Yes, I know there are a billion and one versions of gingerbread men, but we couldn’t find one that fit our particular needs – gluten free for me, dairy and egg free for A, nut free for a visiting friend; and ideally not too heavy on the sugar or expensive ingredients. Apart from that we’re easy to please!
Did I mention I’m calling them gingerbread people instead of men? They were ginger folk, but then I wondered if that was offensive too. Yes, I am basically a pastiche of myself. Anyhoo, we’re putting them in little party bags for A’s friends at nursery (it’s her 2nd birthday on Monday!) so we want them to be as inclusive as possible.
I decided to adapt a vegan recipe to be gluten free, and to use ingredients with similar properties we typically have to hand; rather than figuring out how to make a gluten free recipe dairy and egg free. Changing one thing in a recipe is much easier than many at once; and vegan recipes are a great resource for free from bakers.
These aren’t punch in your face spicy because my toddler wouldn’t eat them, so if you like them that way perhaps double the spices. As the mix is egg free, you can always taste the mix before you decide!
B’s Allergy-Friendly Gingerbread People
GF DF EF SyF NF
Makes 16 medium-sized people, or whatever shapes you fancy :). Adapted from Perfect Vegan Gingerbread Cookies from I Love Vegan.
- 100g plain gluten free flour blend
- 100g buckwheat flour
- 2 tsp psyllium husk fibres/1tsp xanthan gum (optional – can help with texture)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- a pinch of vanilla powder
- 80g dairy free spread (we used Pure Sunflower)
- 45g brown sugar
- 4 tbsp black treacle or molasses
- Weigh and mix together all of the ingredients except the dairy free spread, sugar and treacle.
- In a separate bowl, combine the spread and sugar until it is smooth and light. Add in the treacle and mix to combine.
- Gradually stir in the dry mix to form a sticky dough. If the mix is too dry (this will depend on the flour blend you use), add a little water.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours until ready to use. (Or freeze at this point for later use).
- Divide the dough in two, and roll onto baking parchment until ¼ inch thick. Cut your shapes, and using a palette knife or fish slice, place them on a lined baking tray. Re roll any remaining dough. (If the dough gets to sticky, return to the fridge).
- Place the baking sheets in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes – this helps them keep their shape – and preheat the oven to 160ºc.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just starting to brown at the edges. They should still be soft in the middle. Allow to cool on the tray before moving.
- When completely cool, decorate and store in an airtight container.
Since writing, the clever Free From Fairy has made a lower-sugar and low FODMAP gingerbread recipe. If that’s more your bag, go see her site!