12 days of cookies: gingerbread chocolate chunk

Isn’t it amazing how fast these days go before Christmas now that we’re no longer little anxious kiddos waiting for their Christmas loot? When I was younger, I think the entire month leading up to Christmas would just drag on forever. I wish I could go back to the days when this month went slowly! Being able to enjoy this time of year, seeing the Advent wreath lit up at church, looking forward to St. Nick coming to get my fill of chocolate and oranges, decorating my present for Baby Jesus to give him at our church’s Christmas program, buying and wonderfully wrapping presents for family and friends… Now it seems like just a rush to get things done! No time to sit down and enjoy the season anymore.

I think this month has been the fastest of them all because I’ve been working full time. This is the first December I haven’t been a student, gearing up for finals and Christmas break. I think mentally I am somehow waiting for finals to come to signal Christmastime – although it is quite nice to not have to study and have more time to bake cookies! So whether this time of year goes really quickly, or goes really slowly for you, finding time to relax and enjoy time with your family and friends with a nice plateful of cookies and a hot chocolate is about as good as it can get.

This recipe is another adaptation from the Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook, and is actually on the cover of the cookbook! I thought it was strange having a gingerbread chocolate chunk be the featured image, but after taking a bite of my first batch I knew. Gingerbread + chocolate is just about the perfect combination, especially around the holidays. It might seem weird at first, but the flavors complement each other so well.

Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk

  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 3/4c sorghum flour
  • 3/4t xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4t ground ginger
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1/4t cloves
  • 1/4t nutmeg
  • 1T cocoa powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2c organic brown sugar
  • 1/2c molasses
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1 1/2t boiling water
  • 7 oz (1/2 bag) semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 1/4c granulated sugar, for rolling
1. Whisk together the flours, spices and cocoa powder.
2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy.
3. Add in the molasses and stir to combine.
4. In a separate, small, bowl, mix together the baking soda + boiling water. Mix in 1/2 of the flour into the butter + sugar mixture. Mix in the baking soda, and then add the rest of the flour.
5. Mix in the chocolate chunks and then turn dough out onto some plastic wrap. Wrap in a disk shape, and then place in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight. (Overnight is best, especially for gluten free cookies!)
6. Once the dough has sufficiently cooled, take out of the fridge and scoop into equal sized balls, I used a small cookie scoop for this. Once they were scooped, I rolled them in my hands and then rolled each ball in sugar. If the dough starts sticking to your hands, place the scooped balls back in the fridge/freezer until they set up.
7. Place the sugar-coated doughballs on a parchment-covered cookie sheet and place in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up again.
8. Bake in a preheated 325? oven  for 10-12 minutes. These are really fragile right off the pan, so let them set up for a few minutes once they are out of the oven before you try to move them. Allow to cool completely before putting away. But I would recommend eating a few first because the melted chocolate is oh-so-good.

Original recipe can be found here.

These are now a staple at Christmastime. I’m just happy that even though December is going fast and Christmas is sneaking up on me, I have still found time to make plenty of cookies and treats!

12 days of cookies: chocolate cutouts

Remember yesterday when I said I was procrastinating making sugar cutouts? Well, I was holding out on you. I did successfully make gluten free cutouts, only not typical sugar cutouts. For the last few years chocolate cutouts have been a staple at Christmastime, and this year could be no different. Gluten or no gluten. In the wonderful Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook, there is a recipe for Chocolate Cutouts and it is delectable. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out using gluten free bisquick, but hey – it was worth a shot.

Well, I must say that these surpassed my expectation. I think they turned out even better than the ones I used to make with flour. They were the perfect thickness (although I have to thank my wonderful Joseph Joseph adjustable rolling pin for the perfect 1/4″ dough!). And I must admit the reindeer adaptation is just about the cutest thing ever!

Chocolate Cutouts

  • 1 1/2c gluten free Bisquick
  • 1/2c + 2T cocoa powder (Trader Joe’s is the best!)
  • 3/4t xanthan gum
  • 1/8t salt
  • 1/4t cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2c powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2t vanilla

1. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl with the gluten free bisquick, salt and cinnamon.

2. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until pale and fluffy.

3. Add in the egg and vanilla.

4. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet until it is all incorporated. Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for a couple of hours (up to a couple of days – if you’re baking a lot, it’s nice to get the doughs all ready before hand and then just bake away on the same day!).

5. Once the dough is chilled, take out of the fridge and separate into smaller, more manageable pieces. Dust your rolling surface and rolling pin with cocoa powder and roll to 1/4″ thickness.

6. Cut into desired shapes. In my case, mittens, snowmen and hearts. I’ve never used the heart cookie cutter before, but when I saw it I envisioned a reindeer! Luckily they turned out and didn’t look creepy ;).

7. Bake in a 350′ oven for 8-10 minutes, until set but not overbaked. Take out and allow to cool on the cookie sheets and then move to cooling racks.

8. Decorate with frosting and sprinkles, or just eat as-is. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe!

The reindeers are decorated with Snyder’s gluten free pretzel sticks, a colored white chocolate chip, and some eyes from a specialty baking store. Regular chocolate chips for the eyes will probably work too, but we had these laying around and I couldn’t resist!

Easy Chocolate Frosting

  • powdered sugar
  • sifted cocoa powder
  • a dab of softened butter
  • milk to moisten

1. Combine all ingredients and mix until a semi-thick consistency. There’s no exact measurements. Obviously the more cocoa powder you add, the darker chocolate flavor and color you will get. You want it thin enough to spread, but thick enough to not fall off – this one was spot-on!

The 12 days of cookies just keep getting better and better ;).