Holiday Cookies

I’ve been baking up a holiday storm full of gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, (and a few VEGAN) holiday treats.  Two of the cookie recipes turned out yummy enough to share here (the rest, including my favorite Spritz Cookies, are still “under development”).

The Joyous Ginger Snaps crackle and crunch, just like they should.

The Oatmeal-Craisin Cookies (GF & Vegan) are wholesome and festive.


Joyous Ginger Snaps (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Ginger Snaps

Adapted from Joy of Cooking (1964/1973) by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker and Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts

“Like ‘boughten’ ones in texture, but with a dreamy flavor.” (JoC, p. 602)
Yield: About 4 Dozen, 2-inch Cookies


  • 6 Tablespoons palm oil shortening
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups GF Brown Rice Flour Blend
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 egg, well-beaten
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2-4 oz. candied ginger pieces, finely chopped
  • granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Cream together shortening, sugar, and 2 teaspoons water.
  3. Stir in egg, molasses, and vinegar.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, gum, soda, salt, and dry spices.  Gradually add to shortening mixture.  Mix until blended.
  5. Add candied ginger pieces.  Mix until blended.
  6. Form dough into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch balls.  Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 14-16 minutes in a 325° oven.  Cool on racks.

“As the ball melts down during baking, the cookie develops the characteristic crinkled surface.” (JofC, p. 602)

Note: For those unfamiliar with candied ginger, it looks like this before chopping:
Candied Ginger

GF, Vegan Oatmeal-Craisin Cookies

GF Vegan Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Toffee Cookies (from the GF Rolled Oats bag)

Yield: 30 cookies


  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal and 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 cup GF Brown Rice Flour Blend
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1-1/2 cups GF oats (I used half rolled and half quick-oats)
  • 1 cup craisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine flax seed and water in a small bowl.  Stir.  Let sit 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, gum, soda, powder, salt, and spices.
  4. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars.
  5. Add flax mix, vanilla, and water.  Beat well.
  6. Add flour mixture.  Mix well.
  7. Stir in oats and craisins (I do this with a wooden spoon rather than the mixer).
  8. On greased (or parchment covered) cookie sheet, place 1 Tablespoon balls of dough spaced 2-3″ apart.  Bake for 18 minutes.  Cool on sheet, then move to rack.

The Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour Blend I use is:
6 parts Superfine Brown Rice Flour (from Authentic Foods)
2 parts potato starch (not potato flour)
1 part tapioca starch

So, for 3 cups of the blend you would use:
2 cups Superfine Brown Rice Flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch

Copyright © 2012 Lucinda DeWitt


GF Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

adapted from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, gluten-free, vegan

I LOVE Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!  For me, they are the perfect autumn treat—spicy, chewy, yummy.  And ever since I accidentally fed some vegans my chocolate chip cookies (I forgot that eggs are an animal product), I’ve been looking for an opportunity to try out some of the egg substitutes.  The two options used most frequently seem to be flax gel and applesauce.  (There’s also something that comes in a box, but it doesn’t appear to be corn-free, so will avoid that option.) For this recipe, I used flax gel (details below) and it worked great!

Yippee!  I now have a treat I can bring to gatherings including vegans.

Makes about 30 cookies; recipe can be doubled.


  • 1/2 cup Superfine Brown Rice Flour (I use Authentic Foods brand)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon flax meal (I buy whole flax seeds and grind them myself)
  • 3 Tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 cup shortening plus 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup gluten-free quick oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Position rack in the center of oven.  Grease cookie sheet with a thin coating of shortening or cooking spray.
  2. Combine flours/starches, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.  Whisk together.
  3. Make flax gel (egg substitute) by combining flax meal and boiling water in a small bowl.  Stir together and let sit for 10 minutes or until gelled.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening & 1 Tablespoon water, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and creamy.  Add flax gel and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture.  Beat until smooth.
  6. Stir in the oats and raisins. (I recommend doing this with a wooden spoon rather than the mixer.)
  7. Drop heaping teaspoons of dough onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake in center of oven for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool briefly (less than five minutes). Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.


©2012 Lucinda DeWitt


GF Chocolate Chip Cookes

First a little venting . . . this morning I pull out two different GF cookbooks to compare Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes.  They were almost identical, except for completely OPPOSITE WARNINGS about butter vs. vegetable shortening!!  One said “Don’t use butter or the cookies will spread all over the pan!” and the other said “If you use margarine or shortening instead of butter your cookies will spread more.”

This is what drives me NUTS about cookbooks in general, but GF cookbooks in particular . . . I don’t believe any of these people knows what they are talking about!  Often the authors will actually disagree with THEMSELVES, providing opposite advice in different parts of the cookbook!

In any case, I will be trying to make GF Chocolate Chip Cookies sometime soon.  Most likely I’ll use the same recipe I used several months ago.  They were very yummy!  In any case I’ll be using palm oil shortening (because I’ve given up dairy).

BTW, in trying to research which of the cookbooks was actually correct, I found yet another source who claimed it was the baking soda that makes cookies spread . . . e-gads!

More later . . .

Later: another source says it’s HYDROGENATED shortening that spreads more (and the article assumes all shortening is hydrogenated) . . . but the stuff I use is NON-HYDROGENATED . . . so the plot thickens.  At this point I’m will to give up and just enjoy the cookies! 🙂

My verdict . . . they’re good, but I’m not wild about the special gluten-free mini chocolate chips made of “evaporated cane juice, ‘natural’ non-alcoholic chocolate liquor, and non-dairy cocoa butter”.  I also added walnuts this time.  Other than those updates (I used regular chocolate chips before) same recipe as a few months ago, but they seem greasier to me . . . almost like less fat and more GF flour might be better.  Though that might strain my hand mixer (now that the stand mixer is broken 🙁  ).