Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Spice Cookies for the Holidays

What do the holidays smell like? For me, it is spices?like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. One whiff and I’m in the holiday mood.

Spice Cookies for the Holidays

Spice Cookies without gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, or soy

Experts say that we encounter new smells as children, so it makes sense that the experiences we associate with different aromas conjure up childhood experiences. The moment I smell the heavenly aroma of these spices wafting from the kitchen I am transported to happy times and ready to break out the tree decorations, address holiday cards, and wrap presents.

This cookie is perfect for those who avoid gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and corn and they are so delicious you can serve them to any holiday guest. Even if you’re an inexperienced baker, these cookies are super-easy and always a success. Don’t be put off by all the spices; they are essential for this incredible flavor.

These sturdy little gems freeze well so if you have any leftovers (fat chance!!) they can be thawed at room temperature. And, they are sturdy so they travel well and will survive the trip to Grandma’s house. Plus, the sorghum flour and bean flour add protein and fiber so you can indulge with a little less guilt. But best of all, their heavenly aroma and marvelous flavor will delight you and your guests! So get in the kitchen and start baking!

Spice Cookies

Adapted from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Fenster (Avery/Penguin Group, 2011)

Moist and very flavorful, these cookies are perfect for snacks, cookie exchanges, or dessert for your family. Or, process them into crumbs in a food processor for a pie crust (about 1 ½ cups for a 9-inch crust) that is perfect for a pumpkin cheesecake. Adding the optional black pepper turns them into Pfeffernüsse, a traditional German treat served during the holidays.

½ cup butter or buttery spread

¼ cup molasses (not blackstrap)

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1 cup sorghum flour

½ cup bean flour (such as garbanzo/chickpea, black bean)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)

2 tablespoons (turbinado or coarse) sugar, for rolling

[1] Place rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 9×13-inch metal baking sheet (not nonstick) with parchment paper.

[2] In medium mixing bowl, beat butter, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Add sorghum flour, bean flour, ginger, cinnamon, xanthan gum, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, salt, and black pepper (if using) and beat until well blended.

[3] With #50 (1¼ tablespoon-size) metal ice cream scoop, shape 18 balls, roll each into smooth ball with hands, and then roll in sugar for pretty crinkly appearance. Place 9 of the balls at least two inches apart on baking sheet.

[4] Bake just until cookies look firm and began to show little cracks on top, about 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool cookies on baking sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Bake remaining 9 cookies in same way. Makes 18 cookies.

6 comments to Spice Cookies for the Holidays

  • Tina McDonald

    Dear Carol,

    Thanks for all your work in developing Gluten free recipes.

    My gluten free Christmas wish list is this. I was wondering what your favorite restaurants are in the Denver/Boulder Metro area for Gluten Free cuisine.

    • Carol Fenster

      There are many restaurants that will meet your GF needs in the Denver-Boulder area, but my all-time favorite is Panzano at the Hotel Monaco in downtown Denver. Chef Elise Wiggins is GF herself and her food is phenomenal. Plus, the wait-staff is well-trained. I also like Vesta Dipping Grill, Linger, Root Down. For more casual dining, I like the Mexican food at Blue Bonnet in Denver. In Boulder, I like The Kitchen and Frasca and Sunflower.

  • Stephanie

    I don’t understand I followed recipie and I have flat cookies they look nothing like the cookies in your picture submitted HELP!

  • Christine

    I just made these and they’re terrific! Crispy outside, soft inside.
    Thank you very much for the recipe!

    • Christine

      I forgot to say that I didn’t have any xanthan gum so I substituted ground flax seed – 1/2 teaspoon mixed in 1 teaspoon boiling water. It seemed to work just fine.

      • Carol Fenster

        Christine: Ground flax seed works quite well in place of gums in something as small as a cookie. Glad you discovered this idea and enjoy those cookies!

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