The BEST Ginger Cookies (or Ginger Biscuits) with a perfect ‘snap’. Easy to make and utterly delicious. One of our absolute favourites at Gluten Free Alchemist. Gluten free. Optional dairy free.
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The BEST gluten free Ginger Cookies
These gluten free Ginger Cookies are AMAZING. In fact, they are quite possibly the most popular gluten free cookies we make at Gluten Free Alchemist. Certainly, at Christmas!
Rich with warming ginger and a little cinnamon, these Ginger Cookies are classically flavoured. Like the best molasses biscuits, they have a rich, earthy depth from the black treacle they contain. And with an additional twinkle from the sugar crystals on their crackled surface, they are up there with the best for both beauty and texture. And yes… They really ARE gluten free.
They also have a perfect ‘snap’! If you want one that is. The texture of these cookies is crisp and crunchy. But cook them for a little less time and you will have the option of a softer cookie too. Maybe I should have called them ‘best of both worlds ginger cookies’?
Ginger Cookies or Ginger Biscuits?
I’ve called them Ginger Cookies, but are they actually Ginger Biscuits? Depending on where in the world you live, they are sure to be one or the other… or maybe even both. It’s an interesting language conundrum.
In the UK, I grew up with ‘biscuits’. Always biscuits. Cookies only entered my consciousness when the Cookie Monster appeared in Sesame Street on my TV screen. And the Cookie Monster was a furry animal thing! Consequently, as a child I didn’t actually make any semantic connection with the sweet, flat treats we continued to call biscuits.
So, when did they start to morph into ‘cookies’? When did they adopt an American persona? I really have no idea. But somewhere along the road of treat-eating life, the supermarket shelves became stacked with them… And the term ‘cookies’ entered popular British language.
Is there a difference between Ginger Biscuits and Cookies?
I’ve trawled the internet on this one… Ginger Biscuits and Ginger Cookies appear to be involved in an infinite name swap regardless of texture and ingredients. But when thinking more deeply about my own use of the word, biscuits tend to be distinguished from cookies by their crunchiness. Or is that just me?
Biscuits are crisp with a good ‘snap’. And you hear them crunching loudly in your ears when you eat them. Cookies have a tendency to be soft and quite chewy as well as often spreading more when they bake so that they have a less defined shape.
Both of course, are yummy. And whether to eat a ‘biscuit’ or ‘cookie’ will often depend on mood… Or what they are being eaten with. Ice cream, mousse, brûlée and other soft desserts demand the crunch of a ‘biscuit’. But ‘cookies’ can be eaten as pudding on their own and often seem sweeter, larger and more filling.
Whichever you prefer, this Ginger Cookie or Biscuit recipe can be either. They taste fantastic whether crunchy or soft. The only difference is 3 to 5 minutes extra bake-time for a snappier result.
A perfect food gift
One of the reasons that these particular gluten free ginger biscuits are an annual make at Gluten Free Alchemist, is because they make the perfect food gift. They are easy to prepare and can be made well ahead of Christmas. Bag them up with a pretty ribbon or pop them in a gorgeous tin and they will look as professional and artisan a gift as any other. Whether given to someone gluten free or not, they are devoured either way. Even my late mother (who was very particular and actually quite critical) used to love these ginger cookies.
They really do look as good as they taste. And there is no masquerade behind the sparkle. But beware… they are very very moreish. And you may find the pile ‘evaporates’ as quick as it appeared. Perhaps they are magic too?
What particular ingredients do I need to make these Ginger Biscuits?
Being gluten free, they also require a gluten free flour blend. You could probably make them with a bog-standard gluten free flour mix from the supermarket. However, to get the texture and flavour of these ginger cookies as delicious as possible, I blended the flour uniquely for the recipe. I make no apology… Sometimes perfection demands creativity. And the particular combination of flours listed produced a biscuit which has stood the test of many years making both for consistency and enjoyment.
By all means make them with an alternative blend… But be aware that any changes to the recipe may create a very different result.
Can I make them ‘Free From’?
This recipe for ginger cookies is gluten free and nut free and can easily be made dairy free too. Just use a simple substitution of butter for a good quality dairy free alternative. They do however contain egg as a binder, so they are not vegan. Although I have never tried myself, it may be possible to substitute the egg for either aqua faba or an alternative egg substitute. For anyone who gives it a try, let me know how it goes.
Here’s my recipe for gluten free Ginger Cookies (or Ginger Biscuits)
It is with lots of love that I share my recipe for gluten free Ginger Cookies. They have been baked at GFHQ many times since they first made their appearance on the blog back in 2016. And I truly hope that some of you choose to make them and enjoy them as much as we have.
Other Gingery Cookies & Biscuits on Gluten Free Alchemist
Ginger Cookies (Biscuits)
- silicone/wooden spoon or spatula
- 60 g white rice flour fine
- 60 g brown rice flour fine
- 60 g cornflour (cornstarch)
- 60 g sweet rice flour (Mochiko aka glutinous rice flour)
- 60 g tapioca starch flour
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder gluten free
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 1¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- 170 g unsalted butter softened or dairy free alternative
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 45 g molasses black treacle
- 45 g golden syrup
- 1 large egg UK large
- granulated sugar for rolling (extra)
- Weigh and combine the flours, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices, mixing well to thoroughly combine. (TIP: weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar with an electric whisk, until pale and fluffy.
- Add the molasses and golden syrup and beat well.
- Then add the egg and beat again to thoroughly combine.
- Add and fold in the dry ingredients until the mixture comes together as a sticky dough.
- Transfer the dough onto a sheet of baking paper or cling film, wrap and chill for about an hour to firm up.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper.
- Pour a little extra granulated sugar into a bowl ready for dipping the cookies.
- Take the chilled dough and roll small pieces into walnut-sized balls.
- Roll each ball in the sugar and flatten with the palm of your hand to a disc about 5 cm/2 inches in diameter.
- Place on the baking sheets allowing a little room (a couple of cm either side) for spreading.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are firming up on the top. For a crunchier cookie, bake for an extra 3 (approx) minutes, but be careful not to let the edges burn. They will crisp up further as they cool.
- Remove from the oven and leave on the trays to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
© 2019-2022 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
Ginger Cookies shared with
- Cook Blog Share with Recipes Made Easy
- Full Plate Thursday #516 with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- Fiesta Friday #360 with Angie