Gluten-free Chocolate Gingernuts
Would you like a recipe for gluten-free chocolate gingernuts that’s every bit as good as the gluten-filled version? Because if you would I’ve got one for you.
Oh isn’t it nice when something you try works out perfectly? The original recipe is correct. I didn’t think it was because I changed this recipe to be made with just blackstrap molasses and golden syrup with no caster or dark muscovado sugar – but no, it’s correct. All I changed here was the flour to make it gluten-free.
This recipes uses a mix of GF Plain Flour Mix and Buckwheat flour
I knew if I made them with all gluten-free plain flour mix they wouldn’t be right. You always have to mix something into the flour to make it less dry and … something?
I don’t know what exactly I don’t like about gluten-free flour mixes. They’re fine in a bechamel sauce or something like that. But for baked goods it always needs to be mixed with something else.
So after the marzipan-ish taste to the lemon meringue pie crust I knew I wasn’t going to use ground almonds. And I was thinking of trying chestnut flour but then I saw this packet of buckwheat flour I just happened to pick up in the supermarket a few weeks ago. Actually I saw it in the supermarket but bought it online at evergreen.ie – where I also bought chestnut flour. So I’ve used a mix of gluten-free plain flour and buckwheat flour and the taste and texture are just right.
Is buckwheat flour not some type of wheat?
No. Buckwheat is part of the rhubarb family and is naturally gluten free. I had buckwheat pancakes (traditional Breton crêpes) for the first time this summer in a café in Rennes – which I forgot to note the name of (dammit!) – they are so good! I had a savoury one and a sweet one and oh they were so so good! So I bought the buckwheat with intentions of maybe trying to replicate those delicious pancakes.
Anyway just for want of something better to mix into the gluten-free plain flour mix I added in buckwheat and being totally honest I wouldn’t know it was in it – but these cookies taste the same as the normal version.
These cookies are very strongly spiced – they will wake you up. If you would like a gentler ginger taste, reduce the amount of ground ginger to 1.5 teaspoons but still add in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon – the cinnamon mellows out the ginger. I didn’t add ground cloves to these but do if you’d like that Christmasy taste.
Wasn’t there some nuts in these cookies before?
Yes. And you know what, next time I make these I’m going to try adding them in again. They might work better in the gluten-free version.
But I didn’t add any chopped up pecan to these ones. I stopped doing that some time ago. I think after the first time I made them.
Before I went gluten-free I made these a lot – like once a month. These and the gluten-filled recipe I mention in the gluten-free vegan soft fruit cookies post – I made them both quite often. And loved them. I think I’ll stick to my gluten-free soft fruit cookies as the substitute for the other one – they are simple, tasty and good for you. These bad boys are more diet-be-damned but if you use crude blackstrap molasses you will get a bunch of good stuff like vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium with you nice spicy sugar hit. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the blackstrap molasses stuff in the shop last weekend – treacle is the same taste-wise though.
Resting the dough doesn’t seem to make much difference to when the flour is gluten-free
Just one more thing – letting gluten-filled cookie dough rest overnight improves it. I don’t know why but it does. I made 4 of these the night before after leaving the dough in the fridge for 2 hours. And I made more this morning. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference between them. I’m not sure that non-gluten filled flours are really improved by resting. That said you should leave this for an hour or two before baking because the dough becomes harder and easier to shape.
- 100g salted butter
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 generous teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 50g caster sugar
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 1 tablespoon treacle or blackstrap molasses
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 115g plain white gluten-free flour mix
- 100g buckwheat flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- Cut the butter up in cubes and melt on a gentle heat in a saucepan. When it's melted add in the spices and stir around well. Add in the white and dark sugar, keep stirring till it's smooth. Add in the treacle/molasses and golden syrup and stir around again till everything is smooth and blended. Remove the heat and leave to cool a little.
- Sift the gluten-free flour mix, the buckwheat flour and the cocoa powder into a deep bowl.
- When the melted sugar-spice-butter mix has cooled enough, it shouldn't be hot - warm at most, pour into the flour and mix it around well. When it is well mixed, touch with your finger to make sure it's only just warm and then mix in the egg. You always risk scrambling egg if you add it to something hot so it's important to make sure things are cool enough. Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge for two hours or more.
- When ready, heat the oven to 200 C. Line a baking tin with paper and sprinkle over some sugar. Take a teaspoon of the dough, it will be quite hard, place between your palms and roll into a ball, flatten it a little, sprinkle both sides with sugar and place on the tin. Repeat. Leave about an inch between cookie on the sheet.
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Take out, leave on the baking tin for a minute, then remove to a wire tray to cool. Let them cool for 10 - 15 minutes. Enjoy with a good cup of coffee!
These cookies are very strongly spiced - they will wake you up. If you would like a gentler ginger taste, reduce the amount of ground ginger to 1.5 teaspoons but still add in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon - the cinnamon mellows out the ginger.