Paleo Gingerbread Cookies have been on my list of must-bakes for months and I am so happy I finally got around to making them! I must have baked around 18 dozen cookies over the past two days with my Mom, which was honestly some of the most fun we've had together this crazy year. I made several dozen of my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with crushed up pieces of candy canes, Gluten Free Pecan Tassies, Vegan Magic Cookie Bars, and my favorite Paleo Christmas Cutout Cookies, so I figured, why not test myself a little and see if I can add Paleo Gingerbread Cookies into the mix!
Paleo baking isn't always simple stuff. It's more of a never ending science project that goes poorly most of the time. So when things don't go so poorly, it's really exciting! After testing my Paleo Christmas Cutout Cookie recipe recently around 4 times before completely nailing it, I decided to try my hand at paleo the Gingerbread Cookies this time around. I knew the best place to start was with the paleo cutout cookie dough and just made a few tweaks to make it gingerbread. Thankfully, the tweaks worked perfectly on the first try!
Here is what you will need to make the paleo gingerbread cookies:
- Almond Flour + Tapioca Flour: It is essential to have each of these flours for the paleo gingerbread cookies to work. The almond flour relies on the tapioca flour to thicken it up which is what helps these cookies get their signature snap! I have not tested any other flours in this recipe, so unfortunately I do not know if they would work or at what measurements.
- Blackstrap Molasses: Believe it or not, molasses is considered paleo and is an unrefined sugar. Molasses is made from sugarcane, but does not undergo any of the refining processes that white table sugar does, making it paleo friendly and an acceptable unrefined sugar to use in paleo gingerbread cookies!
- Granulated Monkfruit - First, let's discuss. What IS monkfruit anyway?! Monkfruit, or Luo Han Guo, is actually a gourd native to Southern China + Northern Thailand. The plant is harvested for its fruit extract, called mogrosides, which create a sweetness almost 200 times sweeter than regular cane sugar. The benefits of using monkfruit sweetener as opposed to white cane sugar are plentiful! Monkfruit sweetener is an unrefined sugar, meaning it has not gone through a chemical process which generally removes any nutrients the sugar cane provides. Unrefined sugars still maintain their nutritional profile, though it should be noted, sugar is sugar! Unrefined sugars generally have a lower glycemic index, however, and monkfruit in particular contains 0g of calories + carbohydrates, making this appropriate for all diets including paleo + keto.
- Gingerbread Spices: I prefer to make my own blend of gingerbread spices rather than buy the pre-mixed kind. I have better control over the flavors this way! I use ground ginger, cinnamon, clove, and allspice in my paleo gingerbread cookies and they're perfectly gingery without being too spicy! If you like things extra gingery, feel free to add a little more ground ginger into your batch of paleo gingerbread cookies!
- Gingerbread Men Cookie Cutters: You will definitely want to have gingerbread people shaped cookie cutters for this recipe, but you can also use your favorite Christmas shapes! I really like using snowflakes, stars, and reindeer as alternative shapes for these paleo gingerbread cookies.
- Cleaner Frosting + Food Coloring: If you want to decorate these paleo gingerbread men, my favorite frosting to use is Simple Mills vanilla frosting. I will add a few spoon-fulls to two separate bowls and mix in Color Kitchen Foods red food coloring into one bowl and green into another. I then add each color to its own piping bag, adding the leftover white frosting to a third piping bag, and use that to decorate my paleo gingerbread cookies. It's a shortcut, but sometimes we need little shortcuts in baking (and in life!)
When making these paleo gingerbread cookies, if you decide you'd like to use vegan butter for a lactose free version, you'll want to use something like Miyokos Creamery. I've found that Earth Balance is too oily and is not a 1 to 1 substitute for butter. If you only have Earth Balance available, you can use it, but you will likely have to add more almond flour into the batter in order for a dough to form. Start by adding 1/4 cup of almond flour and graduate up from there if needed. I have not tested this paleo gingerbread cookie recipe without using eggs, but if you have a favorite vegan egg substitute that you bake with frequently, you could give that a shot. Let me know how that goes in the comments!
Did you get a chance to make this recipe? Don't forget to leave me a love note in the comments and let me know what you think! And don't forget to tag your images #PDLrecipes on Facebook and Instagram so I can see how your creation turned out!
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Yields 18-20 Cookies
1 1/2 cups almond flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups tapioca flour, sifted
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup grass fed butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup monkfruit
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp allspice
In a medium bowl, sift almond flour and tapioca flour. Mix in baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, clove, allspice and salt using a fork to fully incorporate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, molasses, monkfruit, vanilla and egg until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
Slowly begin adding dry mixture to wet and beat on medium low until fully incorporated. The mixture will start to form a dough and may be easier to finish mixing with a fork or even by hand.
Roll the dough into a ball and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on well floured surface until dough is approximately 1/4" thick. Be careful not to roll the dough too thin or the cookies will burn.
Cut out cookies using gingerbread people cookie cutters and arrange on baking sheet, making sure to leave space between as the cookies will expand very slightly while baking.
Continue rolling out dough as necessary until all dough has been used.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.
Decorate as desired with your favorite paleo friendly icing.