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.
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 … 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.
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.
I also didn’t add any chopped up pecan to these. I sort of stopped doing that some time ago – I think after the first time I made them. I should say that 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.
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.