Sometimes the holidays can be tough if you have special nutritional needs.
I’ve always loved baking, so when I was diagnosed with Celiac, I was really bummed!
Instead of staying bummed about it though, I decided to start experimenting. This was one of the successes!
You can make them into any type of shape you like, but who wouldn’t love a gingerbread elephant?
Vegan Gingerbread Elephants
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/2 cup potato flour (if you don’t need this to be GF, you can just use 2 ½ cups of whatever flour you like)
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (if making gluten free)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
a little cayenne—a dash or so
a little orange or Clementine zest
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons almond milk (or rice milk if making for nut-free eaters)
Mix the flours and spices in a bowl and set aside. Blend the sugar and margarine (I like Earth Balance’s new coconut oil based margarine but am looking for a palm oil-free alternative) and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Add the “milk” one tablespoon at a time. You might not need all of it…kind of depends on humidity.
The final product will be sticky/crumbly. Make it into a big ball, flatten out a bit and refrigerate for at least an hour. When you are ready to roll it out, the best way to go is to use parchment paper to bake on and roll out the dough on the paper (use cutter and pull away excess) rather than trying to move the cookies.
One more tip:
To avoid overly dry cookies, do not add extra flour before rolling. Instead, when the dough becomes too warm, return to the refrigerator until it firms up a bit. I usually have two portions going and alternate refrigerating them as they become too warm or sticky.
Bake at 350 F for about eight to nine minutes (depending on size and thickness of cookies).
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