Gingerbread House and Cookies, Gluten Free

by Jenn on December 6, 2009

in Desserts,Gluten Free

This weekend I found out the astonishing fact that my husband had never made a gingerbread house before.  And I don’t just mean from scratch, I mean never ever not even with a store-bought kit.  So we decided we needed to be 6 years old again and rectify this by making a gingerbread house of our own this weekend.  Now the only problem was just finding a recipe that was gluten free.  Not really liking many of the recipes that I found online, I instead took a recipe and just used it as a guide for the proportions, using almond meal/flour and millet flour as the basis for my gingerbread house. We rolled out the dough and baked it the night before, and then spent the next day assembling and decorating the house.
_PAG2509gingerbread _PAG2507gingerbread

I love making gingerbread houses, they are so much fun, and an awesome way to bring a festive spirit into the home during the holidays!  I had rolled out the pieces of the house a bit thin so to help with the foundation we put on our civil engineering thinking caps and constructed a base out of aluminum covered covered and then “glued” the gingerbread walls on with royal icing.  But no matter, it was super fun.  My husband decided where all the candy went and I did all the icing.
As you can tell, my royal icing skills are non-existent, so our house does have a bit of that “kid-crafted” theme going on with it.

So what were the results of the gluten free gingerbread recipe?  Actually, quite delicious.  It tasted just like I expected gingerbread to – just a little ginger spice and a great buttery dark sweet taste –  and it even had the right texture too.  I thought that this would be a rather easy thing to make gluten free given that gingerbread cookies are already flat, hard, and dense, haha.  I loved the almond meal in it, and millet worked some great magic bringing it all together.  We had enough leftover that we also made some gingerbread house cookies, and decorated them to match our big house:


Just as we finished, the snow started coming down last night, giving us this gorgeous scene in of the “backyard” (I kinda live in a forest) to wake up to this morning:


Seriously, how can one not be in the holiday spirit after making gingerbread houses and seeing such gorgeous scenery?? I absolutely love how gorgeous everything looks when it’s covered in snow and the sun is shining down on it!

Well there was one damper to the festive atmosphere.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make sure to buy candy that specifically had a “gluten free” label on it and my husband reacted to one of the candies that he ate while we were decorating – our best guess (since the little house cookies with the gum drops and chocolate mints were fine) is that it was some cross contamination issue either from the licorice, the little raspberry drops, or the red hots.  Luckily it was a mild reaction and so he felt fine today, but that was a total bummer.  So if you have a gluten allergy and want to make a gingerbread house, I caution you to make sure ALL of the candy is 100% for sure gluten free!


Adapted from Great Gluten-Free Baking

Ingredients (enough for a gingerbread house and some cookies):
3 c. almond meal
6 tbs. cornstarch
3 pinches of baking soda
3 tsp.  ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
9 tbs. salted  butter
6 tbs. light brown sugar
6 tbs. molasses
around 1 1/2 – 2 c. millet flour, plus extra for rolling

1. Mix almond flour, cornstarch, baking soda, ginger and xanthan gum in a large bowl.  Make sure mixture is well mixed.
2. Add butter, brown sugar and molasses to a small pan, and heat on medium stirring occasionally just until all is melted and smooth.  Pour over the dry mixture and mix together.  I mixed with my hands.
3. Add in millet flour gradually, incorporating it into the dough until the dough is thick enough to roll out – for me this was upwards of 2 c.  Roll dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the freezer for about half an hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375F.  Place plastic wrap on a smooth surface, coat with some millet flour, lay down about 1/2 of the dough, and cover with plastic wrap.  Roll out until about 1/4 ” thick (yes, these will be very thin cookies).  Trace your gingerbread house plans or press in your cookie cutters and very carefully (I used a floured spatula), transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until nicely browned.