Thin & Crispy Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies

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Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free)

If you’re even a tiny bit Scandinavian, Anna’s Ginger Thins are probably familiar to you – the crisp spice cookies that go swimmingly well with hot coffee. They were a favorite of my grandmother and her sisters, a special treat she only bought during the holidays, along with angel food candy.

For some reason I was intrigued by the rectangular red box they came in, with a shiny clear window letting you peek inside just enough to spark your curiosity. I remember thinking of them as a grown up Christmas cookie. They weren’t gussied up with frosting or sprinkles, glitter or chocolate. And they certainly weren’t chewy or fudgy.

Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchen

Instead they were light and airy, thin and crisp. Full of all the spices that signaled Santa would be coming soon – a hefty dose of ginger, paired with cinnamon and cloves, just like this gluten-free gingerbread cake.

I had all those qualities in mind when making these Five-Spice Ginger Thins, trying to create a gluten-free version of the cookies that have so many memories attached to them.

Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchen

Tradition holds that you are to put one of ginger cookies on the palm of your hand, make a wish and tap it gently with your finger. If it breaks into three pieces, your wish would be granted. After painting dainty white chocolate lines on them, I placed one in my hand and wished that my grandma was there with me. To my surprise, the thin cookie with my special touch of five-spice powder did break into three pieces.

I love the deep aromatics and flavor that it brings – sweet tones of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, savory fennel seeds and a bit of bite from pepper.

This makes a pretty big batch of cookies (so a good pick for cookie boxes) because ideally you’ll roll them out to 1/8 inch thick.

Five-Spice Ginger Cookies (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchen

Five-Spice Ginger Cookies (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchen

More Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies

Five-Spice Ginger Cookies (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchen

Thin & Crispy Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies

Crispy, crunchy gluten-free gingersnaps with warm spices, just like Anna's Swedish Ginger Thins! They're a lovely Christmas cookie.
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Prep Time :20 minutes
Cook Time :8 minutes
Yield: 3 dozen
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 305 grams Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-1 Flour in blue bag
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter – slightly melted so that you can stir it the color and consistency of softened ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup sugar I use organic evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • melted white chocolate for decorating

Instructions 

  • Whisk together flour, five-spice powder, ginger, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
  • To a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add honey, butter, egg, and sugar and blend until mixture is thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and blend on low speed just until dough comes together and there are no flour streaks. Form dough into a disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 6 hours or overnight to allow flavors to develop.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Quarter dough. Keeping remaining 3 pieces wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled. Roll out 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured sheet of wax paper with a lightly floured rolling pin to 1/8 inch thick. Keep dusting flour on top of dough and rolling pin to keep it frm sticking. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, chill on wax paper until firm.) Use cookie cutter to make shapes, but do not attempt to remove. First, place sheet in freezer with the dough cut in shapes for 5 minutes, then remove and peel away scraps. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, 12 per sheet.
  • Bake cookies until slightly puffed and a shade darker, about 7-8 minutes. This time can vary depending on the thickness so be sure to watch your first pan closely. Cool 5 minutes on sheet. (If your cookies are a little thicker and puff up, that’s okay. They will will flatten slightly as they cool.)
  • While first batch is baking, roll out and cut another batch, arranging cookies on second lined sheet. Proceed in same manner, then gather scraps and chill until dough is firm enough to reroll, about 10 minutes. Make more cookies with scraps (reroll scraps only once) and remaining pieces of dough, then bake when oven is free.
  • You can leave them as is (best for shipping) or after cookies have cooled, use a toothpick or paintbrush to paint white chocolate around the stars. To speed things up, drizzle the white chocolate very lightly onto each one.

Notes

Adapted from this recipe on Epicurious.
Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchen

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December 15, 2014

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17 comments

  1. Love the look of these cookies, Amanda! You really can’t go wrong with spices like ginger and five-spice powder, and I really like the delicate frosting along the edges. But what I love the most is how special these cookies are to you, and that sweet story you shared about tapping them! It’s so nice when cookies have all those great memories associated with them.

  2. I’m incredibly jealous of your cookie swap recipients! Your grandma taught you well;)

    PS. I just spent all weekend recipe testing crispy ginger cookies! If only I’d seen your recipe sooner! Don’t worry – that won’t stop me from trying this next though!

    • Hi Sarah! It took me a few times too. The hard part is getting them to roll out thin. A lot of in and out of the freezer :) I found that dusting the top of the dough liberally and the rolling pin really helped. And there was a fine line of keeping the dough really cold, yet soft enough to actually work with the rolling pin. Personally I think we should take a month off of everything and just escape in gluten-free baking :)

  3. I love using five spice in sweet applications like this; it’s such a wonderful flavour and it just transforms a cookie into something special. These are beautiful!

    • kathryn, it was my first time using five-spice in cookies and i’m so glad i did! i think it would be lovely in ice cream too – hint, hint :) i know you’ve got that new ice cream maker!