the World" gift.

  147. WW

    I attended a gluten free cookie party with my local Celiac Group. 16 women showed up with 3 dozen cookies to share. I brought 2 kinds. Your recipe for Rugelach (I love this myself) and a powdered sugar almond cookie, the kind you find in an Italian bakery. We sit and talk for an hour, tasting cookies and talking. When it comes time to leave, my cookies are all gone! My plates are empty! All the other plates are full and ready to parcel out to all the attendees.
    Thank you Shawna for all you and your hubby have taught me. I was always a good cook. But now I am a far better one due to your blog.

  148. Melody

    Would it be wrong to profess my undying love to you, right here and right now?!? I have a friend coming over tomorrow, with her children, to make gingerbread men. I just sat down with a sigh to look for recipes. I dread coming up with something that I don't have the right ingredients for and have no idea how it's going to turn out. The prospect of 6 disappointed children? Not a good one. Which is why I can't tell you how excited I was to see that you had posted this recipe just yesterday. I've always found all of your recipes to be so reliable, and just, well, darn good! There's nothing worse then baked goods then turn out to be a flop. Now if something turns out poorly and I can't seem to find I good recipe, even my husband will say, "Well, doesn't the cinnamon bun lady have a recipe for this?" (that's you 🙂

  149. Cara

    I love baking with my mom and friends during the holidays. And one of the recipes we make every year at christmas are gingerbread cookies!!! YUM. I love their flavor and it is so much fun to decorate them.
    I would love a copy of your book! Your recipes are delicious!

  150. rustictart

    Haha I love the gingerbread babies that fell in the snowdrift! The best kind. . . 😉

    Reading and baking . . where to even begin? They are two of my favourite things in the world. . .

    I've been reading voraciously (I think my own Mum would tell you that Lu sounds very familiar to her!) since I was being rocked in her arms and the sound of her voice reading is ingrained in my body- I find myself reading with the same inflections and pauses to the little ones in my life now. . . and I couldn't be happier that my voice sounds similar to hers.

    I've also been baking with my Mum since I was tiny and could help cut biscuits, decorate gingerbread people with raisins, braid cardamom bread, and probably even before then when I was banging on pots and pans on the kitchen floor with the woodstove crackling and the snowdrifts piling higher outside.

    When I lived in Berkley for awhile working and living at a nonprofit with 60 other people of all ages from all over the world, I would wake up before dawn (sleepless and restless). . . head to the huge beautiful kitchen, and begin to bake scones, muffins, boules and my favourite: cardamom bread. The sweetly spicy smell, the golden egg wash in the cracks, and the meditative way you braid three pieces together and wrap the ends just so. . . and every time I'm in the kitchen and especially making that cardamom bread, I feel my Mum there no matter how far away I might be.

    I've worked as a baker in sweet island bakeries on the coast of Maine, loving those jobs more than any others. . .I bake with everyone I possibly can, including all the little ones in my life. . . and I continue to show my love for people by making (in my humble opinion- amazing!) gluten free and often sugar free brownies, breads, cakes, rustic tarts, scones, and cookies. . . it's my meditation and for a girl that rarely stops moving, it's essential to knead the dough, mix ingredients, and wait patiently for the heat to finish the creation.

    And the eight year old, fifteen year old, twenty four year old and thirty year old me are all standing over the mixing bowl together, with a warm heart and the sweetest aromas filling my nose. . . .

    Incidentally Jan Bret is one of my absolute favourite authors. . . I read The Christmas Reindeer every year, even to this day. . .

    and I've been dreaming about your cookbook all this time. . . and feel that one of these days, a lovely package will come my way with it's beautiful pages inside. . .

    Thank you for your words that feel like home. . . through all these years.

    xo Jenny

  151. rustictart

    Haha I love the gingerbread babies that fell in the snowdrift! The best kind. . . 😉

    Reading and baking . . where to even begin? They are two of my favourite things in the world. . .

    I've been reading voraciously (I think my own Mum would tell you that Lu sounds very familiar to her!) since I was being rocked in her arms and the sound of her voice reading is ingrained in my body- I find myself reading with the same inflections and pauses to the little ones in my life now. . . and I couldn't be happier that my voice sounds similar to hers.

    I've also been baking with my Mum since I was tiny and could help cut biscuits, decorate gingerbread people with raisins, braid cardamom bread, and probably even before then when I was banging on pots and pans on the kitchen floor with the woodstove crackling and the snowdrifts piling higher outside.

    When I lived in Berkley for awhile working and living at a nonprofit with 60 other people of all ages from all over the world, I would wake up before dawn (sleepless and restless). . . head to the huge beautiful kitchen, and begin to bake scones, muffins, boules and my favourite: cardamom bread. The sweetly spicy smell, the golden egg wash in the cracks, and the meditative way you braid three pieces together and wrap the ends just so. . . and every time I'm in the kitchen and especially making that cardamom bread, I feel my Mum there no matter how far away I might be.

    I've worked as a baker in sweet island bakeries on the coast of Maine, loving those jobs more than any others. . .I bake with everyone I possibly can, including all the little ones in my life. . . and I continue to show my love for people by making (in my humble opinion- amazing!) gluten free and often sugar free brownies, breads, cakes, rustic tarts, scones, and cookies. . . it's my meditation and for a girl that rarely stops moving, it's essential to knead the dough, mix ingredients, and wait patiently for the heat to finish the creation.

    And the eight year old, fifteen year old, twenty four year old and thirty year old me are all standing over the mixing bowl together, with a warm heart and the sweetest aromas filling my nose. . . .

    Incidentally Jan Bret is one of my absolute favourite authors. . . I read The Christmas Reindeer every year, even to this day. . .

    and I've been dreaming about your cookbook all this time. . . and feel that one of these days, a lovely package will come my way with it's beautiful pages inside. . .

    Thank you for your words that feel like home. . . through all these years.

    xo Jenny

  152. rustictart

    continued. .
    I've worked as a baker in sweet island bakeries on the coast of Maine, loving those jobs more than any others. . .I bake with everyone I possibly can, including all the little ones in my life. . . and I continue to show my love for people by making (in my humble opinion- amazing!) gluten free and often sugar free brownies, breads, cakes, rustic tarts, scones, and cookies. . . it's my meditation and for a girl that rarely stops moving, it's essential to knead the dough, mix ingredients, and wait patiently for the heat to finish the creation.

    And the eight year old, fifteen year old, twenty four year old and thirty year old me are all standing over the mixing bowl together, with a warm heart and the sweetest aromas filling my nose. . . .

    Incidentally Jan Bret is one of my absolute favourite authors. . . I read The Christmas Reindeer every year, even to this day. . .

    and I've been dreaming about your cookbook all this time. . . and feel that one of these days, a lovely package will come my way with it's beautiful pages inside. . .

    Thank you for your words that feel like home. . . through all these years.

    xo Jenny

  153. Colleen

    I love to bake and have such fond memories of baking with my mother who taught me so much. I have three young daughters (8, 5, and 3) who I enjoy sharing the joys of cooking with. In the past year, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and has ultimately had to give up gluten and dairy to heal her digestion. My husband was also "self"-diagnosed with a gluten/wheat intolerance and since abstaining from these, he is a new man. I have had to learn so much about cooking for loved ones who have gluten sensitivities. I have failed more than I have succeeded and yet, I have so enjoyed the challenge. I am anxious to get your cookbook and continue this journey. This Christmas will be quite different as all the ladies in the family come together in a few weeks to do our annual cookie-baking. I was so thrilled to see your Gingerbread Men recipe which is one of my mom's favorites. Thank you for sharing your life with us…Happy Holidays!

  154. Caroll

    I just started experimenting with a gluten free diet for my daughter 10 days ago. We haven't even attempted baking with a gluten-free flour yet, but I think these Gingerbread Men might be our first attempt! They look delicious, and I hate to deny my 5 year old some holiday cookies this time of year.

  155. Joan

    My four grandsons have all enjoyed helping me bake since they were around 2 — especially birthday cakes for their Mom. Maybe one of them will be a chef and cook wonderful gluten-free food for me in my old-age 😉

  156. Charlie's Girl

    this is my first christmas gluten free.
    i have fond memories of all the children gathered 'round the kitchen table- specially cleared for an afternoon of cookie baking. rolled up sleeves, flour on your nose, sneaking spoonfuls of colored icing and trying to chew those impossibly hard small silver balls meant for decorations. santas, stars, trees, packages with bows, how many cookie cutters did you have?
    thanks to you and other dedicated gluten free cooks- this tradition will love on. 🙂

  157. Emily Rae

    This looks so good. You're right, most gingerbread peoples anywhere are just not "worth it".
    Today I made paper gingerpeople with the little girl I nanny – I cut out some to look like each of her family members, and we will string them on a ribbon. So cute!

  158. Ask A Life Coach!

    I made a gluten free dairy free pumpkin pie this year. I can't wait for more baking options!

  159. Jenn

    Last night, just before going to sleep, my husband kept talking about gingerbread. He kept going on and on until my mouth watered. He asked if I had a recipe and I said 'no, but I know where to find one.' Thanks, Shauna. I knew I could count on you. (And I will be trying this gingerbread cookie recipe too.)

    My favourite part of the holidays has always been the baking and the food. My sister, my cousin, and I, and all our girls (ages 9-14) hand dip our own chocolates every year with Belgian chocolate I buy when I go home to visit my mom and dad in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada. You can't get the same chocolate here in the States.) We start with our homemade fondant… coconut, cherry almond, raspberry lemon, orange, mint, Olympian cream.

    Then there is the baking. I love making sugar cookies and shortbread and gingerbread houses and and nanaimo squares (Canadian and oh, so decadent) and butter tarts (also Canadian) and when I was diagnosed with celiac two years ago I grieved for all the baking I was missing. (Christmas is ruined!) Then with my girls diagnosed a year later I knew I had to start experimenting.

    Among the celiacs in my family are my sister, my mom, and one brother (so far… the rest are afraid to find out). Your blog has been exactly what I needed. Right away I connected to you and I have loved your writing. You have done all the experimenting for me. I trust your recipes and I know I can count on you. Your cinnamon roll recipe has been one of my favourites. (I have a story about cinnamon rolls but that will be another day.)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    It's a Christmas miracle!

  160. a kelly

    I love reading to wee ones!!
    My favorites are Cloudy with a Chance of meatballs and Love You Forever.
    Great books!

  161. Castal

    Back before I found out about my issues with gluten I decided to make gingerbread houses for the local mall's competition. I was a senior in high school and had a doll house pattern and lots of decorating tools thanks to my mom.

    I showed up at the mall (maul?) with a dollhouse in mid-summer with vegetables, a trellis, and movable furniture–one of the people had the nerve to say "but that's not Christmassy!" I ended up with best in show and happy memories from that project.

    After all was said and done I was so sick of gingerbread that I said I would never eat it again… till next year at least. Apparently I can't manage to break my addiction to gingerbread. Now I can use this recipe to have a GOOD gluten free version! (something that I have not found in the past few years)

  162. Laura

    I love gingerbread! Spices and flavor and holidays all mushed together in one cookie! And I love reading with my 18 month old who points to gingerbread cookies and happily exclaims "Gingy!" Can't wait to bake them for him.

  163. KJ

    Since finding another Celiac in the family, our holidays have gone completely gluten free – gingerbread houses are going to be our Christmas day activity!

  164. lg

    I love baking with my sisters, and we always attempt gingerbread houses, but they collapse under too many decorations!

  165. Sara Pugh

    My favorite moment of baking in the holidays was when I lived in NYC for a year. My new church family had a pie baking evening for our homeless community. Well, I wasn't exactly the best cook in the world – but that night, a woman in the church took me by the hand and taught me how to make pumpkin pie from scratch! We completed over 50 pies! It was incredible and got me on the process of baking! So I would love your new cookbook to continue to learn how to bake – for myself and many many others!

  166. Rhonda

    We made these today. Really great flavor, and the cookies stay together wonderfully after they are cooked! They taste better than any other gingerbread cookie I have ever had (gluten included).

    Priceless memory decorating these with my GF daughter. Of course GF dough can be difficult to work with and especially so when the 9 yr old insists on handling it herself. She did well though, and the ones that didn't turn out perfect became 'zombie gingerbread men'. Missing heads or "sewed" on appendages. Those were the most fun of all! And those zombie cookies were specially made for her brother who LOVED the idea.

    Darn, didn't have an orange on hand but I bet that would be a fabulous taste addition! Definately want to include the orange zest next time.

    We will not get 72 cookies out of this recipe. I am guessing we will get around 45 (we still have two disks in the fridge to make).

  167. Rhonda



    I even bought a kitchen scale Shauna!

    I have put my big girl undies on and am baking by weight!


  168. moonsword

    my favorite book to read with my niece is The Secret Garden…it was my favorite book at her age and she loves it too!

  169. Kate

    I think there is a sugar missing in the ingredients list. The instructions say cream the sugar and butter then add the brown sugar, but there is only brown sugar in the ingredients list. If I were smart I would use ratio to figure out how much white sugar to use, but I'm not that seasoned. HELP!

  170. Mallory

    My kids have been begging me to find a GF recipe so we can make a gingerbread house. And by kids I mean my hubby, too. Story time is sacred in our house. Right now we are stuck on Do Onto Otters. My six year old can't get enough of it. He is also my expert egg cracker and adores when I give him egg duty when we are cooking.

  171. Margaretta

    ok ok, i respect your accuracy and precision to weigh your ingredients when baking…. but would you consider just adding the rough cup/teaspoon measurements for us hacks who haven't crossed over to actually getting scales? I promise i won't leave any nasty comments that it didn't turn out right!

    I have a family dinner Christmas eve – I am bringing desserts and i know the GF host is missing gingerbread more than any other holiday treats this year – so i NEED to find a good recipe – obviously YOU are the first person i thought of!

  172. Chrissy m

    I discovered I had coeliac 1 1/2 years ago so gf cooking is still pretty new to me. My eldest little boy reacts to additives and preservatives so for the past 4 months I’ve been making everything from scratch. I’m yet to buy myself a gf cookbook (money is pretty tight) so I’ve been converting recipes to suit our needs. Many flop so they go in the freezer and are mummy only food – I’m ok eating untasty food but I wont make my boys eat the flops.

    We had so much fun over christmas, Last year we decided to make it a handmade christmas. All the decorations for the tree were made by my boys (I’m already planning on how to build our own tree for this christmas) Most of our presents were handmade either by my family or by SAHM (some weren’t handmade as I had bought them before we decided on our theme)

    All the food was made from scratch – very simple as it was hot we had a cold lunch, roast meat and salads and homemade gf icecream for desert.

    We love to cook here and I would so love to win this cookbook as I’m sick of making flops

  173. Shauna MacKenzie

    I can’t wait to try out this recipe! I make gingerbread cookies every year, and I just can’t bear to make the gluten-type and leave out my 2 1/2-year old son. I’ll give these a try this weekend! My boys also LOVE Gingerbread Baby. We read the recipe along with the story 🙂
    Thank you for this recipe!

  174. mary

    Love your post. It’s a tradition at our house to make gingerbread cookies and have the kids decorate them. Sometimes there is more frosting than cookie.

  175. huc

    I made these again this year and once again – a hit!

    I had a new twist as a friend is also sensitive to cane based sweeteners. Thanks to the principle you set of using weights not volumes, I had made the change earlier for everything, including the sugar. Where I would normally use 165grams of organic cane based brown sugar, I swapped that out for 165g of Maple Sugar.

    The taste was as good or better – I may bump up the weight to 170 or 175g next time just to compare. I also always use goat instead of cows butter and the taste is great. The cookies were such a hit with my friends, and particularly the one who is GF and can’t do cane sugar or cow dairy, that I posted a summary of what I’ve done differently from you in my blog

    keep up the great work and my wife and I have really benefited from the time and effort you and your family have put into this blog and your cook book!

    Arvada, CO

  176. Anna

    Hi Shauna, this recipe looks so amazing that I’m planning to make it for christmas presents this year but it’s been impossible to find guar gum. Is there anything I can use to substitute? Could I just use 5 grams of xanthan gum or will that make it slimy? I’m new to the whole gluten free baking thing so don’t have to expertise to figure it out unfortunately.

    Thanks for your help,

  177. lisa

    Your post has made me excited about baking gingerbread with my son. He has not talked about foods he misses since he was diagnosed this past summer so I was surprised to hear him clamor for a gingerbread house. We used to buy the boxed kits at Wally World and he would have fun putting it together. That is now a thing of the past so I have to scramble. If you are not crafty, then I’m a few notches below you as I didn’t do well even with the boxed kit, lol. Would love to win your cookbook, every one of your recipes has been a hit for us, we can’t get enough! 🙂

  178. Judy Gudeman

    Yummmmm! Can’t wait to make these! Thanks very much. Also looking forward to your new cookbook. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us!! 🙂 <3

  179. Chris & Lukas

    I plan to bake your salt clay ornaments. I want an imprint of my son’s hand for our tree, and more that I can send to his grandparents in Sweden since they can’t be with him this holiday. Now you’ve got me thinking about these because they remind me of Swedish pepparkakor, which my Swedish husband enjoys with BLEU CHEESE. I’ll stick with frosting, even if it looks like your dad.

  180. mary

    I am a new celiac and would love to start baking yummy treats with my young daughter. Your wonderful cookbook would be such a great way to do that! Thank you!

  181. Tracey Kruger

    In the quest for a healthier life, I have found that going GF has just made everything so much better. Baking is an integral part of our holiday activities, so we welcome any wonderful recipes that can help us do both. 🙂 We can’t wait to try your recipes!

Comments are closed