Chewy Gingersnaps (No Gluten, No Grains, No Dairy)
These cookies may be “free” of a lot of things (gluten, grains, dairy) but they do definitely have some things in abundance: ginger, protein, taste, yumminess.
Since we have two little munchkins who don’t do gluten or dairy at all, I like to find treats to make that everyone can enjoy, rather than trying to make different things for different people. Brown rice is something that my kids get commonly (whether it’s actual rice, or rice flour in baked goods) so I set out to find a unique alternative.
I wound up in the cookie section of Nourishing Traditions, checking out the options because I knew none of them included soaking. Surely there had to be some good gluten-free options in there!
It came down to two basic ingredients that would make my cookies work: ground almonds (nuts= good protein and fats) and arrowroot powder (a starch that has a calcium ash, helpful for acid/alkaline balance, and easy on the digestive system).
In the end, the cookies turned out just a little bit crumbly (common with gluten-free baking), but overall soft and chewy, with a nice balance of spicy and sweet flavor. The blackstrap molasses gives extra nutrients like iron, the cinnamon helps with blood sugar balance, the ginger with digestion, and there are plenty of good fats to boot.
Overall, not a bad choice for a nibbly holiday treat!
Chewy Gingersnaps Recipe
- 3 cups almonds best if they are soaked/dehydrated first
- 1/2 cup butter pastured and 1/2 cup coconut oil (if you're completely dairy free, skip the butter and use all coconut oil)
- 1 cup Sucanat or Rapadura
- 3 Tbsp blackstrap molasses look for one without sulphites- I like Wholesome Sweeteners
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups arrowroot powder
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, coconut oil and sugar together. Add molasses and egg until well mixed.
- Add arrowroot powder and all spices, salt and baking soda. Keep mixing until everything is well incorporated, and the dough forms a thick but soft ball.
- Grease your cookie sheets. Make small balls of dough about the size of a cherry tomato. Roll lightly in your hands, and place on cookie sheet, flattening them slightly with your hand (don't worry too much about this- they will mostly flatten themselves during baking).
- Bake for 20 minutes at 300 F. Allow to rest on cookie sheets for 10-20 minutes before transferring to wire cooling trays.
This cookie recipe is a part of the Real Food Christmas Cookie Exchange, hosted by Domestic by Design.
Head on over there to find more wholesome cookie recipes to make for your holiday events! Maybe this year you can be the one who brings the healthy cookies that everyone raves about and likes even better than the regular ones. You don’t even have to tell them… it can be our little secret.
Check out my favorite real food desserts eBooks–Treat Yourself: Real Food Desserts and Smart Sweets!
What Christmas cookies do you love to make each year? Any that bring back special memories for you?
These sound yummy! Unfortunately, I only have a cup of almonds and no arrowroot powder. We baking cookies today, but these will have to wait until another day.
These sound really neat.
What signs did you have that your two children couldn’t take milk and gluten? Just curious. I know my own reaction to things but its harder to judge a child, especially when they aren’t very verbal yet. I haven’t given my youngest dairy yet. My oldest seems fine with it, but sometimes its hard to tell these things.
These sound really great! I have 2 kids with digestive troubles and although we aren’t following GAPS exclusively any more, I’m always trying to find healthier & more easily digestible options for them! Thx!
we love these type of cookie. did the gaps diet for a couple of months and oddly enough, the little tiny pieces of the nuts in these kind of cookies were what my kids had the hardest time digesting:( the eliminating of foods and add them back in one at a time,that gaps diet facilitates, was what helped us find out what our children couldn’t digest. very helpful, even for my tiniest guy,he was under a year and having lots of issue with behavior , digestion, and his immune system.
These look great! Can’t wait to try them!
Love ginger and blackstrap molasses!
A bit of chia seed meal (or even soaked chia seeds that are blended in a powerful blender) might help with the crumbliness factor. Ground flax seeds work, but in my experience, not as well. Good luck!
I just made a batch of these last week – I used walnuts (since that’s what we have around here 😉 ), and eliminated about a 1/4 c. of butter. I also upped the molasses and cut the sugar in half. It made them extra sticky as dough, but they held together better than they usually did. Yours look great! Mine never really spread out in the oven, they stay little smooshed balls. 😉
How much molasses did you use?
These look great! I have been trying to find something to make for Christmas for my recently gluten free Mother-in-law…these look perfect!
Are there any gluten free flours that work well besides almond? I am allergic to nuts but want to go gluten free for one of my kids that is having issues. But if tasting the food will make me sick, how would I know if it was good????? I have issues. haha.
@mary, My Mom is allergic to almonds so we use coconut flour instead.
@mary, Well, I haven’t tried it myself but coconut flour is a possibility!
@Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home,
I made them with coconut flour (about 1 1/2 cups plus the 2 cups of arrow root). I had to use 4 small eggs and could have probably used another one. I also should have added more coconut oil since they were clearly not as fatty and satisfying as the almond meal cookies. They stayed in the shape that I pressed them – no spreading.
@April, Thanks for letting us know how it worked. So maybe all coconut flour isn’t the right option. I wonder what else would work… hmmm.
Is arrowroot powder and arrowroot flour the same thing? I can find flour at my local store, but not powder. I assumed they were the same, but wanted to make sure.
@Vanessa Reimer, I think that they are the same thing, people just use the names interchangeably.
@Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, Thanks. That’s what I figured, but wasn’t completely sure.
This recipe looks awesome and I intend to try it ASAP. I have a question or two, though.
I make almond milk and save the pulp in the freezer until I have enough to dehydrate it. I have no idea how many cups of almonds makes how much frozen pulp or how much dehydrated pulp, so my questions are these:
How many cups of frozen/thawed almond pulp could be used in this recipe? If used, do I need to adjust the liquid? By how much?
How many cups of dehydrated almond pulp could be used in this recipe? If used, do I need to adjust the liquid? By how much?
Thanks so much!
@Connie Lacelle, It’s really hard for me to say since I don’t generally make almond milk or use the pulp in my baking.
I would guess that the 3 cups of almonds gave me about 2 cups of ground almonds, so you could try using about that much of the pulp? I’m really not sure how you would need to adjust the liquid. Sorry- I wish I could help more!
Does anyone else know?
Hmmm, I’m still looking longingly at this cookie recipe–even decided to just soak 3 cups of almonds just so I can measure the pulp for future reference. However, after making that decision I checked out the recipe again and noted that it says to grind the nuts in a food processor–which is what I do if I am making a date/nut pie crust. Not the method I use to make almond milk. So…..perhaps this recipe would not work so well if I used leftover pulp from making almond milk????? That is, perhaps the almonds fundamentally change once you squeeze the essence out of them? Anybody know about that?
Can I remove the egg? I do love gingersnaps.
@Vickie, I haven’t tried it without the egg. Maybe if you used an egg substitute, like flax seeds. If it works for you, let me know!
@Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, thanks. Will let you know.
Here’s a great recipe too, if you can do oats and walnuts: I love them and get rave reviews.
This recipe looks great! However I am unable to have sugar…even natural sweeteners. (Candida Detox) Is there a way that I could use stevia? Or does the molasses help form them?
You would definitely have to play around with it. The molasses is part of what holds it together, for sure. But you may be able to find another way to add a bit of extra liquids to make up for it. I’d love to hear about it if you do!