Pure Christmas deliciousness! Melt-in-your-mouth Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies baked from scratch and spiced just right for the Christmas holiday. Each nibble immediately brings back fond childhood memories of freshly baked gingerbread cake or cookies at Christmastime. Buttery, light yet moist and tender-crumbed, sweetened just right and full of spiced flavor. The powdered sugar even acts as an icing making this gingerbread cookie recipe incredibly easy as well as tasty. And you just can’t have one! Included is a scrumptious and irresistible gluten free variation. Add these fun gingerbread cookies to your holiday cookie tray and watch them quickly disappear. Everyone will rave!
A New Christmas Cookie Classic:
Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies—Made from Scratch!
My friends, today I am beyond thrilled to be back blogging and to share yet another special variation of my original recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies made from scratch—Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies—just in time for the holidays. As I have stated before, if you have never experienced Gooey Butter Cake, or a Gooey Butter Cookie made from scratch, you simply haven’t lived.
Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies taste like a delectable spiced Christmas pastry cookie from the finest bakery in town. Its tender and light “cloud-like” crumb is contrasted with a super-thin soft and yet crackly sugar crust that forms during baking after rolling the dough in confectioners’ sugar twice—effectively acting as an icing. Once bitten into, these easy to make cake-like cookies take on an irresistible buttery and cheesecake-like texture, almost fudgy like a brownie, and then melt in your mouth. Seductive, I tell you!
Just as with my original recipes for Gooey Butter Cookies, Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies, Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies, Shamrock Gooey Butter Cookies and Carrot Cake Gooey Butter Cookies, this recipe comes with a very stern warning straight up:
WARNING: DO NOT eat the cookie dough or there will not be enough to bake cookies!
Now, let’s talk about the gluten free version of our Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies…
Honestly, the gluten free variation of our Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies is phenomenally good. In fact, you simply cannot tell that they are gluten free! And there are three (3) important reasons why this is so.
First, it all starts with the right gluten free flour blend—in this case, King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour—and the perfect amount of guar gum. Yes, I prefer guar gum to xanthan gum for my gluten free baking for allergy reasons in addition to many other reasons. But, I will leave that for a future post on gluten free baking and ingredients.
Second, gluten free baking almost always benefits from the addition of dairy. I learned this very early on with my gluten free baking recipe development when I developed my recipe for Gluten Free Honey-Nut Rugelach for Bob’s Red Mill back in 2012. In addition, this concept and practice is confirmed by the folks over at America’s Test Kitchen. In their book, The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook, the authors confirm that the addition of dairy, in the form of cream cheese or sour cream in gluten free baking, or in the form of dry milk powder added to their gluten free flour blend, not only adds flavor, richness, structure and tenderness, dairy also contributes to the Maillard reaction—which is essentially the process that creates browning and additional flavors during baking.
Third, our recipe for Gluten Free Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies calls for a trip in the refrigerator for several hours (overnight is best) to thoroughly chill the dough. Do not skip this step. The resting is especially important because 1) the resting period allows the sugar to dissolve, the gluten-free flours to be properly hydrated and prevents a gritty texture and 2) the very sticky dough must be chilled to firm it up in order to be rolled between palms of hands and then rolled in confectioners’ sugar (twice for this recipe) before baking as well as promote the structure of the cookies and prevent excessive spreading during baking.
Let’s now briefly talk gluten free flour.
Why does Wicked Good Kitchen highly recommend King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour?
By blending white rice and whole-grain brown rice flours with pure starches, such as tapioca and potato, while avoiding corn, dairy, nut, sorghum (grass) and soy products as well as gums and leavening agents, gluten free bakers in the food allergic and celiac communities have a safe and well-tested gluten free flour that performs exceedingly well on a multi-purpose level.
Quite simply, King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour blend provides freedom and greater flexibility than other brands by allowing bakers and recipe developers to create recipes where the amounts of guar or xanthan gum and leavening agents, like baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and yeast, can be added accordingly for a wide range of applications from baking breads, cakes and cookies to savory dishes.
The good news is that King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour blend, is readily available among gluten free flours at Whole Foods Market® and most grocery stores.
Plus, since I am severely allergic to corn and any corn-derived food additives, I am safe from allergic reactions using KAF GF flour. Sadly, I can no longer work with gluten free flours that contain cornstarch.
For my gluten free readers, all I can say is thank the Lord above that King Arthur Flour® makes an exceptional Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour blend and that most brands of cream cheese are gluten free or there would be no incredibly scrumptious Gluten-Free Gooey Butter Cookies and all the other variations (more coming soon to the blog) made from scratch!
Although I am enthusiastic about King Arthur Flour® products, I am not a compensated blogger, recipe developer or spokesperson for the company. I just love their products and catalog! In fact, I have been a happy KAF customer having received their catalog for over 20 years now and remember the days before it became the full-color catalog filled with every baker’s needs as it is today.
As for the confectioners’ or powdered sugar called for in the recipe, I found a fabulous corn-free confectioners’ sugar. This is excellent news for those who are allergic to corn, a major food allergen, because most powdered sugars contain cornstarch. It is also convenient to keep on hand when I am short on time and don’t have my own powdered sugar made from scratch, using a blender, with pure cane sugar and tapioca flour.
My favorite corn-free (cornstarch free) and vegan powdered sugar is 365 Everyday Value brand Organic Powdered Sugar, by Whole Foods Market®.
For my friends that do not have a Whole Foods Market nearby, I highly recommend Wholesome Sweeteners for corn-free powdered sugar that can be found online in their store at Amazon.com.
When The Big Lug sampled the gluten free version of these scrumptious Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies, he could not believe that they were gluten free—just as with my other variations. That is saying quite a bit because he is quite the cookie connoisseur.
Here at Wicked Good Kitchen, we hope that our recipe for Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies becomes a new Christmas holiday tradition for your family.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy holiday baking!
Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest!
- 2¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon (about 280 grams) pure organic unbleached all-purpose flour, such as Hodgson Mill®
- 2 teaspoons (about 8 grams) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2½ teaspoons organic ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons organic ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon organic ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated organic whole nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon organic ground cloves
- 1 (8-ounce/226-gram) package organic cream cheese, such as Organic Valley®, softened
- ½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) organic grass-fed unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (200 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams) packed organic light or dark brown cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) organic unsulphured molasses, such as Wholesome!™
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pure almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia extract
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1 large organic egg plus 1 large egg yolk (mine weighed 74 grams w/o shells)
- 1½ to 2 cups (180 to 240 grams) organic confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for rolling cookies twice before baking
Shopping:Fiori di Sicilia (The Flowers of Sicily) extract may be purchased at King Arthur Flour—either in the 1 oz. or 4 oz. size. Variations: Orange-Spice Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies: Add 1 tablespoon freshly grated zest from a navel orange along with the sugars when creaming. For Gluten-Free Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies: Substitute 2¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon (about 370 grams) King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour and 1¼ teaspoons (3.5 grams) guar gum, such as by Now Foods, for the regular all-purpose wheat flour called for in the recipe. (It is important to whisk in guar gum until evenly distributed throughout the flour because it is very sticky once moisture is added and sticky lumps are undesirable in dough.) Whisk together until well blended and then continue with recipe by whisking in the baking powder, soda and spices. Tips: Chill dough between batches to keep it firm enough to roll and to prevent excessive spreading during baking. Only use completely cooled cookie sheets lined with a fresh sheet of parchment paper before baking each batch. Avoid crowding the cookies on baking sheets by spacing apart at least by 2 inches. How to Measure All-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: This tip is provided for bakers who do not own a kitchen scale and will be measuring flour by volume rather than by weight. First, aerate flour by stirring it in the container. Then, simply spoon flour into measuring cup and level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 120 grams per 1 cup of flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container. How to Measure King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: There is no need to aerate the flour. Simply spoon flour into measuring cup and level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 160 grams per 1 cup of gluten free flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container. These tender cookies taste fabulous when served either at room temperature or chilled from the fridge. Cookies will keep for up to 1 week covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Total time above does not include time for refrigerating dough before baking. Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.